VJ Books Blog

(expressindia.com, Jan. 7)

January releases will have detective-fiction lovers jump for joy

How many times in the Conan Doyle mysteries does Sherlock Holmes say, “Elementary, my dear Watson”? If you’re a true-blue, detective-fiction lover, you’ll know that Holmes never ever uttered this line, which over the years, has been built up by popular imagination. And if you don’t believe us, feast on the mystery titles, including Doyle’s, that are being re-released into the market this month.

January will see the start of Chills and Thrills, a month-long promotion of detective fiction by HarperCollins India. Other publishing houses are not sitting idle either. Westland is coming out with Aditya Sudarshan’s debut novel A Nice Quiet Holiday, a murder mystery set in the little Himalayan town of Bhairavgarh. Sudarshan is a graduate of the National Law School of India University and lives and writes in Delhi. Hot on the heels of her husband Nandan Nilekani’s dream for a New India, Rohini Nilekani’s medical thriller Stillborn too will witness a re-release by Penguin India.

“We’d like to re-awaken an interest in detective fiction and what better way than to bring out all our titles in an attractive, unofficial festival and make them available to readers,” says Amrita Talwar of HarperCollins India. Across the country, the publishing house has tied up with leading bookstores such as Crossword, Oxford and Landmark for the festival. “Special display sections have been created at bookstores. There will be posters, danglers and bookmarks promoting favourite and famous characters of mystery,” says Talwar. Among the authors on their list are Isaac Asimov, Sam Bourne, Arthur C Clarke, Michael Crichton, Jack Higgins, Sidney Sheldon, Alistair MacLean, James Patterson, Dean Koontz, Philip K Dick and Colleen McCullough. Among their Indian titles are Mukul Deva, Riti Gadekar and Raj Chakraborti. Have you ever been able to decide who you like more, old and wrinkled Miss Marple or the Belgian Poirot with his excellently waxed moustache? The festival will highlight all of Agatha Christie’s delicious whodunits and you can spend this winter re-reading or discovering titles among her 80-odd works.

Towards the end of the month, HarperCollins India will also release Salim Must Die, the sequel to Deva’s debut military thriller Lashkar.