Saturday, November 28, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Is crime fiction set in India unenjoyable as it's too close to home for me? Yes.
But as one sentence, does not an article make, even if covers, all that one wants to say, I will be writing a little bit more than one sentence!
One example to illustrate the above point is :There are millions of women of lower castes, rural areas, illiterate who work for the upper castes in states such as Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, etc. These women are routinely abused and various crimes committed against them. Even if a few are foolishly optimistic enough to dare to complain to the police, the police will never ever take action against the upper class, upper caste goons. Instead these women may be further subjected to humiliation or worse, some more abuse in the police station itself!
There is an unexplored gold-mine for researchers of psychology, sociology, political science, economics, etc if they want to understand the behaviour of honest people in India. It is simply impossible for honest decent people in India to be socially adept.
Many people are either corrupt or worship the corrupt as they are 'successful' or are ignorant that a person is corrupt. If an honest person is aware that a person he is dealing with is corrupt, he has to be so detached and mature and socially skillful to deal with the corrupt person in a manner where he does not yield to corruption and also be polite and not be abused. Very very few people have such social skills and self-confidence unfortunately.
With so much privatization in India, post 1980s, I assume that there is less corruption in the private companies. But who knows? The corrupt government expects bribes from all private companies who expect to run in India and so there is some corruption when they are forced to bribe the government officials and they they have to make up for that expenditure somehow!
One major issue in India is that many crimes are NOT recognized as crimes even by the police! The attitudes towards many criminal behaviours are typically ignorant, patriarchial, retarded and illiterate! when a woman complains to the police (or anyone) that she is beaten severely by he husband, they will not 'take her complaint' but advise her to 'get along ' with him and send her back. I will add more examples to this later. Giving and taking bribes is another thing not considered as criminal behaviour but instead considered as a 'norm' by many people in India.
Post 2000, I am discovering that many Indians have become body and health conscious. There are many gyms opening and a lot of the urban people are exercising, etc. Care of physical health and looks was not so widespread before the 90s. So with people, more looks and health conscious now, I assume, we can look forward to 'fitter' Indian detectives in crime fiction too!
I am adding this line March 2016: I recently read the book Cut like wound by Anita Nair. It is a crime fiction set in Bangalore and it has captured the reality of cime and corruption in Bangalore and yet has a believable hero!! To my utter delight he is a Gowda too! ( I belong to the Gowda caste) I am so happy that there are crime fiction books from India, that too, Bangalore, my home town, that too with Gowda protoganists !!! Yippe!
I humbly take back what I said about 'not enjoying crime fiction set in India' after reading Nair's book
India produces literature in many languages and in English; I read only English.(It is not that I am too snobbish to read Indian languages. I am very slow while reading Kannada novels and it is so painful to read at the speed of 10 minutes per page.... So I have given up reading in Kannada, the only Indian language I can read) As far as I know, there are more social novels ( I like to call them social novels as they are about social life in India) than crime fiction. There are many romantic novels, books about Indian society, sociology, anthropology and other subjects. I know that a lot of new writers in India are writing crime fiction these days and writing in English too.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
During my teen years i.e. late 70s and early 80s, there were few or no crime fiction in English by Indian writers. Even if there were crime fiction books written by Indians, in English, and available in India, I definitely didn't have access to them or even heard of them. There was no internet in those days and finding any information in Bangalore was a Herculean task!
The first crime fiction set in India I can recall reading were the books by HRF Keating featuring Inspector Ghote.
I don't recall which books of Keating's Ghote series, I read but I do remember the movie The perfect murder, featuring Naseeruddin Shah and Rathna Pathak. I loved this movie! Below is a list of 26 crime books by HRF Keating, featuring Inspector Ghote and supposedly set in India . The amazing thing I learned from Wikipedia is that Keating visited India only after he had written a few Inspector Ghote novels!
The Perfect Murder 1964
Inspector Ghote's crusade 1966
Inspector Ghote caught in meshes 1967
Inspector Ghote hunts the peacocks1968
Inspector Ghote plays a joker 1969
Inspector Ghote breaks an eggo 1970
Inspector Ghote goes by train 1971
Inspector Ghote trusts the heart 1972
Bats fly up for Inspector Ghote 1974
Filmi, Filmi Inspector Ghote 1976
Inspector Ghote draws a line 1979
The murder of the Maharajh 1980
Go west, Inspector Ghote 1981
The Sheriff of Bombay 1984
Under a monsoon cloud 1986
The body in the billiard room1987
Dead on time 1988
The Iciest sin 1990
Inspector Ghote , his life and crimes (1989) short story collection
Cheating death 1992
Doing wrong 1993
Asking questions 1996
Bribery, corruption also 1999
Breaking and entering 2000
Inspector Ghote's first case 2008
A small case for Inspector Ghote 2009
(Please read another article in this blog, "Complete list of crime fiction set in india(almost complete)"
I discovered, in Canada, (I immigrated in 2004) the crime fiction novels set in New Delhi, written by a British author settled in New Delhi i.e. Tarquin Hall the books featuring Vish Puri a retired army officer and now a private detective with a host of interesting employees, a lovable mother and wife. I enjoyed these books as they were funny, yet depicted the ugliness (and beauty)of India realistically. I think it's a fantastic feat to be able to write a realistic crime novel set in India which is not depressing and which has a satisfactory ending! Maybe I am too pessimistic about India and feel absolutely hopeless regarding the ethics of Indians in India.
His books are:
The case of the missing servant 2008
The case of the man who died laughing 2010
The case of the deadly butter chicken 2012
The case of the love commandos 2013
Vish Puri mentions that several cases coming for private investigation were of families checking into a prospective bridegroom’s background…does he smoke or drink? Did he have a girl-friend in the past? Has he really studied engineering or did he lie when he came to see the girl? When I read this bit in Hall’s book, I realized that the job of a private investigator in India may not be 'adventurous' but can be hilarious! He also mentions a case where the house owner hired the private detective to find out if his tenant was a pure vegetarian as he claimed or did he cook non-veg in the house!
Apparently another book in the series is to be published shortly.
Noirs: Recently read the book, Delhi Noir’ edited by Hirsh Sawney and published by Akashic Books. It’s a collection of 14 short stories (crime fiction set in Delhi) by different writers. The writing styles of all the authors was fast paced & excellent and I finished the book in a day. Being crime stories, they held my attention.......but the stories did kill what little innocence/naiveté I had in me!
What turned my stomach the most were the two themes which recurred often that is betrayal of trust and corrupt cops (corrupt cops is actually just betrayal again). I am not even sure if I really 'enjoyed' reading the book. I was revulsed by the stories but could not put the book down! I have visited Delhi years ago and I was deeply disgusted by the men's behaviour toward women in public places such as buses. The stories in this noir rang true, and this made the stories even more appalling. Every one of the stories could actually be true!
For a few days, after finishing this book, Delhi seemed to be the worst place on this planet with nary a decent soul in it and I thought that I should never ever revisit ! Of course, I recovered from this deep sense of revulsion. Daily interactions with decent people of Toronto and seeing decent actions daily restored my faith in humanity pretty soon.
I started but did not finish the book Sacred games by Vikram Chandra set in Modern Mumbai. It was well written but as I said earlier, Indian crime fiction is too close to home to me for comfort!
I read 3 crime novels set in India i.e.(1) ''Six suspects by Vikas Swarup; (2) Aravind Adiga's 'Last man in tower' and The white tiger. These three books accurately reflect crime in India. Aravind Adiga's novels are both extremely real and stunning! Stunning because one's idea that criminals are a different category and not 'ordinary'people' is dispelled. I did complete these books but I did not enjoy them as I enjoyed the Vish Puri series. I was depressed and horrified, even though the crime in these Indian crime fiction books were not as terrible as in the 'foreign' crime fiction I am addicted to!
I recently enjoyed Vaseem Khan's The unexpected inheritance of Inspector Chopra. It's set in Bombay & is a delightful read. I look forward to reading the next in the series The perplexing theft of the jewel in the crown. Khan has not glossed over the ugliness in India such as corruption. Yet, he has managed to make this is a pleasant, feel-good book and that is a miracle!
My brain cannot conceive a crime fiction story set in India which is both realistic and 'feel-good'.....an Indian crime fiction can be EITHER realistic OR feel-good but CANNOT BE BOTH !
While looking up Vaseem Khan's book on amazon, I came across two books, authored by Brian Stoddart and set in colonial India. The reviews were great and I hope I can get my hands on these books some time. (Unfortunately, they are not in TPL and I dont want to buy!) The books are: The Madras Miasma and The Pallampur predicament.
And while looking up the reviews of Stoddart's books, I discovered another author who has written crime fiction set in colonial India i.e. Barbara Cleverly. If I remember right, I think, I did try a book of hers, but could not finish it. I should give her a try again. Her books set in colonial India are:
The last Kashmiri rose
Ragtime in Simla
The Damascened blade
The palace tiger
Joe Sandilands is the chief protagonist in the 4 novels above. He continues to be in many other crime novels but the remaining novels are not set in India and so I am not listing them here. If I get round to reading these, I will speak of what I thought of these books.
Today, January 24th, 2016, for the first time ever (sooo late!) it crossed my mind to look up crime fiction from Karnataka and Bangalore my home state and town. Googling for crime fiction from Karnataka, I came across a single name i.e. N.Narasimhiah and read a write up about him in the Hindu, after his death(http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-karnataka/n-narasimhaiah-passes-away/article2748505.ece). I was depressed to see that, though he was an original crime fiction writer, he died in poverty and had difficulty paying for his medical bills! This reflects how unrewarding it is to be creative in countries like India! A crime fiction writer in any developed country would not die in poverty like in India! Who is responsible for this? The callous government who don't do enough to encourage the artists and the arts? The publishers who don't pay the writers, what they deserve? The readers for not reading locally written books? The writer himself for not being smart enough to survive the dog-eat-dog world of today?
I also discovered today (Jan 24th 2016) a crime fiction set in Bangalore, my home town! It's by Nilanjan P Choudhury and called 'The case of the secretive sister'. It's supposed to be funny and I am looking forward to reading it! I have to buy it on Amazon or wait till I go to India!
I read (March 2016) a crime fiction set in Bangalore, the city of my birth and where I lived for the first three decades of my life. It is Anita Nair's Cut like wound. And the best thing for me is that the hero is a Gowda like me! I never ever dreamt that one day, a creative soul would create a Gowda detective hero and that readers all over the world would read about a Bore Gowda from Bangalore who eats ragi mudde and solves crimes!
Most Indians would have heard of the film maker Sathyajit Ray; However few outside Bengal would be aware that he has written crime fiction for children, both novels and comics. I discovered this aspect of Sathyajit Ray, only after I came to Canada and in my 40s! I then bought some of these books, when I visited Bangalore. Sathyajit Ray created a character Feluda, who's a Calcutta based private detective. I did enjoy the few books and comics of Feluda which I read.(the list of Feluda books is in another article in this blog, titled, 'The complete list of crime fiction set in India...almost complete'.
I am looking forward to reading the short stories of Byomkesh Bakshi by Bengali writer Saradindu Bandyopadhyaya. Byomkesh is a detective and the stories are set in Calcutta. (Borrowing the book The Menagerie and other Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries from TPL) I will write my review after I read the stories featuring this famous fictional Calcutta dhoti-clad detective.
I would like to add a few other crime fiction comics, written for children in India, probably in the late 60s and 70s which I read as a child. These include Shooja and Daboo comics, which came in Sudha, a Kannada magazine. I loved these comics! I also remember reading Bahadur comics, in English, published by Indrajal comics. The Shooja and Daboo comices had Kannada script (published as a serial in the Kannada magazine Sudha)while the Bahadur comics i read were in English.
Today i.e. 26th November 2015, I discovered (I have been searching online for years!) that the author of the Bahadur comic published by Indrajal comics is Abid Surti,/Aabid Surti a man with several talents. You can read about him in wikepedia(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abid_Surti)
Bharath Murthy, the author of The article An art without a tradition-A survey of Indian comics written by published in Marg Magazine, Vol 61, No 2, December 2009 has said in this article that it is Aabid Surti who has created, in the 70s, the character Shuja, the Desi version of Tarzan who became a beloved comic book character.
Yippee !My hours of persistence on Google finally paid off! I discovered today, (Nov 26th 2015) that Daboo, a favorite science-fiction/crime comic strip of my childhood, which was about the adventures of a teenage boy and his professor friend in a Kannada weekly magazine called Sudha was written by a cartoonist called Pran Kumar Sharma. To read more about this, you should Google for the blog 'The world of silly boy', and look for the August 4th 2011 article, The adventure of Daboo
However, I still have my reservations about crime fiction set in India ; I have penned my thoughts in another article of mine in this blog, titled, 'Why I cannot read crime fiction set in India'.
Here is a list of books with female detectives or police which I have read and enjoyed. This list will be updated as and when I recall any book I have read with a female or when I read them. There is no order to this list. I have written the names of books and authors as I recalled them.
The eighth commandment by Lawrence Sanders, one of my favorite writers is another stand-alone novel with a female protagonist. I loved this humorous/realistic-ish/crime fiction and read it a few times. It's set in the New York city of the 80s; I loved the female character Dunk and really admire the fact that Lawrence Sanders wrote as a female narrator and got it 'just right'!
Zoe Ferraris an American writer married to a Saudi Arab man (and divorced) has written the following three crime novels set in Saudi Arabia. I liked these books as they are the only crime fiction novels set in Saudi Arabia I have come across ! It's so difficult to find books set in Saudi Arabia or any one of the Gulf countries while there are simply millions of crime fiction novels set in the USA or UK . One of the chief protagonists is a female ? Forensics scientist Katya Hijazi. I really appreciate the fact that this author has depicted the life in Saudi so realistically and the day to day concerns faced by women in this country. I really appreciate the fact that there is a female protagonist in this male dominant country, even if she is only fictional
Finding Nouf 2008
City of veils 2010
Kingdom of strangers 2012
I have enjoyed the crime fiction set in South Africa by Jassy Mackenzie. The 4 books featuring the female PI Jade De Jong are:
Jade is a female PI in south Africa and I find that unusual! There is quite a bit of violence and sometimes, I felt, South Africa was scarier to live in than India! Jade is in love with a police officer who has some Indian blood in him and that is another exciting thing for me! ( I am so thrilled if there is an Indian in any crime fiction book as Indians don't seem to figure much in crime fiction books....though this is changing now)
I loved reading the three crime fiction books set in Sweden, by Stieg Larrson featuring the wildly popular female protagonist, Kickass Lisbeth Salander. I also enjoyed the fourth in the series featuring Lisbeth but written by a new writer, David Lagercrantz. I think, Lisbeth is the favorite of millions of women and girls all over the world.
The girl with the dragon tattoo
The girl who played with fire
The girl who kicked the hornets nest This is one book I have reread a few times, especially the pages with the court scenes.
The girl in the spider's web.
The girl who takes an eye for an eye
I saw the Swedish movie of the first book with English subtitles. I did not enjoy the movie! I think I am so used to the American movies that this Swedish movie, though, excellent, did not appeal to me. I missed the music/sound accompanying the scenes...in this Swedish movie, there was no music at all! the movie was so bleak, I dint enjoy it though the actors were so good.
Michael Genelin's Commander Jana Matinova series are the only crime fiction books from Slovekia that I have read.
The books I read were:
Requiem for a gypsy published July 12th 2011
The magician's accomplice published 2010
Dark dreams Published July 28th, 2009
Siren of the waters published 2008
For the dignified dead published 2015
I enjoyed these books as they were realistic and I got to see inside a country, I had hardly ever heard of . Though I live in Toronto, a city with people from all over the world, I have not yet met a Slovekian!
I loved and thoroughly enjoyed the 17 crime fiction books by Victoria Thompson set in the late 1800s in New York City where a mid-wife, Mrs.Sarah Brandt , is one of the two protagonists solving murders. The other is Detective Frank Malloy.
The books with Sarah are:
Murder on Astor Place 1999
|Murder at St. Mark's Place 2000|
|Murder on Gramercy Park 2001|
Murder on Washington Square 2002
Murder on Mulberry bend 2003
Murder on Marble Row 2004
Murder on Lennox Hill 2005
Murder in Little Italy 2006
Murder in China Town 2007
Murder on Bank street 2008
Murder on Waverly Place 2009
Murder on Lexington Avenue 2010
Murder on Sister's Row 2011
Murder on 5th Avenue 2012
Murder in Chelsea 2013
Murder in Murray Hill 2014
Murder on Amsterdam Avenue 2015
Murder in Morningside Heights 2016
Murder in the bowery 2017
Murder in union square May 1st 2018(to be pub)
My only criticism of this series is that the writer has simplified her writing to a great extent and leaves nothing unsaid. But I forgive this as it's still a great read and gives me a great deal of information about life in NYC in those days, the social problems of those days, life of ordinary people, their clothes, life of women in lower and upper classes, etc.
I enjoyed the short stories featuring the female private investigator in Chicago i.e. V.I. Warshawski (Victoria Iphigenia Warshawski) by the author Sarah Paretsky. Unfortunately I really did not enjoy all the longer crime fiction novels with Warshawski. For some reason, I had difficulty finishing them. Here is the complete list but I have read only a few of them. I plan to read them all some day.
The novels with this female PI are
Indemnity Only 1982
Killing orders 1985
Bitter medicine 1987
Burn marks 1990
Tunnel vision 1994
Hard time 1999
Total recall 2001
Fire sale 2005
Critical Mass 2013
Brush back 2015
Fall out 2017
Short stories collections of V.I.Warshawski
Windy city blues 1995
What I liked about these books were the fact that she seems so real...she has financial problems, the people around her seem 'realistic', and she encounters 'male attitude' toward women like the rest of us and so on.
Michael Robotham has written a stand-alone crime novel featuring a Sikh lady, Detective Constable Alisha Barba as the chief protagonist in the crime novel The night ferry. I chose to read this simply because it had a Sikh female as the chief protagonist and I loved the book! This is the first time I have ever read a novel with an Indian (origin) female as the chief hero in a crime fiction novel! It was fast paced and thrilling.
Crime fiction set in China is another rare thing for me. I read one book and not sure if I enjoyed it(I don't remember now) but I do remember appreciating the fact that it was realistic, set in modern China and had a female PI! The book is Eye of the Jade by Diane Wei Liang. This author has fled China and lives in the west. The second book of this female PI is "Paper butterfly'. I enjoyed this. It gave another perspective about the Tiananmen square massacre by the Chinese army and information about life in Chinese prisons.
The comics (graphic novels) and crime fiction novels by the British writer, Peter O Donnell, feature my all time favorite fictional female, Modesty Blaise. My all time favorite crime novels
feature Modesty Blaise!
The novels include:
1.Modesty Blaise 1965
3.I, Lucifer 1967
4.A taste for death 1969
5.The impossible virgin 1971
6.Pieces of Modesty 1972 (short stories)
7.The silver mistress 1973
8.Last day in limbo 1976
9.Dragon's claw 1978
10.The Xanadu talisman 1981
11.The night of the Morningstar 1982
12.Dead man's handle 1985
13.Cobra trap 1996
The Modesty Blaise comics are listed below.
These books listed here are the ones re-published by Titan books; each one weighs about half kg and each one consists of three stories. These strips have appeared in newspapers all over the world in many languages since 1960s. They are available for purchase on Amazon and currently i.e. 2015, cost between 9-15US$. They are available on other sites too such as ebay, but amazon seems to have all of them at any given point in time.
Below, I have listed the names of the Modesty Blaise graphic novels published by Titan, followed by date of publication and the names of the three stories in each comic collection.
1The Gabriel setup Apr 1st 2004
2 Mister Sun Jul 1st 2004 Mister Sun, The Mind of Mrs. Drake & Uncle Happy
3Top Traitor Oct 1st 2004 Top Traitor, The Vikings & The Head Girls
4The black pearl Feb 1st 2005 The black pearl, The Magnified Man, The Jericho Caper and The Killing Ground AKA (A most dangerous game)
5Bad Suki May 1st 2005 Bad Suki, Galley Slaves and The Red Gryphon.
6The hell makers Jul 1st 2005 The Hell Makers, Take Over, & The War-Lords of Phoenix.
7The green eyed monster Oct 1st 2005 Willie the Djinn,The Green Eyed Monster and Death of a Jester
8The puppet master Feb 1st 2006 The puppet master, The Stone Age Caper & With Love From Rufus
9The gallows bird Apr 1st 2006 The Bluebeard Affair, The Gallows Bird, The Wicked Gnomes, The Iron God
10Cry Wolf Nov 1st 2006 Take Me To Your Leader, The Highland Witch, & Cry Wolf
11The Inca trail Jul 3rd 2007 The Reluctant Chaperon, The Greenwood Maid; Those About to Die, & The Inca Trail
12Death trap Nov 27th 2007 A death trap, The Vanishing Dollybirds, and The Junk Men.
13Yellowstone booty Jun 10th 2008 Yellowstone Booty, ‘Idaho George, and The Golden Frog.
14The green cobra Sep 16th 2008 Green Cobra, Eve & Adam & ‘Brethren of Blaise
15The ladykillers May 12th 2009 Dossier on Pluto, The Lady Killers & ‘Garvin’s Travels.
16The scarlet maiden Nov 24th 2009 The Scarlet Maiden, The Moonman & A Few Flowers for the Colonel.
17Death in slow motion Jun 1st 2010 The Balloonatic, Death in Slow Motion & The Alternative Man
18Sweet Caroline Sept. 28 2010 Sweet Caroline, The Return of the Mammoth & Plato’s Republic
19The double agent Jun 21st 2011 The Wild Boar, Kali’s Disciples & The Double Agent
20The million dollar game Sep 2011 Butch Cassidy Rides Again, Million Dollar Game & The Vampire of Malvescu
21Live bait Feb 4th 2012 Samantha and the Cherub, Milord & Live Bait.
22Lady in the dark Nov 13 2012 The Girl from the Future, The Big Mole and Lady in the Dark.
23The girl in the iron mask April 9th 2013 Fiona, Walkabout and The Girl In The Iron Mask
24The young mistress June 24th 2014 The Young Mistress, Ivory Dancer and Our Friend Maude.
25The grim joker Nov 18th 2014‘The Grim Joker’, ‘A Present for the Princess’ and ‘Black Queen’s Pawn
26The Killing distance May 12th 2015 The Killing Distance, Guido The Jinx, and The Aristo.
27 The Ripper Jax March 1st 2016XXXXXXXXXXXXXX
28 The murder frame November 1st 2016 .This book has 4 stories i.e. The murder frame, Fraser's story, Tribute to the Pharoh and The special orders.
Loyalty by Ingrid Thoft features a female PI Fina. I read this book but don't remember anything about it. I don't even remember if I finished it!
One of my favorite series of crime fiction is the Donald Lam series set at time of world was in California by A.A.Fair AKA Erle Stanley Gardner. In this series, Bertha Cool, a middle aged lady is running a detective agency and hires Donald Lam who becomes the chief protagonist since the very first book. But I loved Bertha too, who was a PI, running this agency even before Donald came along! She is one unique character, not as bright as Lam, but strong, bold and irascible! The 29 books in this series are :
How could I forget the world famous Miss. Marple, created by Agatha Christi! I have read the novels and short stories featuring this lady and enjoyed them, especially the short stories.
The murder at the vicarage 1930
The body in the library 1942
A murder is announced 1950
They do it with mirrors or Murder with mirrors 1952
A pocket full of rye 1953
4.50 from Paddington or What Mrs.McGillicuddy saw 1957
The mirror cracked from side to side or The mirror cracked 1962
A Carribean mystery 1964
At Bertram's hotel 1965
Sleeping murder written in 1940 and published in 1976
In my childhood, I read the Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene and enjoyed them thoroughly. I loved the painting on the cover of each book so much, that I cannot express fully, the emotions in my mind as I sat staring at the cover for ages! It was only in my late 30s that I discovered that Carolyn Keene is only a name and that it is a male who was writing the books and the Nancy Drew books has been written by more than one author! How naïve can I, a crime fiction reader be!
I enjoyed the children detectives in the series by Enid Blyton featuring both boys and girls; however, Enid Blyton, made the boys braver than the girls...in those days, the characteristics attributed to girls and boys were gender-stereotyped and so boys were depicted in a very flattering way and the girls were, in my opinion, depicted in less flattering ways.
I did not read the books but saw a couple of episodes based on the series, 'The number 1 ladies detective agency written by Alexander McCall Smith. I enjoyed the TV episodes. I am not sure if I have the patience to read the books. I should give this series a try! I saw the show on Netflex in USA in November 2015. The chief protagonist is
Mma Precious Ramotswe a female private detective. The list of books is below and no, I have not read any of them. Reviews of these books have been kind and said that these are nice 'feel-good' books with more about the Botswana culture and less about crime. So, this Christmas holidays, I plan to borrow and read a few of these books and if I enjoy, read 'em all!
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series
Listed below are Susan Oleksiw's 4 books with Anita Ray an Indian American protagonist fighting crime in Kerala, India!
Under the eye of Kali 2010
The wrath of Shiva 2012
For the love of Parvati 2014
When Krishna calls August 2016
In August 2017 I discovered another female crime fighter...from my very own Toronto! She's a Canadian citizen of Chinese origin and a forensic accountant who fights crime or follows the money....all over Asia. She is Ava Lee created by Ian Hamilton. The style of writing is not great but I enjoy the plots and I believe I am learning the underbelly of many Asian place/countries such as Macau, etc.
The books include
I will add to this list as I read more female protagonists.
The world is a very difficult place for women, even in the relatively progressive west such as USA & Canada. For women to be PIs, soldiers, police officers is more difficult than for it's for men...not because women find the job difficult, but because of their male colleagues' chauvinistic attitudes and often terrible behaviour toward them, society's condescending and autocratic treatment of women.
Just today (Dec 9th 2015) I read with sadness, anger and disgust about male police officers in Victoria(B.C) sexually abusing their female colleagues often, over long periods of time, with impunity! If this can happen in the so called progressive, modern, democratic country like Canada, imagine, the fate of women in other more primitive societies such as India and Afganisthan? ( Indians, please don't get riled up if I call India primitive. I am an Indian and I admit, Indians are primitive)
I read on yahoo news in January 2016 about the sexual abuse in the name of hazing which women who join the airforce undergo. http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2016/01/08/reports-sexual-assaults-spike-military-academies/78496948/
I felt so miserable to read it and I curse the SCUM who humilate and exploit women, their own colleagues, in this manner. I hope these bastards suffer and die.
I also read with anger and disgust about the women working in the Grand Canyon being exploited by male staff. http://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-01-12/apnewsbreak-report-charts-history-of-abuse-at-grand-canyon
Millions of women are sexually, physically and emotionally abused in the world. But for some reason, these news items I have mentioned above stuck in my memory and made me so miserable. I think it is because:
I always admired women joining airforce and military and police and jobs such as at the Grand Canyon.;
I loved their courage and career choice...
In my mind, I see little girls, who, unlike the majority of their peers, choose these adventurous roles in childhood and work hard toward them. Imagine a little girl, who loves nature and is determined to work in a natural environment like the grand Canyon; she learns swimming, camping in the wilds, she learns boating, she loves animals and studies about animals and volunteers at animal shelters and finally gets to do the work of her dreams. Imagine that little girl, who is now a woman, HATING the work, she has been dreaming about and striving for since childhood, because her male colleagues sexually abuse her! Imagine the hard choice she has to make? Give up what she has strived for since years and years or put up with the sexual assault as she wants to do her dream job?
I had the naïve notions that men in the west are more respectful of women than men from the east and that men in services such as the military and police are more honorable and decent than other men. Reading these news, I am so bitterly disillusioned by these men/scum !
Protect Female Farmworkers By JOSÉ R. PADILLA and DAVID BACON article in new York times is the name of another article I am adding here if anyone is interested in reading
We women need these fictional female crime fighters and real-life crime fighters to derive strength, faith, confidence and belief in women's potential.
A note to my blog readers who are from Toronto, Ontario: TPL has all the books listed here except those authored by A.A.Fair (i.e. the Donald Lam series)Peter O'Donnell (Modesty Blaise books and comics)& Carolyn Keene(Nancy Drew). They may have a few of these three writers too...I don't know for sure. I own the books by these three authors and did not need to borrow them from TPL.
Last walk because I can't take the mosquitoes. I found this tree unusual... I dont know what these red berries are but th...
I have been thinking about this issue since several years ; My thoughts about this issue were triggered by the copious evidence of poor j...
This reminds me of the toy-autos sold in Bangalore, the school-buses, double-deckers sold in many cities and village fairs in t...