Posts Tagged ‘Fiction’



Bishal Dev Bandhopadhya was a brilliant individual but a terrible boss. He held a senior position in an organisation of repute in Bangalore. One afternoon, Bishal is found collapsed on his table and dies soon after he is taken to the hospital. His coffee has been laced with poison. Is this murder or suicide?

Read more about this mystery in the recently released book ‘Who Killed the Boss?’

It is a whodunit which comes highly recommended, especially for hard-nosed CEOs, HR honchos and line managers who treat the people around them like mere specks of dust beneath their chariot wheels!

The narrative is lucid, tight and has a smooth flow. It keeps the reader hooked from very early itself. Suspense keeps building and one keeps twiddling one’s thumbs trying to figure out the real suspect. The amazing part is the expertise the author has deployed – one can’t figure out how – of bringing in extensive knowledge about detective methods, criminology, chemistry of poisons and drugs, human aspirations and motivations, the brighter and the darker side of pharmaceutical industry and, above all, the flip side of bosses who become road rollers. The concluding part is simply brilliant, touching upon a part of the underbelly of corporate life – a boss’ tyranny – and goes even further to
offer a preventive road map for the future.

The touch of compassion towards the accused is a fine stroke indeed. As the human race hurtles towards cold advances in technology, the criticality of following human values is appropriately brought home.

A complaint, if I may. There should be a law that authors refrain from coming up with such un-put-down-able books. Like captivating members of the tribe of the delicately nurtured, such books demand undivided attention and often end up disturbing the normal life of a lay reader.

(Pradeep Swaminathan has had a fairly successful corporate career in India and abroad. Prior to his retirement he was on the board of listed companies. Some of his articles have been published both in the Hindu and Readers Digest. His first book was based on a PG Wodehouse character and published privately got him an excellent review from the Hindu. The book ‘Who Killed the Boss?’ is his first one to be formally published. It can be accessed here.)


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The brainy coves amongst us often keep twiddling our thumbs trying to figure out if crime and humour go together in the realm of literature. Those who have waded through ‘Hot Water’ or any other whodunits dished out by P G Wodehouse would readily respond in the affirmative. Those who also happen to be fans of the likes of Agatha Christie and others would heartily approve of the sentiment, but may not be aware of the kind of impact our master story tellers have had on each other’s works.

Here is a scholarly piece (if piece is indeed the word I want) which goes deeper into the question of Plum’s influence on classic crime fiction. Permission to re-blog it here is gleefully acknowledged.


Today, it has been five years since I first began writing this blog. How much has changed! I almost feel embarrassed by my early reviews. (Cue everyone searching to read how bad they were). To date I have managed to rack up 1133 posts and 1191808 words. You will probably laugh at the idea that I had a lot of second thoughts about starting my blog. After all, what would I have to say? (Yes, please stop laughing now, you might choke on your tea/coffee…)

I spent a lot of time wondering what to write about for this anniversary post and in the end I became inspired when I read that Anthony Berkeley dedicated Trial and Error (1937) to P. G. Wodehouse. A little more internet searching and I discovered that many other well-known classic crime writers had done the same thing: Agatha Christie’s Hallowe’en Party (1969), Edgar Wallace’s The…

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