Giveaway: 7 Mystery Novels to Choose From


Giveaway closed for entries. Last date was 15 April, 2015. The winner will be announced over the weekend.

The previous giveaway on the Mahabharata was quite a hit, so I’ve decided to make this a monthly feature. This time, I’m showing around a bunch of murder mysteries written by Indian authors in the recent past.

The murder mystery has seen a revival of sorts in the Indian English fiction landscape. Many of the new breed of writers (and some of the old ones too) – no doubt influenced by the likes of Holmes, Poirot and Marple – are trying their hands at creating Indian sleuths.

What’s the Prize?

Below are seven books that are up for grabs. Not all of these are of the same type: Page 3 Murders is a cozy mystery, and the detective, Lalli, reminds one of Miss Marple. Cut Like Wound is a procedural, while Dead in a Mumbai Minute reads like noir, with a kick-ass heroine at the helm. Persecution is a psychological, exploratory novel, whereas Cult of Chaos is perhaps India’s first novel with a tantric detective. Lethal Spice is set in small town Shimla, with a lot of suspicious smells and tastes thrown into the mix.

I won’t say much about Murder in Amaravati, because it will sound like I’m tooting my own horn. Let’s just say that the title is self-explanatory.

Seven lucky winners will receive one copy of a book of their choice from the below pile.

Dead-in-a-mumbai-minute Cut-Like-Wound Lethal-Spice Page-3-murders Cult-of-chaos Madhav-Tripathi


How do you enter?

Just like last time, there are two steps:

1. Click on the button below and enter your email address and first name. Doing so will sign you up for my mailing list, which will make it easier for me to contact you for future giveaways and contests like this.


2. Leave a comment below this post and tell me who your favourite detective is, and why. Also don’t forget to tell me which of the above books you would like to have in case you win.

I will select seven random comments from all the comments I get, and give them their book of choice. The maximum number of comments that you’re allowed to enter is three. Needless to say, the more comments you enter, the more probability you have of winning.

When does the giveaway end?

Last date for entries is Friday, the 15th of May, 2015. Winners will be announced on Sunday the 17th.

So hurry, guys! Let the entries roll in. Good luck!


  1. Atika Srivastava says:

    I recieved Sherlock Holmes as my twelve birthday gift. I admire him. Doyle has designed his character the best possible way. For a twelve year old, changing disguise is of course a big deal. I was astonished when I first read the book. I often tried the same. 🙂

    I’d love to read Anita Nair’s Cut Like Wound. Just in case. 🙂


  2. Soumini says:

    wow Sharath! I remember putting in my first comments on your blog on the same topic viz. ‘your favourite detective’! And here we go again! what an exhaustive collection you’ve hung up there…so much alluring! Well,my favourite detectives are two in number, and both are brainchild(ren) of the Queen of crimes, Agatha Christie! NO points for guessing! Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, they are! while Miss Marple has to offer the cosiest home-spun, typical rural murder mysteries, Hercule Poirot is more into the urban landscape, brushing shoulders with all the high ranks of the society, and even unearthing their deepest and darkest secrets! The two together offer a complete world for the reader to just slip in and relax; nothing pleases my mind more than to just follow these sharp sleuths on their hunt for the unknown truth! And if Miss Marple with her endearing presence, with her right words for all and sundry and her little sharp brain, makes me to ardently wish for an aunt like her,Poirot commands a lot of respect from me (mixed with a light laugh!) for his ‘order and method’ technique and his nuanced food habits.

    Thank you Sharath for another such opportunity to write about my most favourite people. As for the difficult task of choosing from the above books, I am naturally interested in ‘The page 3 murders’ obviously because of the marple link! 🙂


  3. Satpal Daryanani says:

    I have two favourite detectives and since I believe that hercule Poirot will be widely discussed, I will shed light to my other favorite detective Prodosh Chandra Mitra A.K.A Feluda. created by Satyajit Ray, feluda was a derivative of Sherlock Holmes, whom satyajit admired while growing up. My personal favorite from the 35 published stories is the emperors ring. The book that you will hand over to me will be lethal spice 😉


  4. Neelesh Inamdar says:

    Now this one’s certainly for my taste buds. My favourite detective is Sherlock Holmes. Obviously, none other could convincingly rip every clue down to its essence at first sight, and the deductions from what he saw at first glance were magical yet authentic. And Watson – the irreplaceable companion. I did read a lot of Agatha Christie with Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. But as they say in Hindi, “Baap to baap hota hai.”
    I’m in for ‘Murder in Amravati’.


  5. While there are many mystery novels that I have read and currently reading, the one character that has stood out amongst many, is that of Sherlock Holmes. Now, I also understand that it is going to be common favorite for many, but here’s why I adore Sherlock:

    – He has a certain mystery around him. His cool (sometimes cold) attitude, his queerness, no family ties whatsoever, his wanting to experiment with danger, etc.. They make me curious, as well as make him attractive. 😉
    – His wit, combined with sarcasm – Couldn’t ask for better..
    – His ability to deduce the not-so-obvious conclusions

    Ofcourse, that shows a lot about Arthur Conan Doyle, and we can’t thank him enough for giving us a character like Sherlock.. In his case though, the character took over the writer’s brilliance. 😉

    I would love to have the Lethal spice or Cut like Wound.. 🙂


  6. I have been a starry eyed fan of the 221B Baker Street resident since as long as I can remember. Ironically, at this age, I love prose that is written in the simplest and yet most beautiful form; but back then, I was a fan of the kind of writing where every other sentence had me running for the dictionary, only because it taught me a new word. And Sir Arthur Conan Doyle should actually be giving out a complementary copy of Oxford dictionary along with every Sherlock. What was even more amazing was that that master level of vocab came so effortlessly to the fellow.

    Off late I am surrounded by people who claim to be die hard Sherlock fans, but who actually are just Benedict Cumberbatch fans, and it pains the Sherlock geek within me. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series, as it has done utmost justice to the originality of Sherlock.

    Of the options available, I would like to read all of them. But to begin with, I am really looking forward to reading Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja. It has been on my list since a while.


  7. One more fictional character whose detective skills I am awed by, and who is more known as a crime fighting vigilante than for his mind skills, is Bruce Wayne. Not sure if Batman’s fans have observed this, but he would have been only half as deadly had he not been good at analyzing the crime scene.

    And as mentioned in my previous comment, I would love to receive Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja in the giveaway. 🙂


  8. Another detective I would like to mention, who is among my favorites, is Inspector Jacques Clouseau. The character is stupid and loveable, and is bit of an anti-detective. The movies are an absolute laugh riot, along with the interest of a regular whodunnit mystery, which makes them a treat to watch. I loved the Peter Sellers portrayal of this character much more then Steve Martin’s.

    Once again, I want the Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja. Now gimme gimme gimme 😀


  9. Manjula Moorthy says:

    Detective stories have always pleased me since my childhood days.. Mysteries always trick our brains and the joy of when the cat comes out of the bag is unbelievable.. I have been thrilled my 2 people..One Sherlock Holmes.. And secondly Feluda, Character brought to life by Satyajit Ray..we have to read to believe how great Feluda is…In case I win, I would like to have Lethal Spice as a reward..Thank you


  10. I think the best detective I have come across is Feluda. He is down to earth and his adventures are truly memorable. I think Satyajit Ray created Feluda for children for none of the stories had much violence or adult themes and yet, the mysteries are quite interesting!

    I have already read Murder in Amravati, which is a fantastic read…. apart from it, I would like to relish any of the other books.


  11. Sherlock Holmes has always fascinated me. Reading murder mysteries involving him have somehow made me analyse situations properly before reaching a conclusion. In a way he has inspired the detective, the analyst in me. And now for the book of my choice. Though I’d love to have all up for grabs, for now I’ll go in for ‘Dead in a Mumbai Minute’.


  12. Atika Srivastava says:

    Hi Sharath! 🙂

    How are you? It’s been a long time since I sent you a mail. I went through your blog a month before and I realized I need too WO.O.R.K H.A.R.D. with my grammar. I’ve Wren & Martin and Lucent’s with me. I brushed up initial chapters and got struck at a point. I’ve two questions to ask.

    1. I’m confused with the usage of “hair”. Is “hairs” correct too?

    2. I read “thru” somewhere. It’s an informal spelling of though. I used it in one of my short stories and someone called it a wrong usage. It’s NOT the SMS contraction, then why is it wrong?

    I’m wondering if I drop a comment at each and every blog post, will it go unnoticed? 🙂

    Regards, Atika.


    • Haha, it won’t go unnoticed. After all, I do get a notification when anyone posts a comment anywhere on the blog. But when it is on an old post, I generally don’t respond, especially if it’s going to become an argument. Since this is a new post, I will respond to yours 🙂

      With ‘hair’ and ‘hairs’, I’ve always been uncomfortable using ‘hairs’. I always end up saying ‘strands of hair’ instead. But I think there’s nothing wrong with ‘hairs’. You would use ‘hairs’ when you want to count individual strands of hair, whereas when you’re referring to ‘hair’ as a collective noun, you would use the singular.

      About ‘thru’ and ‘through’, here’s something I found:


  13. We have all known Sherlock Homes since we were kids. We read his stories in school and bought picture books which showed Sherlock as a tall handsome man wearing a black coat and a detective cap. Like others, Sherlock used to be my favorite detective too but not anymore. Almost 15-16 months ago I met Rajit Kapoor and when teachers and other students started discussing Byomkesh Bakshi with him, I realized that I had missed something big. I saw the TV series with the same title and now Byomkesh is my favorite detective. It is so because everything which Byomkesh does appear to be possible and nothing is exaggerated. Also, there is an attachment which I feel while reading stories of Byomkesh Bakshi. It is like passing through the streets of Kolkata or picturizing the way a character speaks or walks or parts his hair.
    So, Byomkesh is my choice.


  14. Great giveaway this! My first favourite ‘detective’ would be have to be Frederick Algernon “Fatty” Trotteville from the Find Find-Outers series. Enid Blyton is the reason that a lot of kids got into reading and I was no exception. I idolized the Famous Five, Secret Seven and Five Find-Outers. Fatty seemed like an ‘old soul’ and had an air about him that I admired. I would love to have ‘the page 3 murders’ or ‘the persecution of Madhav Thripathi’ if I’m chosen.


  15. Reecha K says:

    ‘Murder in Amaravati’, please. Because you’ve written it, and I’ve come to respect you as a person. I’d like to read it, not because it’s something I’d usually read, but because it isn’t.


  16. Muktikant Garimella says:

    1. Sherlock Holmes, for the marvellous characterisation.
    2. Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), for the enigma and intensity of the character
    3. John Rain (Rainfall) – well technically not a detective, but the character does investigate. One of the most original thriller novels of recent times.


  17. aprawriter says:

    If I wanted a mystery solved, I would go to Hercule Poirot. He is the archtypical Belgian Frenchman, a little conceited, a little unnerving and brilliant!
    If chosen, I would like to have ‘the page 3 murders’ or ‘the persecution of Madhav Thripathi’!


  18. aprawriter says:

    The last in the bid to maximise my chances – Sherlock Holmes. A character that is still inspiring and intriguing people, over a century after his creation. That alone is testament to his genius (actually the genius of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!)
    Once again, if chosen, I would like to have ‘the page 3 murders’ or ‘the persecution of Madhav Thripathi’!


  19. I have a lot of favorite detectives. IF you are going to ask me to choose, I would say Sherlock Holmes by Doyle. He is a character that is inspiring and makes me want to be curious on how he does what he does. Arthur Conan Doyle succeeds in bringing this character alive. On the other hand, I also like Dupin by Edgar Poe. But if you are asking one choice, then Sherlock Holmes it is.

    If I am chosen, I would like Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja: The Anantya Tantrist Mystery. I have longed to read that one.


  20. I like Dupin by Edgar Allan Poe too. He is somebody really exciting. The art of detective fiction started with him. Even detectives of later crime fiction novels are modeled on him. I am quite inspired by Dupin and always use him as a template when I write detective fiction.

    If I am chosen, I would like Cult of Chaos by Shweta Taneja. I have longed to read that one.


  21. Since I’m a big a television crime-drama buff, my favourite detective would be Kate Beckett from the English TV series, Castle. This is because I relate to her more than most other detectives, needless to say that she is a lethal combination of beauty and brains.
    If I win the giveaway, I would like a copy of your own, ‘Murder in Amravati’. Thanks.


  22. Hi Sharath,

    I love Sherlock Holmes because of a character that he is, brilliantly visualized and created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. For me a detective is synonymous to Holmes as I have read him since school and re read to relieve those moments. Also loving the Sherlock series which is refreshing with a whole new perspective.

    Just in case, I happen to win any of the above books, I would like to choose Murder in Amravathi 🙂


  23. Bhavesh Jeewani says:

    I like Jacques Clouseau, especially the one portrayed by Steve Martin in ‘The Pink Panther 2’. The unintended humour from his clumsiness in solving cases is fun and refreshing.

    I’d like to own ‘Lethal Spice’ by ‘Swati Kaushal’, in case I have the same luck as Clouseau has in solving cases and end up winning.


  24. Hey Sharath 🙂 Thanks for this new opportunity. I love mystery and suspense as a genre. I thoroughly enjoyed Cult of Chaos. It’s a honest to the bone kind of book and the lady detective as protagonist is very humane and definitely one of a kind. I only have the layman’s view of tantra, and that isn’t very much, so it had me hooked.
    If fate decides to smile on me, I think I would love to win a copy of Murder in Amravati as my set of books by this author grows on the bookshelf 🙂


  25. Soumini says:

    Since I’m a bengali, I owe my interest in the mystery genre to Byomkesh Bakshi and Feluda when it comes to professional/amateur sleuths. Byomkesh Bakshi is a typical bangali, with predictable behaviorial patterns and nuances. This is the reason perhaps why this ‘satyanweshi’ (onw who searches for the truth) ia a dear to all bengalis. some of his most astonishing cases include ‘chiriakhana’, ‘durgo rahasya’, ‘pother kaanta’ etc (all bengali names am afraid!) However, owing to the popularity of the recent motion picture by dibakar banerjee, i dont think byomkesh bakshi is limited to the applaud of the bengali community only!
    Feluda is the star on my list. Nothing about him is disagrreable. He is a handsome detective, with brilliant memory , sparkling wit and unmatched ‘magajastra’ (term for brain as his main weapon). What I like most about feluda is his varied interests in many subjects and his ability to read a person in the course of any conversation.
    well, if am lucky, I would like to have page 3 murders or perhaps cult of chaos. 🙂


  26. Sreenidhi says:

    My favourite detective(s) has to be Tommy & Tuppence ( ; reasons being the rarity of their appearances and the simple unravelling of complex mysteries. Would prefer to read Anita Nair’s book. No offence, Sharath 🙂


  27. I have read Feluda, Agatha Christie n Holmes.. If there’s something other than historical non-fiction which appeals to me the most then that has to be detective classics. Being a Bangali, I first stepped into this world, clasping the hands Prodosh Chondro Mitter Cut like wound by Anita Nair would my choice 🙂


  28. Timeline of one of most favourite detective’s life who is arguably the best-ever creation of Agatha Christie…
    Hercule Poirot pronounced something in this way: “ecuule poirro”
    1864 Hercule Poirot and his twin bother Achille are born (Two points here: 1) There is some debate as to whether Achille is real or not, I am in favour of him being real; 2) A number of dates have been put forward for the birth of Poirot 1839 – 44, 1849- 54, 1864, 1884. Symons suggested 1864 which I took)

    1864 The Holmes Family on their second continental tour visit the Poirots, who may be related through the Vernets (Suggested by the passage in THE LABOURS OF HERCULES where Poirot’s friend Dr Burton is wondering how Poirot got his name “Thinking of an imaginary conversation. Your Mother and the Late Mrs Holmes, sitting sewing little garments or knitting: Achille, Hercule, Sherlock, Mycroft.” Burton may have based this on a comment from Poirot)
    {{wanted to write so much more}}

    If this comment is the one that makes it through “randomniser” then my preference would be *Murder in Amaravati” 🙂


  29. Shirisha says:

    Sherlock Holmes is an absolute favourite. He has succeeded in charming people of all age groups all over the world. He is just the best. I would be happy if I win ‘Dead in a Mumbai Minute’.



  1. […] Giveaway: 7 Mystery Novels to Choose From. […]


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