Book Review – Golden Age of Mysteries

A series to pay tribute to the golden age mystery authors, by attempting to provide reviews on some of their books which I highly admire. Golden age of mysteries is generally defined by that period where the mystery stories had a central, strong puzzle plot and the detective/police/amateur investigator goes through all the clues, the suspects and finally solves the mystery (murder/theft/disappearance). More often than not, the big “reveal” is in a closed setting with all the suspects around. Readers then express, “Oh, that was so clever, I did not see this coming”! Authors from UK and USA generally dominated this period.
Review 3
Book :
Case of William Smith
Author: Patricia Wentworth (UK)
Original Year of Publication : 1948
About the Author: Patricia Wentworth (born Dora Amy Elles) was a British crime fiction writer, born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India (then the British Raj). Wentworth wrote a series of 32 crime novels in the classic whodunit style, featuring Miss Maud Silver, a retired governess and teacher who becomes a professional private detective, in London, England. Miss Silver works closely with Scotland Yard, especially Inspector Frank Abbott, and is fond of quoting the poet Tennyson. Source : Wikipedia
Plot: This is a story of a man who goes off to war, is injured, and loses his memory. He is called, ‘William Smith’ by everyone and eventually comes home from the concentration camp with a new talent: carving toy animals and birds for children. But actually, who was William Smith? And why were few people so horrified to see him? For many years, William had worked as a woodcarver for the local toyshop, ignorant of his true identity. So when he took his work to Evesleys Ltd, why was his life in danger?
Suspense: This is a very smooth flowing story with many interesting and strong characters. The pace of the story is fast and full of interesting plot points. The memory loss angle is handled expertly, and the reader is always curious to know the real identity of William Smith. Though it is not a major surprise as to who is behind all the attempts to kill William Smith, still Wentworth paints the story with vivid descriptions of places and events. Especially strong is her description of colors throughout the story, be it for clothes or objects. I do wish that there could have been a few more twists and turns in the storyline, in some places it was more of a straight novel than a mystery one.
Climax: At the finale of the novel, the story sort of slopes downwards with no major twists or turns. Still, I would say, this is a nice read and Wentworth manages to hold the attention of the reader by the sheer beauty of her prose and writing style, more than the actual mystery of the story.
My Rating and Recommendation: 3.5/5. Recommended for readers who like a descriptive light mystery with interesting characters. Not recommended for readers who like deep, suspenseful and classic mystery plots.
About the Reviewer :
Born and brought up in New Delhi, Abhishek Goswami did his graduation in Science from the Delhi University and later on did PGDBA in HR. He has 17 years of work experience in reputed MNC firms and is currently working in Gurgaon. He has a keen interest in reading suspense/mystery books and mythological fiction. He has won the “Top 100 Inspiring Authors” and “Swami Vivekanand Seva Youth Guild” award for his first book, “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”. His poems have been a part of Asian Literary Society and United by Ink anthologies and also published in newspapers like The Hans India and News Now. Available as free shipping on Amazon, Flipkart and Notionpress.com

Disclaimer: In case of any concern, Please contact the contributor of this post. Website owner is not responsible for any copyright conflict or anything related to content.

Book Review : Golden Age of Mysteries (1920-55)

A series to pay tribute to the golden age mystery authors, by attempting to provide reviews on some of their books which I highly admire. Golden age of mysteries is generally defined by that period where the mystery stories had a central, strong puzzle plot and the detective/police/amateur investigator goes through all the clues, the suspects and finally solves the mystery (murder/theft/disappearance). More often than not, the big “reveal” is in a closed setting with all the suspects around. Readers then express, “Oh, that was so clever, I did not see this coming”! Authors from UK and USA generally dominated this period.

Review 2
Book : Footsteps in the Dark
Author: Georgette Heyer (UK)
Original Year of Publication : 1932

About the Author: Georgette Heyer was an English historical romance and detective fiction novelist. A best-selling author, Heyer’s writing career saw her produce works from a variety of genres; in total she published 32 novels in the romance genre, 6 historical novels, 4 contemporary novels, and 12 in the detective fiction genre. Her 12 detective novels were published between 1932 and 1953. Source : Wikipedia

Plot: The Priory, a ramshackle old house, is the perfect setting for a much-needed holiday for siblings Peter, Celia, Margaret and Charles (Celia’s husband), who have inherited it from their uncle. Left empty for years as even their deceased uncle chose to live in a different house, far away from this property. Locals claims that a ghost haunts that place. But when a murder victim is discovered, the siblings begin to fear that the ghostly rumors are true and they are not alone after all! But traditionally ghosts don’t commit murder. With a killer on the loose, will they find themselves the next victims or will they uncover the truth in time? Does the key to the crime lie in the realm of the supernatural or is there an earthlier cause?

Suspense: Throughout the story, Heyer maintains a very humorous touch in her dialogs and the flow of the story is very smooth. Especially the interactions between the village locals and the main protagonists are very funny and full of wit. The list of suspects is not very large, still Heyer manages to confuse the readers as to who is the real culprit. There is an eerie feeling in some chapters and the locale is very beautifully painted by the writer’s carefully chosen words. Some scenes in the story were bit more melodramatic than normal.

Climax: At the finale of the novel, Heyer does manage to pull put a trick or two, with a few secret passages and what not in the story. Still, the climax is a good one, though I was very close to pointing out the right murderer. An entertaining read overall.

Rating and Recommendation: 3/5. Highly recommended for readers who like cozy mysteries, humorous and sarcastic dialogs in between and a slow but enjoyable read. Not recommended for readers who like fast thrillers and gadgets etc..

About the Reviewer : 
Born and brought up in New Delhi, Abhishek Goswami did his graduation in Science from the Delhi University and later on did PGDBA in HR. He has 17 years of work experience in reputed MNC firms and is currently working in Gurgaon. He has a keen interest in reading suspense/mystery books and mythological fiction. He has won 
the “Top 100 Inspiring Authors” and “Swami Vivekanand Seva Youth Guild” award for his first book, “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”. His poems have been a part of Asian Literary Society and United by Ink anthologies and also published in newspapers like The Hans India and News Now. Available as free shipping on AmazonFlipkart andNotionpress.com

Disclaimer: In case of any concern, Please contact the contributor of this post. Website owner is not responsible for any copyright conflict or anything related to content.

Book Review : The French Powder Mystery

Reviewed by – Abhishek Goswami

Golden Age of Mysteries (1920-55)
A series to pay tribute to the golden age mystery authors, by attempting to provide reviews on some of their books which I highly admire. Golden age of mysteries is generally defined by that period where the mystery stories had a central, strong puzzle plot and the detective/police/amateur investigator goes through all the clues, the suspects and finally solves the mystery (murder/theft/disappearance). More often than not, the big “reveal” is in a closed setting with all the suspects around. Readers then express, “Oh, that was so clever, I did not see this coming”! Authors from UK and USA generally dominated this period.
Review 1
Book : The French Powder Mystery
Author: Ellery Queen (USA)
Original Year of Publication : 1930

About the Author: Ellery Queen is a crime fiction pseudonym created in 1929 by Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee, and later used by other authors under Dannay and Lee’s supervision. Dannay and Lee’s main fictional character, whom they also named Ellery Queen, is a mystery writer in New York City who helps his police inspector father solve baffling murders. Most of the more than thirty novels and several short story collections in which Ellery Queen appeared as a character were written by Dannay and Lee and were among the most popular American mysteries published between 1929 and 1971. Source : Wikipedia
Plot: The story centers around the French department store in New York city, where a woman is found dead, tumbling on the floor from a wooden bed whose features are being demonstrated to the customers. The case is then investigated by Inspector Richard Queen and his son Ellery. While investigating the upper story apartment of the owner, Ellery is perplexed by an odd assortment of clues, including not only bloodstains but grains of fingerprint powder and an unusual assortment of books. Also, an ashtray full of half-smoked cigarettes might be important along with how the shoes are kept. The suspects include the wealthy victim’s family and friends, some employees of the store, and possible members of a drug ring.
Suspense: Throughout the story, E.Q maintain a high level of suspense by giving the readers various clues and building a sense of apprehension and excitement, along with many red-herrings. The dialogues between the characters are sometimes quite witty and interesting. Though a few chapters do lack pace, especially when the Inspector and Ellery interview the suspects, but the pace is quickened up when newer facts emerge, especially the time tables of all the store employees and how Ellery deduces important facts by applying sound logic and reason to the case. Just before the climax, the authors put a “Challenge to the Reader”, stating that the reader should be able to solve the case now with all the given facts. But, can the reader do it? I certainly could not.
Climax: At the finale of the novel, Ellery does a detailed piece of deduction by creating a list of conditions that the murderer must meet (involving, among other things, the possession of keys). He clears all suspects except one, whose identity is revealed in the last line of the novel, bringing a satisfying and entertaining end to the story.

My Rating and Recommendation: 4/5. Highly recommended for readers who like mysteries by Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr and Ngaio Marsh. Not recommended for readers who are more into hard-boiled crime thrillers where action and chase is paramount, leaving little to the grey cells. This book provides lot of scope for readers to figure out the clues and will be liked by those who prefer the puzzle and it’s resolution as the most important component in a mystery story.

About the Reviewer : 
Born and brought up in New Delhi, Abhishek Goswami did his graduation in Science from the Delhi University and later on did PGDBA in HR. He has 17 years of work experience in reputed MNC firms and is currently working in Gurgaon. He has a keen interest in reading suspense/mystery books and mythological fiction. He has won 
the “Top 100 Inspiring Authors” and “Swami Vivekanand Seva Youth Guild” award for his first book, “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”. His poems have been a part of Asian Literary Society and United by Ink anthologies and also published in newspapers like The Hans India and News Now. Available as free shipping on AmazonFlipkart andNotionpress.com

My journey from a non-author to an author

Written By – Abhishek Goswami (Author of “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems” )

It was always my dream to become a published author. Right from childhood, I always liked reading books across genres like Adventures, thrillers, mysteries, historical, science fictions etc. Gradually, I got interested in writing stuff like short stories etc. Me and one of my friends decided to write a novel one day. We developed the synopsis, the plot and even wrote a few pages. But then, as life is, we were slowly drawn away by our daily life routines, office jobs, family life etc. So, the novel remained unfinished and my writing process also stopped. All these years, the desire to write something worthwhile and reaching out to the wider world with it remained burning inside, but I did very little to fulfill it. I thought with ever increasing responsibilities in life, I will never be able to do it and so did not even try doing anything about it. I also realized that writing a full-length novel is indeed a very compelling task, in terms of dedication, time, mental energy involved and it requires a lot of patience to plan the whole thing out as well. Maybe I lacked the patience and determination to carry out this task. I did use to write short poems to popularize a few office fun activities like the cricket tournaments and wrote a few blogs as well about our offsite trips as well. However, something was still missing and I was not getting fully motivated to write further.

During one of the office events in 2016, I witnessed some wonderful stuff displayed as exhibits like paintings and photography done by some of our colleagues. I felt that I also can do what I want to do and felt encouraged and motivated. I made up my mind to capture some of the experiences I had in life in the form of short poems. I made a separate Facebook page dedicated to my poems which got good reviews and I felt confident enough to think and planned to write more stuff.

Ace_Library_Kandivali_West

My first book, a collection of poems, “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems” was published in Nov’2017 and covers various topics like Life, Spirituality, Nature, Humor, Mystery, Science, Lives of famous personalities and even science fiction. This book has 35 poems in it and can be enjoyed by all age groups.

ABF5

It has got very good response in the World book fair, Chennai book fair and Agra book fair this year. It is available in various book stores in Mumbai and pretty soon will be available in cities like Greater Noida, Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Secunderabad.

Also available online through Amazon, Flipkart, Notion Press and as an e-book in Kindle and Google Play. Visit my site for more details.

 

Disclaimer: In case of any concern, Please contact the contributor of this post. Website owner is not responsible for any copyright conflict.

 

Book Review – The Lonely Drummer and other poems

Title: The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems
Poet: Abhishek Goswami
Pages: 74
Published in: 2017
Publisher: Notion Press

There are 35 poems in this debut book by poet Abhishek Goswami who has decided not to make it a monotonous affair by writing poems on vivid themes and issues. Poems in his book is on life, happiness, sorrows, joy, pleasure, pain and other abstract ideas including some of the verse-tales, as critics have called it.

The very first poem in the book, which follows the signature title as well, begins with a note of gloom and we get to know that the lonely drummer has been ‘left alone’. During my reading session, when I read it further I realized that many interesting poems which were not only interesting in the terms of content but also quite relative to our day to day life and nature. At the end of the book, you will see a very long poem divided in parts – “The Blue Book” which is a very interesting story told in verse and I liked it. You will surely love this concept.

My personal experience with the book has been great because I got a meaningful collection of English poems to read. The collection of poems in the book varies from pessimism to optimism – the bright and the dark – the good and the bad and this journey was wonderful.

“When happy while doing something,
That’s the mantra which success bring.
Marching ahead with vigor new,
Joys surround us, sadness bid adieu.”

With this book, one thing that readers will like in his collection of poetry is that he keeps it simple and hence, it helps to connect the readers easily you can relate.

The journey that Abhishek has talked about in his book or he has started with his debut book will see him going a good distance. His poems are worthy to be praised and reflect the modern dilemmas and inquisitiveness in the mind of people.

These poems by the debut poet Abhishek Goswami have been wonderful to read and interesting to be enjoyed. He meets the expectations that you might have from a debut book in poetry! You can get his collection from the below Amazon India link and see which poems connect with you and in what manners… This book is also available in Kindle version.

Amazon Link – Click here

Author Interview – Abhishek Goswami

Abhishek Goswami is an author of debut book “The Lonely Drummer and other poems“. It was nice interacting with him.

Q1 – Hello Abhishek, it’s nice to have a chance to interact with you. Please tell us something about yourself.

[Abhishek]: Thank you. I am born and brought up in New Delhi in a middle-class Bengali family.  I did my schooling from St. Francis De Sales School in Janakpuri, New Delhi and then did Bachelor in Science from Delhi University. I also completed my PGDBA in HR from Symbiosis, Pune. I am employed in different MNC firms in Delhi NCR for last 16 years and am currently working in Gurgaon. In my leisure time, I do love to read fiction books, especially mysteries and also watch movies.

Q2 – How was your experience as an Author in World Book Fair of Delhi and Chennai? How does it helped you to established as an author?

[Abhishek]: My experience in both the fairs was wonderful. It felt very nice when people showed interest in what I have written and were curious to know more about my book. Most of them wished me well for the future as well.

This experience helped me to understand the readers very close upfront and direct interactions with them has generated a lot of ideas and thoughts in me which I will surely leverage in my upcoming creations.

Q3 – I have read your poem which was recently published in a leading newspaper. How does it feel getting such recognition?

[Abhishek]:  It feels great when your efforts get rewarded and you get recognition. It serves as a great motivator for the future as well. When you realize that the thoughts and ideas which you grappled with in a corner of a room or while travelling and which you wrote sitting lonely in a room has finally reached thousands of people via a newspaper article, the feeling is both humbling and overwhelming.

Q4 – When did you write your first poem? Who inspired you to get it Published?

[Abhishek]: First poem, good question! Let me think, it might be for a School magazine where I was the chief editor, maybe 20 years back!

However, if you ask me about the 35 poems in this book, out of these, a handful were written around 15 years back which I then included in this collection. But the majority were written in 2016-17 only.

It was always my dream to write a book and get it published. Also, a few friends of mine have recently got their books published which has given me encouragement to go ahead and publish my own.

Q5 – Please tell us something about your journey as a writer. Please tell us something about your book “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”

[Abhishek]:  As I said earlier, it was always my dream to become a published author. Right from childhood, I always liked reading books across genres like Adventures, thrillers, mysteries, historical, science fictions etc. Gradually, I got interested in writing stuff like short stories etc. One day, many years back, Me and one of my friends decided to write a novel. We developed the synopsis, the main characters, the plot etc and even wrote a few pages. But then, as life is, we were slowly drawn away by our daily life routines, office jobs, family life etc. So, the novel remained unfinished and my writing process also stopped. All these years, the desire to write something worthwhile and reaching out to the wider world with it remained burning inside, but I did very little to fulfill it. I thought with ever increasing responsibilities in life, I will never be able to do it and so did not even try doing anything about it. I also realized that writing a full-length novel is indeed a very compelling task, in terms of dedication, time, mental energy involved and it requires a lot of patience to plan the whole thing out as well. Maybe I lacked the patience and determination to carry out this task. I did use to write short poems to popularize a few office fun activities like the cricket tournaments and wrote a few blogs as well about our offsite trips as well. However, something was still missing and I was not getting fully motivated to write further.

During one of the office events last year, I witnessed some wonderful stuff displayed as exhibits like paintings and photography done by some of our colleagues. I felt that I also can do what I want to do and felt encouraged and motivated. I made up my mind to capture some of the experiences I had in life in the form of short poems. I made a separate Facebook page dedicated to my poems and wrote several of them which got helpful reviews and I felt confident enough to think and plan and write more stuff.

This collection of poems in my book covers several topics like Life, Spirituality, Nature, Humor, Mystery, Science, Lives of famous personalities and even science fiction. This book is intended for all age groups and can be enjoyed by one and all.

We all are surrounded by natural objects like the Sun, moon, stars, clouds, trees, rivers etc and a few poems are dedicated towards these objects. Also, there is one poem in this collection titled “The Blue Book” which I have written in 5 parts as it is a suspense/mystery genre poem. In brief, as humans, we all have various emotions, feelings and interests, this collection of poems does reflect the true variety of all the things we are made of.

Q6 – Why did you choose a title “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems”?

[Abhishek]: The Lonely Drummer is the title poem. It talks about the fate of a performing artist and the state of “Arts” in our modern world today.

There are 34 more poems in this collection which are of different flavor, tone and intensity.

This collection would take the reader through a gamut of human emotions and feelings and tickle the reader’s imagination and curiosity levels as well. If the “Lonely Drummer” talks about the fate of a performing artist, the “Memoir of a Currency Note” deals with a first-person account of a currency note’s life journey and how it is similar to humans as well. The “Blue Book” is a poem of the suspense/mystery genre and is sure to appeal to the curiosity level of the reader.

Q7 – How do you think a poetry can help to shape a society? In your view how does it create an impact?

[Abhishek]: Poetry by itself is a form of literary art, just like prose writing. Where it is different from prose is its ability to convey maximum thoughts and emotions in minimum words as possible.

Today we live in a world of supersonic pace and agility. We have achieved tremendous progress in almost all fields possible. Whereas we have gained in speed, we seemed to have lost in keeping our calm in different situations and be composed and retain our emotional depth. Here, I feel poetry plays a significant role in our lives. It shows us a clear picture of where we are and what we think currently in a short, sweet and subtle manner and encourages us to develop our latent emotional depth and sense the world once again, not in a hurry but in a calm and composed manner.

Q8 – How did you get a chance to published?

[Abhishek]:It was very tough to get any big publishers to even read my sample poems (Hazards of being a first-time author). Still I persisted and sent samples to around 12-13 different publishers, and with a little luck and help from one of my friends who has published one book, I could finally figure out the scheme of things and make my way forward. It was a very challenging and sometimes lonely and frustrating journey, but I kept my self-belief and went on.

Q9 – Can you please share your editing experience about your published book?

[Abhishek]:The editing experience has been good overall. The right suggestions from the experienced folks does help and it was a very smooth ride.

Q10 – What was your reaction when you saw the first copy of your debut book “The Lonely Drummer and Other Poems” which was placed in World Book Fair.

[Abhishek]: Wonderful. It was a dream come true for me!

Q11 – Are you working on your next book? What can we expect from your next book?

[Abhishek]: Yes, I am working on my next collection of poems and have already written a few of them.

The next book would also touch topics about Nature and lives of people around us. But it would be different in terms of scale and intensity, that is for sure.

Q12 – Would you like to share any specific pattern or style of writing with our readers?

[Abhishek]: So, I use all kinds or forms possible. Broadly, a poem can be either rhythmic or non-rhythmic. The non-rhythmic ones generally follow free verse and bit content heavy. So, I do not need to embellish it further with any special forms. In this book, you can find “Circles of Life”, “The Tenth One” to name a few on this pattern.

The rhythmic ones can be Alliterative (repetition of same sound in a line), Limerick (5 line in a stanza with a strict rhyme scheme – AABBA) etc. There are poems based on Alliteration (“Striking Storm”, “Butter Biscuit”), Limericks (“The Lonely Drummer”) in this book.

Connection with nature is one of the recurrent themes in this book which talks about our connection with nature (“The Floating Messenger”, “The Long Walk”). The younger readers can also expect to read and enjoy some lesser known facets about our solar system, scientific discoveries and history in a few other poems. (“Signs of Science”, “Original Nine”, “The Brightest Jewel”).

Q13 – Who is your favorite debut authors? What do you like about his/her work?

[Abhishek]: I do like the “Asura” by Anand Neelakantan and “The Emperor’s Riddles” by Satyarth Nayak. Both the books use historical and mythological references and offer a completely different take on what we know commonly with fresh perspectives on some very well-known characters.

A must-read for all fiction readers!

Q14 –How is your regular day as Abhishek Goswami? Have you experienced a situation where people have identified you in a public place? Please Share that experience.

[Abhishek]: I work for an MNC firm in Gurgaon and stay in Greater Noida (West). As such, the travel time is very high, thankfully I have got time flexibility and don’t need to travel to office every day. In between travels sometimes I get hold of an idea and quickly jot it down for later reference. And then write something out of it in my leisure time.

Still awaiting that moment when people recognize “The Lonely Drummer” in a public place!!

Q15 – What advice you want to give to aspiring authors? If your readers want to connect with you, how can they do that? Tell readers about your socials to connect.

[Abhishek]:Go all out to complete that book which you are planning for a long while.

Don’t get disappointed with delays as they are bound to happen. If you really plan and go for it, you can make it happen.

I am reachable at:

Mailabhigos@rediffmail.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/abhigos99/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/abhigos99

Linkedinhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/abhishek-goswami-66995267/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/abhigos/

Best Wishes Abhishek. Hope, you achieve a great Success.

Grab a copy of “The Lonely Drummer and other Poems” from Amazon at Click here