The first story I remember reading is The Wishing Chair. You know the book, two kids discover a chair in an old shop and they find that it takes them wherever they want to go. So they travel to various places and find nice people and evil people and solve their problems and stop them from causing problems respectively. I was enthralled by it and took to sitting in every chair I found in second hand furniture stores. Unfortunately I didn’t find my own wishing chair. That’s ok because I was soon distracted by The Famous Five and Secret Seven. I love George and want a Timmy. And Julian, such a child crush.
I read most of their books (I still have these in boxes to give to my children) and then I grew up, developed a slightly more refined taste and turned to Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. I loved the hardy boys more than Nancy drew. I’m not sure why, I guess the fact that they were brothers made me connect with them on a deeper level. I spent many a rainy day (Kerala) hiding under my covers with a torch light (which is probably why my eyesight sucks now) eating biscuits and reading them.
Then came Perry Mason and then Hercule Poirot and then Sherlock Holmes. All beautiful and magical and a source of comfort.
Then, I grew up.
Growing up sucks in more ways than one. But the way that it sucks the most is the fact that books aren’t so simple anymore. Witches don’t kidnap children to cook and eat them, they are now paedophiles. Men don’t kidnap children for a ransom anymore, they now sell them to the sex slave industry or the human trafficking industry. The simplicity of books has gone and with that, the simplicity of my favourite detective genre.
But, recently (by recently I mean two years ago) I discovered this book. The case of the secretive sister by Nilanjan Choudury and it was fabulous. Yes it is for a younger audience but it helped me fall back in love with this familiar and comforting genre which I had missed for ages. It is short, under 200 pages, entertaining and doesn’t really require much more use of the grey cells. For beginners to this genre, it’s perfect.
I also started on Robert Galbraith’s books, only because I found out that it is actually Rowling’s Pen name. But while that is great and brilliant, it isn’t enough. I WANT MORE.
So I’m turning to my readers. Do you know any good detective books? Please do comment with names before I make a hurried u-turn and go back to The Famous Five.