28 Mar

Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Japan

Sherlock Holmes, The Missing YEars Japan by Vasudev Murthy

It’s 1893. King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day … Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea … The Bengal Famine worsens … A brilliant scientist in Calcutta challenges the system … The senior priest at Kyoto’s Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances. Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. Then the quiet, distinguished Mr. Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay. In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion. Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. Has Sherlock Holmes survived the Reichenbach Falls? In a seriocomic novel that radically ups the ante, Sherlock Holmes and Watson find their match in more than one man (or indeed, woman) as a clock inexorably ticks. History, mystery, romance, conspiracies, knife-edge tension; a train in Russia, roadside crime in Alexandria, an upset stomach in Bombay, careening through Cambodia, nasty people in China, monks in Japan–here’s a thrilling global chase that will leave you breathless (occasionally with laughter) as the Sherlock Holmes: The Missing Years series begins.

Sherlock Holmes – The Missing Years in Japan is a fan fiction and Vasudev Murthy is a great fan and it is pretty evident when you read this book. This is my first experience with fan fiction and I read this book out of sheer curiosity. I wanted to see how someone can develop a character which is loved by so many people around the world. I should say that the experience was quite pleasant.

This book is all about how Sherlock and Watson manages to travel from London to Japan in the midst of very dangerous situations. Professor Moriarty who is responsible for Sherlock’s alleged death in the Reichenbach falls have become quite powerful and will do anything to see that Sherlock and Watson does not reach their destinations.

I think writing fan fiction is tough because the author has a tough job to keep up with the original writing style, characters etc.Vasudev Murthy has done a good job in imitating the style by Arthur Conan Doyle, but the lack of any particular mystery robs the reader to see the problem solving and analytical skill of Sherlock that is usually exhibited in the original works. I found this to be a negative point because I got bit bored reading about the long and dangerous journey they made. Too many characters and that too with Japanese names made my reading difficult. It was quite tough to remember and recollect who each character was.

Overall this was a pleasant read, but I will recommend this to you only if you are a die-hard Sherlock Holmes fan and likes fan fiction. Otherwise you should just go back and read the original. Nothing can beat them!

What do you think of fan fiction?

Rating: 3.5/5
Source: eARC from Netgallety
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Release: Mar 10 2015

Note: I received a digital copy of this book for review consideration.

11 Mar

Wordless Wednesday #5

Us by David Nicholls book cover

I don’t have much time at hand to write any lengthy posts or book reviews right now. So I thought I will keep some activity going here by posting this book cover for this week’s Wordless Wednesday.

Have anyone read this one? Did you like it?

I read just 50 pages of this book, so here is the goodreads link if you want further info about this book.

Us by David Nicholls

28 Feb

Chasing the Sun by Natalia Sylvester

Chasing The Sun by Natalia Sylvester

Andres suspects his wife has left him—again. Then he learns that the unthinkable has happened: she’s been kidnapped. Set in Lima, Peru, in a time of civil and political unrest, this evocative page-turner is a perfect marriage of domestic drama and suspense. Too much time and too many secrets have come between Andres and Marabela, but now that she’s gone, he’d do anything to get her back.

Or will he?

As Marabela slips farther away, Andres must decide whether they still have something worth fighting for, and exactly what he’ll give up to bring her home. And unfortunately, the decision isn’t entirely up to him, or to the private mediator who moves into the family home to negotiate with the terrorists who are holding Marabela. Andres struggles to maintain the illusion of control while simultaneously scrambling to collect his wife’s ransom, tending to the needs of his two young children, and reconnecting with an old friend who may hold the key to his past and his wife’s future.

This is a quick read with an interesting premise of a deteriorating marriage being tested to its core when the wife disappears. Andres suspects that his wife Marabela has left him and later he realizes that she got kidnapped by the mafia for ransom which was very common in Peru in late 90s.

I was hooked to the story when I read about Andres struggle in coming terms with his wife’s absence, managing to get hold of the ransom, managing the kids and managing the overall running of the house in his wife’s absence. The book has a great deal of suspense in the first half due to the uncertainty which Andres faces about the safe return of his wife. There was something captivating about the book that made you want to know what happened, though I would not say that I enjoyed it very much.

Chasing the Sun had all the ingredients for a great story set against an uncommon theme and place but not so well-developed characters and a highly unconvincing ending makes Natalia Sylvester’s work an average read.


Affiliate Links:

Amazon.in: Chasing the Sun: A Novel
Amazon.com: Chasing the Sun: A Novel

25 Feb

Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey

Elizabeth-is-Missing-Emma-Healey

How do you solve a crime when you can’t remember the clues?

Maud is forgetful. She makes a cup of tea and doesn’t remember to drink it. She goes to the shops and forgets why she went. Back home she finds the place horribly unrecognizable – just like she sometimes thinks her daughter Helen is a total stranger.

But there’s one thing Maud is sure of: her friend Elizabeth is missing. The note in her pocket tells her so. And no matter who tells her to stop going on about it, to leave it alone, to shut up, Maud will get to the bottom of it.

Because somewhere in Maud’s damaged mind lies the answer to an unsolved seventy-year-old mystery. One everyone has forgotten about.

Everyone, except Maud . . .

I read this book during the first few weeks after my son was born, which meant that I was in no mood to write a review. My son is 7 months old and I thought it is time I write about this book before I forget what it was about.

Elizabeth is Missing will come in the genre of literary fiction with good amount of mystery thrown in. Though the theme of an elderly lady suffering from dementia is depressing, there is an element of mystery in the story which keeps it interesting, and of course the characters of Maud and Helen.

Dementia is pulling Maud down, but that doesn’t mean that she has lost her spirit. She is as stubborn and single minded about what she wants to do. This gives an interesting side to Maud’s character and that keeps the whole story fun to read in-spite of the depressing theme, which cannot be possibly present when your central character is fast succumbing to dementia and old age.

Helen – Maud’s daughter who has the prime responsibility of take care of Maud is another well developed character by Emma Healey. Helen has all rights to be frustrated, feeling lost in-spite of all the love she has for her mother. Isn’t that what happens in real life to caretakers of Alzheimer and Dementia patients? There are no end to the number of times Maud had unintentionally put her in difficult situations.

I loved the mystery part of this story. When  Maud is concerned about her friend Elizabeth, she is actually looking for her sister Sukey who went missing when Maud was very young.  Her memories take her back in time when Sukey was there and then to the days after Sukey went missing. Slowly, very slowly indeed Maud understands what had happened and the mystery unravels by itself.

I loved this book for Maud, the perspective of an aging person dependent on others is tough to write and Emma Healey has done a wonderful job. Please do read this book if you get a  chance and do let me know if you liked it as much as I did.

Affiliate Links:

Buy Elizabeth Is Missing from Amazon India
Buy Elizabeth Is Missing from Amazon US
Buy Elizabeth is Missing from Flipkart.com

18 Feb

Wordless Wednesday #3

Wall Painting Idea. In Bangalore

I saw this wall painting many times during the last few weeks, but it never felt anything extra-ordinary until one evening. The sun rays in the late evening were highlighting the colors so beautifully.

Now the question – who did this? I don’t know. Few of the residents in the umpteen apartments in the neighborhood decided to spruce up this wall by some paintings. This is just one of such efforts.

15 Feb

Recent Books on My Shelf #17

Recent Books on my Shelf by The Bookish Reviews

It has been some time since I wrote about the recent books on my shelf that I have read or is to planning to read.

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky was first published in 1879 and I am planning to read this for The Classic Club. This is a chunkster with 1045 pages and I don’t expect that I can read this one so fast. I did read a few pages and the language surprised me a bit. I was expecting something with Shakespeare kind of language, but I encounter a better writing. The translator has done a great job and I am enjoying reading this one.

Family Life by Akhil Sharma had its days of glory in the blogosphere and I was actually able to get a copy from the library recently. This book surrounding two brothers (again) is supposed to be a great read. This book also happen to be a nominee for Folio Prize 2015.

Solar by Ian McEwan is another book that I started reading recently. This book did get sidelined when I saw few other books, but I will get to this book. I have only read few pages and cannot say much about what the book is about. ( I don’t read book blurbs )

There are quite a lot of books that I have not talked about in this post. I will talk about them in my upcoming posts.

13 Feb

January 2015 Reads

Things has got busier in office which means that I am not able to find much time to read or blog these days. My not-working time will be occupied by the two kids especially the smaller kiddo. My son will complete 7 months today and he is a handful to manage even though he has just started crawling :)

Amidst the busy schedule and two rounds of sickness ( cold and cough) that ruled our house in January, I did manage to read 3 books. The first two were from the Kwench corporate library and the third one is an ARC from Netgalley.

The Complete Maus- A Survivor's Tale about surviving Holocaust by Art Spiegelman

The Complete Maus by Art Spielberg is a graphic novel about the Holocaust and talks about the persecution of Jews during the WWII. It is not correct to call it a graphic novel because it is actually a memoir in which Art graphically narrates the lives of his parents during the Holocaust. The thing about this book is that the graphic nature of the book doesn’t take away the horror of the Holocaust. TH and myself have unanimously decided that we need to have a copy of this book in our home library.

The-Railway-Children-E-Nesbit-Goodreads-cover

The Railway Children by E S Nesbit was my first read for The Classic Club. I got intrigued by the title of the book and borrowed it when I saw it in my corporate library. It was a nice read, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I expected.

Pioneer Girl by Bich Minh Nguyen

Pioneer Girl by Bich Mink Nguyen was another book I read in January. I have mixed feelings about this book. This book gave the impression of being a memoir, and it took me some time to realize it is fiction. This was a very interesting and quick read and I loved the part about Asian immigrants and their struggle to strive in America, but there were few aspects of the story which was a little difficult to digest.

I think I will be only able to read 3-4 books during most months and I will have to make some progress in the Classic Club reads. I have a lot of other books to talk about here, but that will have to wait for another time.

12 Feb

Wordless Wednesday #2

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman- Book about Holocaust during WWII

Here I present you the book cover of The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman. This is the graphic representation of the life experiences of Art’s parents (both German Jews) during the WWII and the Holocaust.

Highly Highly recommended. We have decided to buy a copy of this book for our home library.