death under the deodars by Ruskin Bond
It was death at first sight... and so starts the first of the 8 short stories in the new edition of Ruskin Bond's 'death under the deodars'. In his impressive and impeccable writing style, which has been admired by the young and the old alike, Bond has presented 8 stories... some of them true accounts.
Murders happen for various reasons... money, love, lust and at times because of a mistake. The main charachter is an elderly lady, Miss May Ripley-Bean, who is a permanent resident of the Royal Hotel in Mussourie. She narrates most of the stories, as she recalls the various people and peculiar characters she meets during her regular routine. My favourite from the stories was 'Strychnine in the Cognac'.
The Royal hotel, Miss Ripley-Bean, Mr Lobo, the pianist and all those who live in the quaint hill station are very endearing. The stories, though, murder mysteries lack the punch, but hit you with subtlety. While I found myself growing fonder of 'Aunty May Ripley- Bean', I felt her introduction in each story isn't required. Besides this, Ruskin Bond's writing is something that can be relished. I found myself envisioning the bar at the Royal hotel, with a group of quirky charachters, sitting around, in the days gone by.
I have to say, the hardback cover, the page quality and the mysterious cover design all add to the appeal of this little bundle of light reading. E-book may not give you the same experience.
Winter is coming, and as you sit by the warmth of the fireplace with a nightcap, or are enjoying a hot cup of coffee, early in the morning, the adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean will definitely keep you entertained.