Q: Who is your favourite woman detective and why? (November 26)
A: This has to be Eve Dallas, the police lieutenant in a futuristic New York brought vividly to life by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb in her In Death series. Eve’s husband Roarke, her colleagues in the NYPSD and the few friends she has are quirky individuals who carve out their own place in the reader’s mind, and her sympathy for the victims whose murderers she brings to justice is genuine, coloured by her own traumatic past. Highly recommended. Second to Eve would be Mma Precious Ramotswe of Botswana [of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith].
Q: Which is your favourite fictional detective and why? (November 1)
A: The fictional sleuth who arouses the maximum curiosity in me is Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. He is perhaps the only detective who causes adrenaline rushes within you incessantly, with his witty comments, pragmatic revelations and pompous repartee, which manage to hold a perpetual smirk on your face, even as a cobweb-like mystery is
about to be uncurtained. Poirot is handsome in his self-proclaimed, peculiar way. It doesn’t matter if the plot is losing its pace, one is assured of the fact that the funny-looking Belgian gentleman will never let you leave the book till the end, with his charisma of intelligence and shrewdness.
A: I firmly believe that if literature is a cake, then detective stories are surely the delicious cherries on top! Call it my ‘Bangali’ sentiment or my effort to preserve the essence of my formative years, but Feluda has always been my ‘Sleuth No.1’. Feluda’s choice of brain over brawn, his letting out rings of smoke after puffing a Charminar, his inimitable style of penning down notes using the Greek alphabet — all add to his inscrutable charisma. On top of that, he has the much-coveted ‘Magajastra’ at his command! Long live Pradosh Mittir!