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Confessions of a crime writer

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Don’t go by the cover, was Monabi Mitra’s message to readers at the launch of her second crime thriller recently.

The second in a three-part series, The Dead Don’t Confess [Penguin Metro Reads, Rs 199] has sometimes-brash-sometimes-pensive-and-lonely DSP Bikram Chatterjee solving the murder of a small-time film producer on Diwali night.

“This is not a classic mystery puzzle. The mystery is there but it focuses more on how cops go about their task. Just like you have good press and bad press, this is inside press or the inside story of real-life policing,” said the author, who teaches English at Scottish Church College.

Having a cop as husband may have given her some valuable insights, but Monabi says he was clueless about the book for the five to six months that she worked on it. “My husband did not have a clue I was writing a crime thriller. But the pages contain many details I have seen and experienced from close quarters,” she said. “The cover is a little loud, but the substance inside is quite different.”

Filmmaker Dibakar Banerjee, chief guest at the book launch at Crossword, Elgin Road, shared a few nuggets about detective fiction.

“The first detective in print was a police detective, Panchkori Dey. The amateur detective made its entry much later. I have found that cops laugh at them. Usually they do the detection in real life. The fictional detective is the common man’s way of restoring order and rendering justice,” said Banerjee.

Timeless connect

Anne Frank, the 13-year-old Holocaust victim immortalised by her diary, has over the years built a strong kinship with victims of genocide and ruthless discrimination based on colour, religion, and sexual orientation.

This was the theme explored in Anne Frank — A History of Today, a two-week exhibition organised in the city recently by PeaceWorks, an initiative of the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, in collaboration with the Anne Frank House, Amsterdam.

The opening day saw the screening of a five-minute documentary on Anne Frank House and similar of human rights violations around the world.