Book Review: The short circuit

Authors and twins, Sunil and Sudhir Kapoor are more than financial experts—they dabble in singing, filmmaking, writing, sport. In this hardbound collection of short stories, they display their sensitivity and creative originality.

The stories, told in a simple, long-winded style, portray reality that is not uncommon, linked by a strain of emotion. While ‘Blackmail’ and ‘Masqueraders from the North’ entail intricate plots, ‘Rickshaw Faridabadi’ and ‘Spark of the Divine’ strike a chord that finds an easy connect.

Title: A Ticklish Affair And Other Stories

Author: Sunil Kapoor & Sudhir Kapoor

Publisher: Rupa; Pages: 201; Price: Rs.495

When eight of India’s best fiction writers come together to produce a book of intrigue and murder, you have a delicious treat in the offing. It opens with Mitra Phukan’s ‘Poison in the Paan’, in which a singing diva chokes to death onstage, murdered by a venom-laced stimulant that she pops into her mouth. Who would want her dead? The stories in this collection engage with their varied settings and styles.

If ‘Murder in the Wedding Season’ pits a politician against a widow, ‘Serial Killer’ explores the mind of a person who appears completely normal but for the enjoyment of the act of murder, and ‘Sister’ portrays a vigilante eunuch’s efforts to solve a gruesome killing in a city slum. Murders most foul...who can resist?!

Title: She Stoops To Kill: Stories of Crime and Passion

Author: Multiple

Editor: Preeti Gill;

Publisher: Speaking Tiger; Pages: 256; Price: Rs.350

Fourteen short tales in this tome, a collection that portrays love, anger, rebellion, choices, and chances... As editor Sukanya Venkatraghavan explains, “We need stories that feel like us, sound like us, wear our skin...flaunt the magic that is so uniquely in our blood.”

Each story represents what it means to be magical in a unique way. If being magical is a natural part of some characters such as the courtesan in ‘Gul’ or the goddesses in ‘Tridevi Turbulence’, others like the survivor of an accident in ‘The Gatekeeper’s Intern’ discover their power and learn how to use it. Original stories, each whisking you into a different world, there will be some that will hold magic for you.

Title: Magical Women

Author: Multiple

Editor: Sukanya Venkatraghavan

Publisher: Hachette; Pages: 217, Price: Rs.399