“If you really want to read a country, read its crime novels” – This quote pretty much sums up this intriguing panel that took the listeners to the world of crime and fiction. The panel had diverse representations in terms of genre, style of writing and of course authors belonging to different nationalities. The most unique of the lot was Philip McLaren, an indigenous Australian author who brings forth issues of aborigines, crimes against them and the apathy of the dominant society weaved into many gripping novels.

Sophie Hannah, the contemporary queen of crime fiction is especially a treat for Agatha Christie fans. She is so full of chirp and life; it is truly a delight to listen to her and equally hard to believe how on earth can this sunshine of a person come up with dark crime stories. Hannah speaks about being outlandish in her thoughts and ideas and how it is extremely important to preserve this weirdness she possesses. She also encouraged budding writers to be confident in the whacky thoughts that one may have.

The desi writers Kiran and Bhasker have their own styles and narratives when it comes to crime writing and depicting crime in an Indian context. They spoke about the process of developing characters and how it adds value to a psychological thriller. More often it does not have to restrict to the plot and twists but also playing with the readers’ minds and facilitating the Rashomon effect which makes storytelling in the thriller format even more challenging. The panel concluded by exploring how well is the social commentary of India being represented in crime novels, its importance and relevance.

Brownie points: Listeners fortunate enough to listen to Sophie sing a few lines straight out of a murder mystery musical she had composed.

About the Author: Monica Kamath is a curious being who strongly believes that a right time, right place, and a right person can create wonders. True blue Bangalorean, a multilinguist who can speak more than five Indian languages, loves to understand people, dialects, and cultures. Largely an introvert but can masquerade as someone otherwise if she chooses to. Literature and poetry keep her grounded and sane in this ever busy, technologized society. She has a bad habit of getting herself involved in at least three or more pursuits at a given point of time. Blog link – https://medium.com/@monicskamath. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.