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Nonchalantly Insolent

ALAS! Lady-detectives, Indian lady-detectives are elusive literary creatures. Despite the plethora of contemporary characters that the modern Indian writer has cajoled out of the mighty pen, this earthling has failed to evolve.

But wait a minute. Here comes one waltzing in on her wannabe “black Fendi peep toes”—and six inches high no less!

Enter Kasthuri Kumar aka Katie, detective with a buzz and two bumbling feet. And ‘seasoned’ chick-lit writer Smita Jain pulls her off with elan. Smita knows what she is getting into. Her successful debut novel ‘Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions’ is compounding nto a screenplay for a Bollywood film and as she herself says: “I know I can write a decent murder mystery.” Smita is also curious, “Did you guess who the killer is?” she asks fervently. And I must confess I did not. I was on the wrong railway track all along (much to this author’s delight!) and I certainly enjoyed the bumping ride!

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I’m currently in Delhi, on a book “promotion tour” (God, I’ve alway wanted to say that!) and am having a total blast. My publishers publicity person is the nicest girl around, who, in spite of being some eleven months pregnant, is looking after me grandly. She is being so solicitous that I feel like a rock star…well, except for the good stuff like drugs and alcohol 🙂

The first launch went off well. Everybody kept telling me I’m looking hot, so, come to think of it, it went off great. The venue was nice and cosy with a fine view of the monuments of Lutyen’s Delhi. The Park Hotel had gone out of their way to cater for the event and had prepared a delicious array of sumptuous snacks and finger foods. A special mention to Anushree Banrejee and Urvashi Malik of the Park Hotel for handling the event with such enthusiasm.

Then, yesterday the whole day was spent talking to media. It was a packed day, tiring as hell and as much fun! The highlight of the day was me in my halter neck dress bringing the traffic at Parliament Street to a complete halt. I’m not joking. The dress which doesn’t garner a second glance from my bhaji wala in Bombay wreaked complete havoc in babu Delhi. It was hilarious!

And now I have to leave. Some more interviews lined up, plus have to prepare for tomorrow’s launch at Gurgaon. I’ll blog about everything a little later when I have more time. Ciao!

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Dear All,

Piggies on the Railway is officially being launched on the 24th at the Park Hotel, Parliament Street, New Delhi at 5 p.m. and once again on the 27th at Landmark bookstore, Gurgaon at 7 p.m.

Do try and make it for one or both events. If you are planning on coming, do drop a little RSVP (as an email on the id given on the sidebar) so that the catering guys can provide for you 🙂

Landmark Invite

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In 1929 British crime writer Ronald Knox codiefied a set of 10 commandments, a decalogue for all crime writers. The rules included that no Chinamen should feature in the plot, only one hidden passage or room was allowed and that the friend of the detective, the Watson, must not hide any thoughts from the reader.

Mumbai-based Smita Jain cares nothing for these rules: her detectives are smart, stylish, urban women who will fix their make up while chasing a lead. Her first offering, Kkrishnaa’s Konfessions sold well and Jain decided to pen another titled Piggies on the Railway (Tranquebar-Westland).

But with her new private investigator Kasthuri Kumar, Jain is creating a detective series for her readers. “You can call it chicklit-cum-crime. There is a mystery, a ditzy detective more in tune with glamour and celebrity, dishy dudes, bitchy women and smart repartee,” says Jain.

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