Books to gift this New Year – II

A novel set against the fetid backdrop of UP politics, Sethji revolves around a charismatic but ruthless politician, who is a key player in the coalition era. Another stirring account revolves around a specially set up Ministry by the prime minister of India finds itself in the centre of a media shit storm. An exciting account of a private investigator and food writer is also worth reading.

‘Sethji’ by Shobhaa De

As an adept fixer and deal-maker in Delhi, Sethji’s support or enmity can create tremors in the turbulent political landscape. To smoothen his way is his ravishing, aloof daughter-in-law Amrita who everyone desires but no one dares to touch.

But when two of the country’s most powerful men team up to challenge Sethji, the wily old politician has to fight the deadliest battle of his life—a battle in which he must stake everything. The one person he is forced to trust is Amrita, a woman who gives nothing away, not even to Sethji.

‘Who Let the Dork Out?’ by Sidin Vadukut

With just 12 months to go before the 2010 Allied Victory Games in New Delhi, there is pandemonium at the Ministry for Urban Regeneration and Public Sculpture. Preparations are months behind schedule–they had completely forgotten about Takewondo.

The minister, Badrikedar Laxmanrao Dahake,  not only has to deal with an irate PM  but also with, high intrigue in the Lok Sabha, fiendish investigative journalists, and a relentless BBC reporter who insists on interviewing him live in English. Dahake is about to resign when he runs into an unlikely saviour: master strategist, media expert, and international financial wizard Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese, currently running the Delhi Lederman office.

‘The Masala Murder’ by Madhumita Bhattacharyya

Reema Ray is a private investigator and food writer. She didn’t set out to become Calcutta’s expert in infidelity cases, but that is where her detective agency has taken her. When the deceit gets too much, she finds a welcome distraction – and a means to pay the bills – by becoming a food critic for a magazine. But what really turns her on is solving a juicy mystery.

Her worlds collide when a gourmet provisions supplier she had once profiled ends up dead under suspicious circumstances. She might be rusty, but her food-obscured nose can still sniff out a murder, and she decides to launch her own investigation. Then her ex-boyfriend shows up at her doorstep when he finds himself being treated as prime suspect in the kidnapping of his own wife!

Suddenly, Reema is handling not one but two cases. With no access to official evidence, she relies on the meddling group of do-gooders she has dubbed the Calcutta Crime-Fighter’s Club. If all this wasn’t trouble enough, the alluring Shayak Gupta turns up around every corner.

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