The Perfect Murder Paperback – 28 December 2016
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About the Author
Born in 1934, Ruskin Bond grew up in Jamnagar, Shimla, New Delhi and Dehradun. Apart from three years in the UK, he has spent all his life in India and now lives in Mussoorie with his adopted family.
From the Publisher
Conversation with Ruskin Bond
Is the perfect murder ever possible? That is a question that every writer of murder mysteries has asked of himself or herself. Each time the great authors of these stories have started one of their complicated, intricately plotted novels or short stories, I guess this is what they have tried to achieve.
I have always been a great admirer of such stories. From Conan Doyle to Agatha Christie, almost every type of murder weapon and motive has been explored in their novels. Christie, in particular, was a great one for the locked room mystery.
The victim retires to his room, the door is locked from within, nothing has been forced open and yet the person has been shot or stabbed or clubbed to death. How did this happen? The question has been answered in various ingenious ways, usually involving a brilliant detective who can pick out clues the way you and I never could.
And then there are mysteries where the motive becomes more important. You know X is the murderer right from the start, but how and why are the questions that need to be solved. Of course when the final unraveling of the plot is done, it all seems fairly logical. But then that’s why not all of us are ace detectives!
In this collection, a few intriguing stories of mystery have been brought together. The title story is an amusing one of how the perfect murder is plotted, but when the plan is executed, does it work out exactly the way it was supposed to happen? You will also find here, what many say is their favourite story featuring the immortal Sherlock Holmes—‘The Red-Headed League’. I put it on top of the list of intriguing problems presented to a detective. A man has been employed simply because he has red hair. He has to go to an office and copy out the encyclopedia, till one day, he is told that the firm where he was going has simply vanished. Who were these people? What was the Red-Headed League? What was their motive behind this elaborate scheme? Holmes of course solves it going on the slimmest of clues.
This book also brings together stories by some other well-known writers of this genre—Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, Jack Bilbo and others. Not all the stories involve murder, but there is some bloodshed for sure that comes about by chance. In all of them the writer is so skilled with words that the reader remains riveted till the finish.
Mysterious and suspenseful, The Perfect Murder is just the book for those who like their mystery stories short yet compelling. This is a book that can be read over a day or two or on a long journey—all the while keeping a watchful eye out for any signs of odd behaviour from the co-passengers!
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- Item Weight : 195 g
- Paperback : 175 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9788129144973
- ISBN-13 : 978-8129144973
- Dimensions : 12.95 x 1.02 x 19.79 cm
- Publisher : Rupa Publications India (28 December 2016)
- ASIN : 8129144972
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Secondly - it's a bit more annoying because some of them aren't even related to murder (a fact Bond alludes to in his short opening note) so why choose to name the book this way? A more accurate title would be 'A Perfect Murder and other short stories' or 'Ruskin Bond's favorite crime stories' etc.
Thirdly some of these stories are available in the public domain since their copyright has expired while others like the Sherlock Holmes one and the Ruskin Bond one are quite common and likely to have been read by most readers so to pay for them in a weirdly packaged collection of is even...weirder.
Coming to the stories themselves, we have a mixed bag with five of them quite interesting while I thought three were total duds. The good thing is they're all short and you're introduced to a new set of (short story) writers which is always wonderful and my main motivation behind reading any anthology. They're all of similar length - i found them perfect to read during my daily commute.
The good :
- The Perfect Murder (Stacy Aumonier) : 2 brothers try plan the perfect murder of their aunt in Paris
- The Interruption (WW Jacobs) : A man achieves the perfect murder of his wife, but realises he'll need to murder his house help as well. This story had an excellent mahaul with a bit of anti-climatic denouement.
- The Lodger (Marie Belloc Lowndes) : A Jack-the-ripper era tale which was later also converted into a full length novel. Also excellent mahaul and disappointing denouement.
- He Said it with Arsenic (Ruskin Bond) : Classic clean matter-of-factly Ruskin Bond story told in the first person. You don't always need mahaul.
- The Red Headed League (Arthur Conan Doyle) : Standard Holmes & Watson caper so always threshold fun. No idea why it's a part of this collection given there isn't even any murder.
- When Al Capone was ambushed : I have no idea what this was or why it was included. The title is the summary
- The Duel : a guy is goaded into a duel and accidentally kills his opponent. Didn't make a lot of sense and Google tells me it's a part of longer tale so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- The Cask of Amontillado : I hope this is not representative of all Edgar Allan Poe who I've always wanted to read because it was cliched, contrived and disappointing...
Talking about the story , i would say this stort book is one of the finest Thriller novel I've ever read.
Several times it felt like okay this thing is gonna happen now but the twist in those section literally made me think again again.
I would suggest you folks , definitely try out this amazing novel once.
The English language used in these short stories is of high standard and revs up one's thought process!!
Anyone who loves crime stories of classic style would love this collection.