New Delhi: Popular writer Ruskin Bond, a storyteller loved by children and adults alike, is coming out with a set of eight brand new stories in his latest book titled, “Death Under The Deodars: The Adventures of Miss Ripley-Bean”.
The book comes after a long break in the writer’s literary career during which he did not pen any fresh content, although many of his older works were adapted and published.
“We are very pleased to present the first collection of brand new stories by Ruskin Bond in years. There are 8 stories not revisited, not adapted, but absolutely fresh stories- of mystery and murder.
“‘Death Under the Deodars’ is vintage Ruskin – full of wit and memorable characters. An absolute delight to read; I think Ruskin’s fans will be hugely thrilled to discover him anew as a writer of murder stories,” Udayan Mitra from Penguin India said.
The book is an outcome of numerous conversations between Bond and Mitra, during which the latter suggested that, “old-time Mussoorie with its atmospherics and its small circle of interesting characters would make for some fabulous murder mysteries”.
“Those who know Ruskin Bond well know that apart from the hills the one thing he absolutely loves is a good old-fashioned murder mystery that one can curl up with.
“He is an avid reader of the murder mysteries written in the Golden Age the works of Dorothy L Sayers, Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, and of course Sherlock Holmes, Maigret, Nero Wolfe and the like,” Mitra said.
Set in the Mussoorie of the 1960s and 1970s and evocative of a bygone era, the book features the elderly Miss Ripley-Bean (somewhat reminiscent of Miss Marple), a long-time resident of the fabled Royal Hotel, around whom a series of intriguing murders and strange occurrences take place.
It recounts the deliciously sinister cases of a murdered priest, an adulterous couple, a man who is born evil, and the body in the box bed; not to forget the strange happenings involving the arsenic in the post, the strychnine in the cognac, a mysterious black dog, and the Daryaganj strangler.
“As the elderly Miss Ripley-Bean, her Tibetan terrier Fluff, her good friend Mr Lobo, the hotel pianist, and Nandu, the owner of the Royal, mull over the curious murders, the reader will be enthralled and delighted until the murderer is finally revealed,” Mitra said. The book is expected to hit stands on November 15.