The kindness of Twitter
Happily my reading stamina is still increasing following my recent illness (although it has slowed/gone a little backwards as I am tired out by a limited return to work) but while I was really struggling the kind people from ED Public Relations (@ed.pr on twitter) sent me a surprise parcel comprising three of the 2018 Quick Reads titles.
From my work in the library I was aware of the Quick Reads promotion which
"was founded by Baroness Gail Rebuck DBE in 2006 to provide shorter, easier to read, accessible fiction for less confident adult readers. Now in its 12th year, the programme has distributed over 4.8 million books since it was launched and introduced hundreds of thousands of new readers each year to the joys and benefits of reading."It took me a while to read them but I did enjoy them greatly but the biggest discovery for me was the Inspector Chopra book. This is a mystery set in the back streets of Mumbai and featured a private detective and his pet baby elephant solving a the mystery of a missing car.
On many levels this book wasn't an instant fit: how was I going to follow the plot of a crime/mystery novel at a time when I had real concentration and memory problems? Also how was I going to be able to break an already short book up into chunks that I could physically manage to read? Oh, and the biggie, as a rule the crime genre really isn't my cup of tea!
The wise people from @edpr obviously knew what they were doing for the format of the book was just right, the chapters were complete vignettes and easy to start and stop. The mystery was just complicated enough so that I didn't guess 'whodunnit' but not so complicated I couldn't follow the reasoning. The addition of a baby elephant sidekick is a genius idea. The book may also be considered easier to read but for me it perfectly conjured Mumbai and I felt like I was watching a movie as I was reading, fewer words creating a full picture regardless.
Now I am more recovered I will look out for the full length novels by Vaseem Kahn but I am a little nervous that they won't be as good as this short book. I know that the short story format is considered both hard to write and hard to sell but it worked splendidly here and I'd love to read more short stories in this world.
Again many thanks to those at ED Public Relations who sent the books to me as a gift and with no expectations that I'd review them.