This will have to be a quick one, I’m afraid – life is absolutely mad at the moment, and I’ve barely had enough time to breathe, let alone read!
The Byomkesh Bakshi Stories is my third Diverse Detectives read in October.Written by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, these stories are classics of 1930s Bengali literature. Bakshi is a ‘truth seeker’ rather than a detective – and it shows. Rather than being interested in restoring law and order, he often lets the culprits go free, or indeed, causes their deaths! This was a bit unexpected, as, I’ll be honest, I did initially read this as a Bengali interpretation of Sherlock Holmes.
My copy was a collection of some of the best Bakshi stories. In it, there are murderers, thieves, blackmailers – and people who can imitate the roar of a tiger! They are mainly narrated by Ajit, Bakshi’s sidekick, who (a bit like Doctor Watson) is publishing their adventures together. However, although the stories were indeed entertaining, I do wish that I had a fuller collection. One of the main differences between Bakshi and Sherlock Holmes is that Bakshi has a life outside of detection – he has a wife, a son, and a publishing business! I would have loved to have read these more character-building details.
Overall, this anthology was a fun romp through the estates of Bengal – with just enough tricky twists to keep me on my toes.
(Also I fully intend to watch the movie/s – because look at him! PHWOAR.)