Book Review by Namrata


Title: She Stoops to Kill — Stories of Crime and Passion

Editor: Preeti Gill

Publisher: Speaking Tiger Books

Date of Publication: 2019

She Stoops to Kill is a collection of crime stories written by some of the most illustrious women writers of India. A chanced discussion at Guwahati airport between Preeti Gill and the featured authors about the rising crime rates featured in daily newspapers matured into an anthology of murder stories.

Preeti Gill is a renowned name in the literary circles, having worked in the publishing industry for more than two decades now. She has donned various hats during this period, ranging from being a writer, commissioning editor, rights manager, script writer, researcher and is now, an independent editor and literary agent.

This collection brings together a heady combination of renowned authors like Paro Anand, Venita Coelho, Uddipana Goswami, Manjula Padmanabhan, Janice Pariat, Mitra Phukan, Pratyaksha and Bulbul Sharma. Interestingly, each one of them is a stalwart in their own merit, having written award-winning titles but none had ever written crime or mystery. As the editor, Preeti Gill mentions in the introduction, “The writers I chose for this anthology don’t usually write crime, and much less murder, but once they decided to take this on I was absolutely stunned by the variety, the enthusiasm, the imaginative detail and also the macabre bloodiness of their stories.”

VirginsManjula Padmanabhan takes the familiar and wrenches it into funny, sharp-angled shapes in this wry, clever collection of stories (Three Virgins and Other Stories), says Mitali Saran in Tehelka

“Alas,” writes Manjula Padmanabhan in her introduction, “the ideas that arrive at my desktop are all rude, unsightly wretches who belch and pick their noses and expose themselves in public.” That’s something of an exaggeration, but Padmanabhan’s writing does have a refreshingly uninhibited quality. This mostly reprinted, some-new collection of short stories flexes her many writing muscles from straight-up realism to spoofy role reversal in speculative fiction to outright fantasy and sci-fi. If there is one common thread, it is the interesting women in all of them.