Bengali Mystery Authors

December 10, 2008 at 2:44 pm | Posted in Bengali, india, Mystery Books | 11 Comments
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I am an avid reader of mysteries. I started reading English novels way back in 1995 when I was in IXth standard. My grandfather used to tell me the stories of Holmes and I used to get fascinated. So I decided to read them myselves and to my surprise, the stories turned out to be much better to read than to listen. I finished the complete catelogue of Holmes when I was in college, then began my hunt for new authors. Read a lot of novels on fiction, literature, science hi-fi kinda stuff but those things could not make my mind think about them after they were finished and were back to the book shelves.

So I decided to move back into my old regime of mystery novels. I happily purchased a few novels of Earl Stanley Gardner which featured the famous detective – Perry Mason and his secretary – Della Street. I finished ‘em all at a speed of light and my hunger wanted more.

At such a time, I saw a book called – The Complete Adventures of Feluda – I. It was written by the legendary Satyajit Ray. Satyajit Ray has been a household name for years but as a film maker. So I decided to explore the other side of the man himself. I purchased both the volumes – I and II and thought of giving them a try.

To my surprise, the stories turned out to be highly interesting and they could not let me go. Feluda was awsome, he was a super sleuth with sufficient company from Topesh Mitter – his cousin and Lal Mohan Ganguly aka Jatayu – his friend. His best cases include “The Emperor’s Ring” where he solves a case in Lucknow, “The Golden Fortress”, which features Jatayu for the first time. I finished both the novels rather story books in a short time and started my hunt for more Indian specially Bengali style of mystery writings as I had already develped a charm for Calcutta and its life.

My quest could not get any success for the next one year or so and I had to satisfy my hunger for mystery novels by reading stories written by Christie, Gardner etc. It was one fine day in Mumbai when I decided to go to Fort to get som new books. I thought of going to Strands and thought of asking their recommendation. To my surprise, he recommended me the writings of Saradindu Bandhopadhyay. I was more than eager to have a look at the books and I was shocked to see the title of the book. It was BYOMKESH BAKSHI. I cannot express my happiness in words here, but I took the book and it was even better than the books on Feluda. The time period was mostly during the Raj era and the storytelling was excellent. I enjoyed reading each and every story of Byomkesh. In the meantime, I visited Bangalore and while strolling through the massive collection of Landmark, I found another book on Byomkesh. I immediately decided to purchase it. The book was a great one like the other Byomkesh book.

Since then, I have become an avid fan of Bengali mytery authors but am unfortunate not to find anyone else except for Saradindu and Satyajit Ray. I would request everyone, if you know any other author, please let me know..

The books are still in my bookshelf and I re-read them sometimes whenever I want to feel the charm of being in Calcutta…..

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  1. Oh I miss Feluda like stuff too.. but for a diff sort of twist in the tail .. you should try Stanley Ellin’s “Speciality of the house’, dont know where you will find it in India… btw I have been enjoying all the hitchcock episods lately.. weird banda hai.

    • Hi!
      I am looking for three detective books which I have read about
      55 years back.thy are.. MAAYAVI,MAYAAVINI and MANORAMA.I do not
      remeber the authors name.If anybody has the information,pl. let me know.

      • the author was panchkari dey

  2. There are other Bengali mystery writers like Narayan gangopadhaye who created Tenyda, then there is Ghonada and a few. Tenyda is funny too. You will enjoy them. But Byomkesh is the best Indian detective character ever created at least till now.

  3. very good post! i am surprised you like bengali detective novels. unfortunately, there are many detective series in bengali which are not translated in english. so they are not known to non-bengali readers. famous bengali writer of the modern era sunil ganguly (who recently passed away) wrote the kaka babu series for young adults in similar fashion to feluda. the series is very popular among bengali youth who follow feluda style thrillers. another contemporary of satyajit ray is syed mustafa siraj from the north bengal region and he wrote a series of novels featuring colonel niladri sarkar an ex-army investigator with a santa like beard and a an amateur orinithologist (bird-watcher). there is teni-da and ghona-da. all these ‘dadas’ came into the picture after felu-da became famous among ‘sandesh’ readers. sandesh was a bengali magazine popular is the sixties and seventies similar to champak or chandamama. bengali fortnightly magazines like desh (most famous bengali magazine) run various series that are later published as novels if they gain a readership. similarly feluda first appeared in sandesh in late 1960s. all the feluda novels were serialised in desh magazine. every year during durga puja all the major publishers in bengali produce a puja edition that feature full novels, novellas and short stories by prominent and rising bengali stars of fiction. there is a battle among publishers to gain the best writers. its like a diwali special release for bengalis! all the famous detectives continue to be released in these puja sankhas (puja editions). hope i did’nt bore you.

    • AWESOME NOTES…

  4. you should read stories on “KAKABABU &SANTU”,written by Sunil Ganguli.These are very interesting threaling and mysterious stories.But I don’t know if these books are available in english verse or not.But I would strongly recommend you to read these stories.

  5. Would like to recommend you COLONEL SAMAGRA by Syed Mustafa Siraz..U will definitely like them.

  6. read Smaranjit Chakrabarty thrillers….if translations are available.
    only 6 is there….he is the only new age thriller writers of indian bengali literature….
    if you find the thanslations of Humayun Ahmed’s books (bangladesh)….just grab them.he has writen psychological thrillers with the character name Mishir Ali…they are awssome

  7. read pandab goyenda by shashtipad chatterjee.

  8. HERE IS SUMMARY OF AUTHORS AND THEIR CREATIONS
    IN BENGALI LITERATURE

    SAMARESH BASU – GOGOL
    NIHAR RANJAN GUPTA – KIRITI
    SHASHTHIPADA CHATTOPADHYAY – PANDAB GOENDA
    SATYAJIT RAY – FELUDA
    ANIL BHOWMIK – FRANCIS
    SAIYAD MUSTAFA SIRAZ – KOLONEL NILADRI SARKAR
    SHARADINDU BANDYOPADHYAY – BYOMKESH BAKSHI
    SUNIL GANGOPADHYAY – KAKABABU

    AND MANY MORE……..


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