Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Many many years ago I was invited to play cricket for a club team in South West London and naturally assumed they had heard of my exceptional abilities.
The team captain then asked me quite casually if I could bring along the Indian oral surgeon, who worked for me on a part time basis. My Indian friend, also a well known superb squash player, was immediately moved into the cricket club first team while I was sent to languish among the lower echelons.

The relevance of this rambling is that I am reading Mrs D'Silva's Detective Instincts and the Shaitan of Calcutta by Glen Peters which is about the fascinating Anglo-Indian community in 1960s India.
Many thanks to publishers Parthian for the book, and to Crimeficreader for recommending this very enjoyable read [I am only half way through so far].
The book, which was published with the financial support of the Welsh Books Council is a beautifully produced and printed paperback with mouth watering recipes inside the covers and on the front flap. While food is a vitally important component of the narrative:

He then used the stock to cook the rice, giving it its rich meaty texture. Later, raisins, almonds and fried onions, and an array of various spices, in their stick and seed form, all helped to make the Biryani a complete meal rather than a mere accompaniment.

The author Glen Peters is founder of Project Rhosygilwen, a Pembrokeshire based rural arts regeneration venture and yet another Welsh connection is explained:

Except the faces here were different shades of white, black and brown and the accents an odd mix of Indo Welsh, inherited a century earlier during the construction of the railways, when the workers from West Wales, brought to India, intermarried with Indian women.

I have even managed to find a photo of Wales, although not a typical location, to go along with this post. [to be continued]


Blogger crimeficreader said...

Pleased to read you are enjoying the book thus far. For a novel about crime, it has the unusual quirk of being like a comfort blanket too! A good read to have post-dental appointment, I think...

4:18 AM  
Blogger Dorte H said...

Is this cricket? - or cooking & crime?
Tasty post :D

8:52 AM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

crimeficreader you knew I would like this one with food, crime and history. And I needed the comfort blanket to cope after the dental appointment, not because of the treatment but the bill. ;o)

Dorte, cricket is a religion in the Indian sub continent and especially among the Asian diaspora in England. Cricket was one of the main legacies of the British Empire in the Commonwealth countries.
The England team in the first test had two players of Sikh origin and also three players born in South Africa. By the way reading this book is making me even more hungry than I usually am. :o)

9:07 AM  
Blogger crimeficreader said...

Pleased to read you're enjoying it. And the cricket. But sorry to hear about your bill!

1:03 PM  

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