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An Indian twist to a Sherlock mystery.

INDIA keeps appearing in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories, most notably in the Sign of Four . So, it comes as no surprise that an Indian author has set out to give the detective with superhuman powers a new lease of life.

More than 5,000 miles away from 221B Baker Street, Holmes's London address, avid quizzer and full- time writer Partha Basu has woven a new story centred around the legendary detective, reportedly after stumbling upon some papers locked away in a wooden box.

Departing from English tradition, The Curious Case of 221B ( HarperCollins) was launched not with tea and sandwiches but with coffee and canapE[umlaut]s at CafE[umlaut] Mocha in Gurgaon.

" I describe the book to be real and slightly different," said Basu, who has been writing on films and management, and was a semi- finalist in the BBC Mastermind series.

The book has three parallel narratives. One is drawn from ' Watson's Diaries' ( Dr John Watson is Holmes's alter ego, but the diaries are purely a figment of Basu's rather fecund imagination); the other from the main protagonist Jit's personal life; and the third from Emma, one of Dr Watson's wives.

After reading excerpts from the book, Abhijit Bhaduri, author of Married But Available , declared: " If you thought the adventures of the world's most famous sleuth ended with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you have to read this extraordinary novel." Basu says his motive is to make Holmes a legend in India. " I want him to be as popular as Harry Potter," he says. Now that should tickle Sir Arthur's soul.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Sep 23, 2009
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