Author: Vithal Rajan
Publisher: Random House India
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-8400-104-5
An 'Orientalist' piece of fiction, written tongue in cheek, about the Raj at the height of its power in the late 19th century, with Holmes and Watson appropriating themselves leadership in several fields, whether it is politics, religion, medicine, or even cricket or mathematics.
The Great Detective and the intrepid Doctor meet not only captains of empire - such as Lord Ripon, Viceroy Lansdowne, Captain Younghusband and Dr. Ronald Ross - and modem Indian leaders - such as Motilal Nehru and Mohammed Ali Jinnah - but also Kipling's characters, Kim and Mowgli, embedded in everybody's collective literary memory. In passing, they expose the true identity of Jack the Ripper, send Professor Moriarty to an ashram, and foil General Dyer's attempt on Annie Besant's life.
It is 1888. As Central Asia reels under the intrigues of the Great Game, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson sail to India on a secret mission in the service of Empire. The accountant of a Hindu monastery has been brutally murdered, and the head priest is the prime suspect.
But as both detective and doctor soon discover, their Indian autumn has only just begun. They are plunged into a series of adventures that take them from Madras and Pondicherry to the princely courts of Hyderabad, the uncharted jungles of the Central Provinces, pine-scented Nainital, and the bustling metropolis of Calcutta.
Even as Holmes unravels sinister plots, Watson busies himself helping Ronald Ross track the malaria parasite and advising a schoolboy called Dhyan Chand on the finer points of hockey. The six stories in Holmes of the Raj are delightful vignettes of life and politics in colonial India.
Vithal Rajan breathes life into historical characters, as Holmes and Watson meet Lord Ripon, Madame Blavatsky, Francis Younghusband, Kipling and Kim himself, Vivekananda, Aurobindo, Ramanujan, Motilal Nehru, Tagore, Jinnah, and many, many others. Sprightly, colourful, and remarkably faithful to Conan Doyle, this is an unforgettable collection.