My eighteenth time participating in Shelf Control, a feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and is all about celebrating the books waiting on your TBR pile. To participate, simply pick one and write a post about it.
This week my pick is one of my most recent purchases, The Book Hunters of Katpadi by Pradeep Sebastian. I read a review of this one on the book pages of a magazine some months ago, and it sounded like my kind of thing. But somehow I forgot to note the name, and misplaced the magazine and that was that. Then last week, browsing through some on sale books online, I found it again and realised on reading the description that this was the same book, and so I promptly ordered it. The edition I got is a 2017 Hardback, published by Hachette India.
What it’s all about: So this one is all about Neelambari Adigal and her associate Kayal who run a rare bookstore in Chennai, called Biblio, specialising in modern Indian first editions. On a trip to Ooty, Kayal finds a manuscript thought to be authored by Sir Richard Francis Burton, and almost simultaneously a collection of priceless books, possibly from a three-hundred-year old library arrives at the bookstore for then to authenticate. The book is described as a bibliomystery but the blurb doesn’t say what that mystery might relate to (the manuscript and the secrets it holds, I assume); it simply mentions that these events fill the two ladies’ lives with ‘more bibliographic intrigue than they could have ever imagined’.
Why I want to read it: I have read a few other reviews of this (besides the one where I first noticed it), and while most people have pointed out that this isn’t quite a mystery proper, it does take one into the world of books, bookstores, first editions, and mysterious manuscripts, reason enough for me to give it a go. And as a bonus for me, I discovered after I got the book that it’s got illustrations (which I love in any book). Not a lot, but they’re there–such fun! And I love the cover. So let’s see how this turns out.
Have any of you heard of or read this one? What did you think of it? And what about mysteries related to old books, or interesting manuscripts? Any recommendations? Looking forward to hearing about them!