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5 thoughts on “Jack the Lady Killer

  1. says:

    I am sad I cannot in good conscience score this higher And to be honest the third star is for effortHRF Keating is a successful crime writer who after reading Vikram Seth’s magnificent The Golden Gate wholly written in Onegin stanzas decided to write his next novel in this incredibly restricting verse scheme You have to admire the guy for tryingBut Pushkin’s sonnet form fourteen iambic tetrameters with the rhyme scheme aBaBccDDeFFeGG where the lowercase letters represent feminine endings ie with an additional unstressed syllable and the uppercase representing masculine ones is one of the hardest known to menHRF tells us in the introduction that he soon gave up on trying to alternate the feminine and masculine rhymes that was just too hard But the meter is often not respected either And here and there the rhymes are pretty dodgy as wellBut hey we are dealing with a crime novel here not with a poetic meditation on life love and death as is The Golden Gate Maybe this slightly clunky vehicle is good enough to carry a story of murder in the tropics? Uh uhMr Keating did not spend much time on creating a plot I could tell you the whole story – I won’t – in thirty seconds flatThe background I can do in five and will young man in India learns that the British rulers are awful hypocritesAn almost non existent plot and one basic idea make for repetitive storytelling and boring readingWhile The Golden Gate should be enjoyed by anyone with half a brain a modicum of emotion and an iota of feeling for meter and rhyme this effort is in no way comparable


  2. says:

    I think for many this could be rated higher than 3 stars I am not a fan of poetry but my challenge group has a poetry task each April for National Poetry Month so I thought I would try this novel in verseWritten by an award winning mystery author a mystery novel in verse is apparently a rare item It was cleverly done and kept me reading The rhymes were better executed than the mystery which I guessed before I was midwayI learned something in the prologue The rhyming pattern in this was the same as that of Eugene Onegin by Pushkin which I expect to try one day


  3. says:

    All Keating’s books are grand and his work as a critic fills me with awe but this small volume set in 1930s Punjab is written in verse


  4. says:

    Detectives in verse you ask?Of course and this is newHe still must find the clueand then complete his taskVikram Seth A Suitable Boydid the first as far as we know novel in verse and H R F Keating was fascinated by it He is commonly known as the author of the seemingly unending and for me that's great series concerning Inspector Ghote mysteries set in India So this is newIt's done well but I just don't like the verse It was worth a try


  5. says:

    A rhyme crime about a 19 year old who arrives in the Punjab in 1935 with his love of Home stiff upper lip and sense of British duty fully present Will they last?


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Jack the Lady Killer The Punjab in India 1935 The sub continent under the Raj Fresh from his English boarding school Jack Steele is a new recruit to the Indian Imperial Police and soon begins to acuire the attitudes of old India hands towards the people under their rule Only a few months into his posting Jack has to conduct a murder investigation when one of the British community at his Station the sexually rapacious widow Milly Marchbanks is found strangled To Jack's consternation the only clue implicates a member of the Briton's Club But which one While Jack goes round and round in circles his self effacing Indian sergeant Bulaki Ram discreetly nudges him along the way he needs to goH R F Keating is best known for his long series of Inspector Ghote mysteries set in India but Jack the Lady Killer is something completely different as well as completely unexpected It is one of the rarest forms known to literature a detective novel in verse Inspired by Vikram Seth's brilliantly successful revival of the verse novel in The Golden Gate Keating develops his rhyme crime in nearly 300 fourteen line stanzas During a writing career spanning forty years Keating has won many honours most notably the award of the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1996 for a lifetime's achievement Since 1985 he has been President of the Detection Club in succession to some of the greats of British crime fiction G K Chesterton Dorothy L Sayers Agatha Christie and Julian Symons

  • Paperback
  • 164 pages
  • Jack the Lady Killer
  • H.R.F. Keating
  • English
  • 10 October 2016
  • 9781890208240