10 Books Every Mystery Lover Should Read

Being an ardent mystery lover, I chose to list out the ten books every mystery lover should read. It is not easy to choose just 10 of them from this vast genre. If you haven’t read them yet, give them a try. You won’t be disappointed.

Here are my recommendations:



The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

Bury This by Andrea Portes

The Silent Wife by A. S. A. Harrison

And Then There were None by Agatha Christie



Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James

The Circular Staircase, Mary Roberts Rinehart

In The Woods, Tana French


Well, if you love suspense and mystery, I am sure you will have a hard time to stop yourself from flipping straight to the last page and see what happens.

Happy Reading Guys!!!


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Limerick Challenge Week #15 – Dark




Here’s my limerick for Week #15.

Week #15 prompt: Dark


He looked down into the dark abyss,

Long ago, he ceased to exist.

Get out of the grind,

Nudged his mind,

You were not born to die like this.


To participate in this limerick challenge, visit the blog – Mind and Life Matters.


Keep in touchFacebook | Twitter | Goodreads






From First to the Second Draft

If I ever thought that writing the first draft was a difficult task, I was in for a surprise. Harder ordeals await further. My first draft made me cringe. I couldn’t bear to read it.

But some things are needed to be done. So I pushed myself to read it once. I mean read it till the very end without a pause to edit it. The temptation to edit it straightaway was very hard to resist.



Here are some observations made while going through my first draft:

The outline I had originally plotted had changed. I mean it had changed a lot.

My story had several plot holes, which glared right back at me.

The characters of my story, though perfectly developed in my mind, didn’t look well etched in my draft.

The scenes required a little more description for the reader to visualize it the way I intended them to.

Some things were repeated in more than two chapters.

I had paid a lot of attention to some characters and some were ignored.

The end of the story seemed a little abrupt or hurried, as if I were just trying to get it over with.


Having made all the above observation, I thought of starting off with my second draft. For the first few days, I just didn’t know how or where to start from.

Then I came up with a plan. Here it is:

First, using the application, Calibre, I converted the first draft from a Word document into a  .mobi format.

I transferred the .mobi file to my mobile phone to read it on Kindle.

Then I read the entire story and while doing so, I highlighted the areas that needed my immediate attention.

I marked those areas with a small note of what needs to be done.

Then I reached back to my Word document on the laptop and used the ‘track change’ option.

Finally, I started with my second draft.


After every new scene that I added, I had to go back and read it to see the effect of it on the overall draft or the chapter. It was very exhausting.

Yet if we persist and see through the draft till the end, we learn many new things that the first draft hadn’t taught us.


Here are some things I learned while writing the second draft:

We desperately need beta readers right from the end of the first draft to let us know if the story is plausible in the first place and to point out some glaring discrepancies in the plot that escape our eyes in spite of repeated re-reads.

At least for the first timers, second draft is still not the phase where we can afford to start the editing, no matter how much we crave for it.

Rewriting the scenes can be cumbersome if we need to change the story line even slightly.

Adding new characters, if any, in the story while writing the second draft can create a herculean task to include the character in the entire sequence of the story and make us feel as if we are back to writing our first draft.

Not a single plot hole should remain unplugged by the end of the second draft.

Inter-weaving the sub-plots together is essential.

We need to check for any sequence of events in the story that needs to be relocated to another chapter to create better impact.

Now is also the time to add more emotional depth into the story.

Again, you need fresh pair of eyes to read the draft and give you a perspective and feedback from the readers point of view to proceed to the third draft which after editing, may hopefully turn out to be your manuscript.


This was my journey through the second draft. Now I wait for my beta readers to give me some valuable feedback. Till then I am on a break. I think I earned it.


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Featured: Bound by Life by Arpita Pramanick

The e-book Bound by Life by Arpita Pramanick is free on Amazon from April 8th – April 12th.

Bound by LifeHere’s the link to download : Bound by Life


Bound by Life is the first book by Arpita Pramanick. It contains ten short stories.

The title story is epistolary. An old man writes a letter to his son before leaving for an old age home. Set in the backdrop of the modern nuclear family, the story contains references to the immigrant experiences of those who came to India from the then East-Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) to escape the wrath of the communal riots post-Indian independence.

One of the stories, I am Mala, has been previously published on the eFiction magazine. I am Mala is the tragic tale of a young woman who becomes the victim of the dogmatic caste system.

The protagonist of The Silent Victim, Deepa, has traumatic past. She just started college and is struggling badly with androphobia. Will she be able overcome her past and lead a normal life?

Arpita delves into the fabric of Indian life – its ethics, values, customs and superstitions. Her characters belong to different walks of life. From tea-vendors on the pavements of Salt Lake, a leading IT hub in West Bengal (Manorama Tea Stall) to the young village boy performing in a circus in a city (The Last Show) – everyone finds a place in Bound by Life.

The stories are simple tales of day-to-day lives of the common man. It is this simplicity that adds beauty to this collection.

Available on Amazon.


Connect with Arpita: Blog | Facebook


10 Blog Post Ideas

Shilpa Niraj

I have been asked by many people lately to share a few ideas as to what exactly can a new blogger blog about if they wish to start a blog. The most difficult question they seem to face is to find a theme for a blog. By theme, I do not mean the appearance of the blog. To come up with new posts regularly, one needs a theme to be consistent in the topic selection for each post. Here are some ideas that can help form a consistent source of blog posts.

10 blog post ideas:

  •  Reviews

Write stellar reviews for any or all of the following:

* Book

* Movie

* Restaurant

  • Fiction

Posting fiction can be a great way to display our work as a writer’s portfolio. We can choose any or all of the following:

* Short Story

* Flash Fiction (not more than 1000 words)

* Drabble (100 words)

  • Poetry

Choose a favorite form of poetry to make a blog post:

* Limerick (5 lines)

* Octaves (8 lines)

* Free Verse

  • Lists

Compile a list of top 10, 20, 50 things about a specific topic that would be useful the the readers.

  • Photo posts

A picture could be better than words, choose any of the following to make a blog post:

* Photo of the day

* Photo of the week

* Photo story

  • Inspiring quotes

Share some motivational and inspiring quotes on a particular topic in the form of a blog post.

  • Recipes

This is a great way to display our culinary skills to the world.

  • Travelogue

Travel experiences can make a wonderful blog post with some fantastic pictures of the destinations we have been to.

  • How to

DIY posts can be a great help to people.

  • Interviews

Posting interviews of people from our field or genre of work is a great way to connect with them and get more traffic to the blog.


Each idea can be a niche theme of the blog or a few ideas can be clubbed together to form categories for the menu options. This can help to create a platform to showcase the expertise of the blogger and also serve as a portfolio of work.


On my shelf in April 2016


“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft


My stack of mysteries for April 2016


All these books and many more are available on Amazon.

Get a Kindle Unlimited subscription on Amazon to read these books for free.

Happy Reading Guys!!!


Keep up with meFacebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Limerick Challenge Week #12 – Dream

Week #12 Prompt – Dream


Hold on to what you believe,

For you are what you perceive.

Eyes agleam

With a splendid dream.

She knew there’s yet a lot to achieve.


To participate in the Limerick Poetry Challenge, visit the blog- Mind and Life Matters.


Limerick Challenge Week #11 – Power


Hello friends,

Here’s my entry to the Limerick Challenge this week.

Week #11 Prompt: Power


In this dire need of the hour,

Seek solace from the divine power.

To absolve the sin,

Said a voice within,

Surrender yourself to the holy bower.



To participate in this challenge, visit Mind and Life Matters.


Limerick Challenge Week #10 – Whisper

Hello Readers,

I am back with a limerick.

Week #10 prompt – Whisper


She stood alone in nostalgic gloom

Amidst the flowers in full bloom.

Do not weep

For a love so deep,

Came a gentle whisper from the tomb.


To participate in the challenge, visit the blog- Mind and Life Matters.


Limerick Challenge Week #9 – Birth




Its time for a Limerick.

Week #9 prompt: Birth

This time I choose to go with a synonym, Dawn.


Do not be sad and withdrawn.

Soon the troubles will all be gone.

Don’t surrender,

Just remember

That each day is a brand new dawn.



To participate in the Limerick Challenge, visit the blog- Mind and Life Matters.


Book Review: 7 Mystery & Suspense Short Stories by J. A. Menzies


Author: J. A. Menzies

Genre: Mystery

Publisher: MurderWillOut Mysteries

Publication Year: 2016

ISBN: 9781927692226

I have read a couple of books written by author J. A. Menzies, Shadow of a Butterfly – The Case of the Harmless Old Woman and Shaded Light – The Case of The Tactless Trophy Wife and I must say that I am a fan of her mysteries. Her new release is a collection of stories – 7 Mystery & Suspense Short Stories. With each story, the author has written a note as to where the idea of the story initiated in her mind and how the story developed.

These are seven well-crafted, riveting mysteries that keep the readers guessing.

The first story Revenge So Sweet is full of intriguing twists and turns so much so that when I felt I know what would happen next, the story takes another turn. It is about a middle-aged woman Beth who is on a mission of revenge.

Just out for a drive is a tale of a young hitchhiker who is picked up by an old man with a mission.

They Can’t Take That Away From Me is a story about a troubled young man, who on his 21st birthday, realizes who and what he is.

Dying with Things Unsaid is a story of a fifty-four-year-old dying woman, Mary Kline. She realizes that she needs to tell her children about a crime she’s kept hidden for many years.

The Day Time Stood Still is about a real estate agent, who discovers something from her past when she pays a visit to a house she’s agreed to sell.

Living on the Edge is a tale of four men awaiting the end in a palliative care ward of a hospital.

The Case of the Sneezing Accountant is a short police procedural mystery. If not for a fortunate sneeze, there could have been a murder. Detective Paul Manziuk and his partner Jacquie Ryan have to decide which of the four suspects threw the knife.

The plot ideas of the seven stories are diverse and interesting.

I will say that not even one of the short stories had me anticipating the actual ending, a very fine recommendation in itself. The stories will keep you absorbed and entertained.

This book is indeed a real treat for all the intrigue enthusiasts!


To know more about the author and her books, visit her website: http://jamenzies.com/.



**** I received a free eARC of this book from the author. The views expressed here are my own and unbiased.



On my shelf in March 2016


“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” ― Ernest Hemingway


My stack of cozy mysteries for March 2016



All these books and many more are available on Amazon.

Get a Kindle Unlimited subscription on Amazon to read these books for free.

Happy Reading Guys!!!


Limerick Challenge Week #8 – Lost


Hello Readers,

Its time for another Limerick.
Week #8 Prompt: Lost


There is no way to rewind,

A moment that is lost in time.

Life is just a test,

 Lets give it our best.

Coz’, its all about how we rise and shine.


To participate, check out the Challenge hosted by Rashmi on Mind and Life Matters.