Book Review : Death in the Tunnel by Miles Burton

 A devilishly ingenious conspiracy


When Sir Wilfred Saxonby is found shot dead in a first-class compartment of the 5 p.m. train from London’s Cannon Street to Stourford, the police initially feel it is suicide committed when the train passed through a tunnel. Further investigation by Inspector Arnold of Scotland Yard, with the help of his friend, Desmond Merrion, an amateur in criminology, reveal a plot of mind-boggling conspiracy. Thus a murder investigation begins.

This story focuses primarily on how the crime was committed to find the culprit. The theories are formulated by Merrion for Arnold to follow up.

It’s like one of those double-barrelled equations, when as soon as you know the value of x, you can find the value of y, and vice versa.

Using this postulation of x and y and with the assumption of suspects A and B, the genius of a plot unfolds.

This book was originally published in 1936, in the era of Agatha Christie. Miles Burton is one of the pseudonyms used by Cecil John Street(1884-1965). If you are a Christie fan, you will find the writing of Street much different. This book does not delve into the human psyche to understand the characters’ motivation. It digs into creating a hypothesis to reconstruct the sequence of events that may have supposedly occurred eventually leading to the death of Sir Saxonby, to find the culprits. If you know how it was done, then its easy to find who could have done it by gathering relevant evidence. The book consists of long narrations in the form of the thoughts of the two investigators where they try to figure out the rigmarole of the conspiracy. Devising a theory and finding the evidence to support it, is the mechanism used by them. Readers are transported back in times of steam engines and telegrams. If you are a fan of detective fiction, this British Library Crime Classic is a must read.

Using Kindle Unlimited, you can read this eBook for free.



On my shelf in June 2016


“I owe everything I am and everything I will ever be to books.” ― Gary Paulsen, Shelf Life: Stories by the Book


My stack of mysteries for June 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!!!


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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.


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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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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.


Book Review: In the Fog by John Meany


Title: In the Fog (A Murder Mystery)

Author: John Meany

Genre: Mystery


Frank and Dora Parker, a retired, elderly couple was out fishing in the nearby Lake Wakanda, as the fog rolls down from the mountains. On the lakeshore, Frank sees a girl who looks like Cameron Diaz, emerge from the woods. She is soaking wet with a knife in her hand. Frank tries to call her aloud to see if she needs any help but she can’t hear him. A man appears with her who has a mustache like Adolf Hitler and he takes the knife from the girl. He then stabs an unmoving object what appears from afar, to be a body wearing red jogging suit. Together they drag the body, weigh it down with sand bags, flip it into the boat and dump it in the water. Frank keeps telling Dora about what he sees.  Dora, struggles to see through the thick fog but even with the help of binoculars, she is unable to see any person around them. She feels Frank’s mind is failing due to Alzheimer’s and wonders if he has once again taken to drinking.

To Dora’s humiliation, Frank goes to the Police Station to report the incident. The police initially do not believe in Frank’s story. They consider him to be a senile old man. To his dismay, Frank turns out to be the primary suspect when a little later a skeleton is pulled out of the lake with the red jogging outfit on it. The time element according to the police doesn’t match, as the body cannot decompose so rapidly. This is where the plot thickens.

Seventy nine year old Frank suffering from Alzheimer’s reminds me of my father who suffered a similar fate in terms of the illness. I could relate to Dora’s plight and feelings, as I understand how it feels to be a family member of an Alzheimer’s patient.

This is one solid mystery. The plot is well developed and intriguing. Editing could be better but for a good mystery lover, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read. It held my interest to the very end of the book.

I highly recommend this heart-wrenching story.


Blogger Recognition Award


A special thank you to The Virtual Café for nominating me for Blogger Recognition Award. I love reading the café encounters.

I am super glad to receive this award for the first time.


Here are the rules of the Blogger Recognition Award:

Rule 1: Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.

Rule 2: Provide a link to the award creator.

Rule 3: Attach the award to your post.

Rule4: Nominate fifteen other bloggers, excluding yourself and the person who nominated you.

Rule 5: Write a brief story of how you started your blog.

Rule 6: A piece or two of advice to new bloggers.

Rule 7: Comment on the blogs you have named here to let them you have nominated them.


How I started my blog: 

I tried blogging several times and ended up deleting the blogs, as they seemed to have no specific purpose till the time I thought of taking up my passion and love for writing seriously. Every thing around us can be a source of inspiration if we look at it closely enough and strive for that little “Something More” in life. That’s how Femme Time initiated.


Advice to new bloggers:

Write with a specific purpose in mind else we tend to lose focus after sometime if we keep it too random.


My nominees:

Masta Mejwani

Chaotic Soul

Persona Marque

Nerds Akhi

Meenas Poem


Surbhi Sarna

Her concealed thoughts

Rhea’s Image


Neel The Muse

Book Owl


Happy blogging to all my fellow bloggers.



On my shelf in January 2016

Happy New Year 

Wishing all my readers a fantastic 2016. There’s a lot more to read and a lot more to write. So starting off my first post of 2016 with my To-Be-Read pile.

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison


My stack of cozy mysteries for January 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!!!


10 Things I Learned While Writing the First Draft.


It’s been 15 days since I started working on my first draft for the novella that I intend to write and publish. Here are the few things I learned in this journey that has just begun and this draft is my first step towards the huge task that I have taken up:

  1. Research is essential before starting the first draft and Google is our best friend.
  2. Plot outline helps eliminate the writer’s block.
  3. Show; don’t tell strategy didn’t work with my first draft. At first I used Tell; don’t show strategy to complete the raw draft else I would be stuck in the first chapter forever. I plan to Show, not tell, in my second draft.
  4. I had to curb my urge to edit the draft as I wrote. Don’t look back was the mantra I told myself over and over again.
  5. The character sketches may change as we advance in our story.
  6. New characters can be introduced in the story that are non-existent in the plot outline to make the story more convincing.
  7. Keep it short; we can weave the elaborate scenes and dialogues in the second draft.
  8. Friends can be helpful in finding loopholes in the outline of the story told so far. We can tell them the story even over the phone to get their feedback or suggestions. It helps.
  9. Reading our first draft may make us feel elated about completing the first milestone. At the same time we may feel that it’s the worst piece of work we have ever read. Don’t fret. A lot is yet to be done.
  10. This is just the beginning. The real work starts after completion of the first draft. There’s still a long way to go.

I have promised myself a week long break after the first draft.

Till then, happy reading and happy writing!!! 🙂


Life is Beautiful



Desires of the distant past,

are fulfilled joys today.

Gone are the days of worry,

they are swept far, far away.


The promise of the future,

the wishes of the heart,

I watched my dreams unfold

and it was just the start.


Rewards of patience reaped

when the time was right.

Life was never so beautiful,

the world was never so bright.