Blog Archive

Click on one of the below to be taken to that section of my blog archive:

General blogs: cultural appropriation, virtue signalling

Great Indian Novels – 10 reviews

Inside India: 50 short articles covering India’s past, present and future

Blogs about creative writing

Blogs about crime and literary festivals

Blogs about literacy and libraries


Cultural Appropriation (part 1): why people need to get a grip

Cultural Appropriation (part 2): when authors crash and burn

Cultural Appropriation (part 3): when authors get it right

Virtue Signalling: what is it exactly and is it even real?

Chilled Monkey Brains and Snake Surprise: when popular films promote racial stereotypes

Race Reports, George Floyd, and John Grisham’s A Time to Kill

Am I brown enough?

Cancelling Enid Blyton and Chimamanda’s “It Is Obscene” essay – is it possible to have a balanced discussion?

A simple act of kindness

DO judge a book by its cover

Inside India: 50 short articles covering India’s past, present and future

Inside India #1: The Indus Valley Civilisation – India’s oldest organised society

Inside India #2: Ashoka the Great – from mass murderer to Buddhist

Inside India #3: Marco Polo in India

Inside India #4: The Peacock Throne – seat of Mughal Emperors

Inside India #5: The Spice Jews of India

Inside India #6: Thug Life – India’s Thuggee cult, history’s most prolific serial killers

Inside India #7: Kashmir – paradise on Earth?

Inside India #8: The curse of the Koh-i-noor Diamond

Inside India #9: India’s greatest queens

Inside India #10: The $4m Gaitonde – India’s most expensive painting

Inside India #11: A brief history of Indian spices

Inside India #12: The handstand scorpion – how yoga became a global phenomenon

Inside India #13: The Queen in India… Gaffes, snubs, pageantry, and political intrigue

Inside India #14: India’s tea plantations and why there’s no such thing as chai tea

Inside India #15: India’s railways – nostalgia, bloodshed, and records

Inside India #16: India’s Freemasons – ritual, mystery, and Imperial legacy

Inside India #17: Simla – summer capital of the Raj

Inside India #18: Eating the dead – the Parsees of India

Inside India #19: Christian missionaries in India – churches, cartridges, and the clap

Inside India #20: The truth about the Black Hole of Calcutta

Inside India #21: The Bombay Dog Riots

Inside India #22: The Indian Mutiny – how a bullet cartridge ignited a rebellion

Inside India #23: When Tagore met Einstein – India’s Nobel Prize-winning poet meets the great scientist

Inside India #24: Mumbai’s The Divine Comedy – the treasure for which Mussolini offered £1m

Inside India #25: The Indians who invented fingerprint classification

Inside India #26 – Red India: Communism on the subcontinent

Inside India #27: Ramanujan: the man who dreamed of infinity

Inside India #28: The forgotten fallen – Soldiers of the subcontinent in WW1

Inside India #29 : The Amritsar Massacre – a mass murder that ignited a revolution

Inside India #30: Older, bigger and brasher than Hollywood – India’s film industry

Inside India #31: Gandhi’s Salt March – bringing down an empire with a handful of salt

Inside India #32: The Indo-German Conspiracy in WW1

Inside India #33: India’s Tiger Legion – when Indian soldiers fought in the German army

Inside India #34: The Ghosts of Partition

Inside India #35: Killing Gandhi – the man who assassinated the Mahatma

Inside India #36: India after Independence – Nehru’s defining decade

Inside India #37: Bombay’s jazz era

Inside India #38: India’s billion dollar temple treasure and its cobra guardians

Inside India #39: The Headhunters of Nagaland

Inside India #40: The Emergency Years

Inside India #41: From Bombay to Mumbai: India’s city of dreams

Inside India #42: Slumdogs and skyscrapers – what Danny Boyle got wrong about Mumbai’s slums

Inside India #43: “Hello, my name is Dave” – India’s call centre phenomenon

Inside India #44: Drought, suicide and Artificial Intelligence – the plight of India’s farmers 

Great Indian Novels

Great Indian Novels #1 – A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Great Indian Novels #2 – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Great Indian Novels #3 – Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Great Indian Novels #4 – The White Tiger by Arvind Adiga

Great Indian Novels #5 – The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

Great Indian Novels #6 – The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Great Indian Novels #7 – A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

Great Indian Novels #8: – Sacred Games by Vikram Chanda

Great Indian Novels #9: – A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

Great Indian Novels #10: – Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh

Blogs about how to improve your creative writing

Is this a dagger I see before me? Lessons from 30 years of writing

When History brings time to a standstill…

Genesis: where do book ideas come from?
Overcoming writer’s block – the Holy Grail of Writerdom
Lessons from Harper Lee – how to write that all important second novel

Do writers need a special place to write

Forensic science and police procedure – how the investigative procedure really works

Blogs about crime festivals and literary festivals

Theakston’s at Harrogate: a criminally good crime writing festival

Granite Noir – Aberdeen’s festival of firsts
A paean to Theakston’s Old Peculiar Crime Festival 
Bradford Literature Festival – a unique cultural experience 
Emirates Literary Festival Dubai – a desert extravaganza 
How to make the most of World Book Day
New Year’s Resolutions for writers (or how not to be a dick at networking events)

Blogs about literacy, reading and libraries

Librarians – the real Guardians of the Galaxy
Indepdendent Bookshop Week – why buying local can make you happy
The joys and woes of the independent bookseller