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Talbot Mundy


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C. I. D.

The author of "Jimgrim" and "King of the Khyber Rifles" tells the further adventures of that engaging character, Chullander Ghose in this story of the Criminal Investigation Department's activities in one of the few remaining independent states in India.  "I am a reprehensible and graceless babu named Chullander Ghose -- investigator," he explained to the young American, Dr. Copeland, as they shared dinner in a bleak little way-station under the downpour of an Indian monsoon.  Obese, with a tremendous belly, a loin cloth wrapped around his legs in Ghandiesque manner, an English hunting coat over his broad shoulders -- at first glance he did not look like the cleverest and most resourceful man in the C.I.D.  But, Dr. Copeland was to discover his true metal in a series of exciting and swiftly moving events that fast occurred.  A drunken Rajah seeking to poison his cousin, next heir to the throne; the priests of Kali and the strange woman who presided over their gruesome cult of death in the ruined temple in the jungle; Major Eustace Smith, the lazy, grouchy and pompous incumbent of the British Residency at Katchdullaub; "Hawkesey," forthright British ex-soldier in the Rajah's employ -- these are some of the figures who engaged the attention of Chullander Ghose.  With a master's touch, he plays upon their hatred, fear, greed, envy or affection to bring about his own ends and to work out the tangle he has been assigned to solve.  Talbot Mundy has done some of his best work in this novel which combines suspense, horror, humor, and wisdom.



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Hira Singh




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King of the Khyber Rifles

If you would go to the heart of the Indian hills, deep into the Khinjan caves, here up beyond the Khyber Pass, where many have gone but none returned, then go with the King of the Khyber Rifles.  There you will meet a mystery woman, who, smiling, rules the honey-combed caves that hang over the edge of Earth's Drink.  Perhaps you will shrink in dread of the Mullah, who has no hair or eyelashes, and guards the door.  In the grandeur, squalor, cruelty, charm and treachery of India, the India of teeming streets and magic palaces, Mr. Mundy has laid romance of perilous adventure in the secret service among the war-stirred, intriguing Northern border tribes.  Through the story runs the mystery of the dancing woman, who holds in the hollow of her hand the throbbings of the uneasy tribes.  In her choice lies salvation for India.  to see her dance is worth all the rest.  Before the crowds in the great cave, with the stalactites glittering under the flare of torches, she is like the dawn touching the distant peaks.  Like a blossom, she, the heart of the hills, holds her audience motionless until, springing upon an upraised shield, scarcely touching it with her naked toes, she leaps out of sight.  Not once does the story drag, and the author crowds bewildering romance, one upon another.



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OM, the Secret of Ahbor Valley

A story of mytery and adventure in India on the way to that strange valley, that secret, sacred part of the Himalayas, from which no white man has ever returned alive.  No previous work of fition has so boldly led into the unknown ways of Eastern life, the occult realms of Eastern thought, without losing the Western viewpoint.  Nothing previously written has so sympathetically shown the barrier between the East and West and the narrow way to Wisdom along which East and West may come together.  A Lama is the central figure -- a character unique and impressive, a whimsical, winning, compassionate, heroic gentleman, whose own story, told in his own words, on a crag by the roaring Brahmaputra, is as solemn as Hebrew prophecy, as absorbing as romance, as modern as a daily paper.



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Last RevisionApril 02, 2006 11:30 PM