On the TV show “Local Authors with Kameel Nasr,” I had the pleasure of interviewing Susan Oliskew, a tall, dignified blond who fell in love with India in her youth and writes mysteries based in India.
I had met Susan on a couple of occasions, and I bought her first book in the India cozy mystery series. I could tell right away that she was an experienced writer. In fact, she told me on the show that she had begun writing as a child, and before the India mystery series, which featured a feisty young Indian-American woman named Anita as the protagonist, she had written a local mystery series.
Susan trained as an academic. Her love of India led her to study for a PhD in Asian Studies, where she learned Sanskrit.
I was in the part of India that she writes about, the state of Kerala, right in the south, and I tried to imagine this tall fair-skinned American walking the streets there. But in Kerala, which has a mixture of Hindu, Muslim, Christian, and even a small Jewish community, everyone lives comfortably side by side. This is not true in other parts of India, and certainly not true in our world in general.
So, if you’re looking to read about somewhere different, this book is highly recommended.