The Bride, Harimohan Jha, translated from the Maithili by Lalit Kumar

Thirteen-year-old Buchia is quick-witted and pleasant-looking, but in the competitive marriage mart of Bihar, her family needs to be resourceful and wily to find the right groom to uphold their pride. When a match is made with CC Mishra, English educated and recently graduated from Banaras Hindu University, everyone believes that a happy ending is near. But unknownst to them, the groom dreams of a partner who writes poetry and plays tennis and is more-or-less a carbon copy of the film star Devika Rani. And when he discovers that his new wife cannot even recognise the letters of the alphabet, their future begins to look less rosy.

If I Could Tell You, Soumya Bhattacharya

Originally published in 2009, this re-released novel sees an unnamed narrator write a series of letters to his daughter, explaining how his life has gone wrong. The letters, spanning the narrator’s life in India and England, and having as their unwavering focus his daughter and the relationship between them, speak of hopes unfulfilled, of promises broken.

This is a story about how luck and chance and a twist in events can irrevocably alter our lives, how love can lead to catastrophe, and, ultimately, a story about the new India where the economy can make, and then break a man who always wanted only to be no more – and no less – than a writer.

All the Right People, Priyanka R Khanna

Tara-Shaan-Aria. Nearly 20 years ago in a classroom in Mumbai, three young girls formed a tight knit trio that navigated school and university, first loves, and fresh starts. But when Tara’s father, Mohan Mehta, a prominent businessman, hits the headlines for the wrong reasons, this friendship comes under the scanner. Tara is a social media star who is left alone to pick up the pieces of the only life she knows.

As the daughter of a billionaire industrialist, in Aria Mistry’s world, nothing short of perfection will do. Her father’s pride and joy, she’s always lived by the rules. When she meets Bollywood star Rohan Rawal, he challenges everything she’s been raised to believe. Will she choose to follow her head or her heart?

Delhi party girl by night and a leading politician’s dutiful daughter by day, Shaan Singh knows which role to play to get her own way. Feisty and fiercely intelligent, she has political aspirations of her own. But when her parents force her into marriage for strategic gain, how far will she fight to hold onto her freedom? Or will she give in?

Trinoyoni: The Slaughterer of Sonagachi, Moitrayee Bhaduri

It’s the 1870s, and Calcutta is bustling with commerce and colonialism. A sea of changes has been ushered in by the relatively new British Raj, which has led to migrants from all over India filling up the city with their hopes and dreams. Amongst these struggling masses is a serial killer on the prowl. Corpses of sex-workers start turning up at ponds and in the bylanes of Sonagachi, Calcutta’s famed pleasure district, choked to death and stripped of all their ornaments. Fear has gripped the city and the nascent police department seems to be chasing shadows.

This is the story of Trinoyoni Debi: a sensuous seductress with a silver tongue and a love for all things shiny. But behind those eager eyes lurks a savagery that has made Trinoyoni the stuff of legends. How could such a breath-taking beauty be so terrifying and is there anyone who can stop her?

The Swaraj Spy, Vijay Balan

Kumar Nair is dismissed from a colonial paramilitary unit for refusing to disperse unarmed women agitating for India’s independence. When the Great Depression destroys his fledgling business, he moves to Singapore for a fresh start, but the Second World War breaks out.

After Singapore falls, he joins a secret spy school, created by the Japanese intelligence and the rebel Indian National Army to defeat the British and free India. When a double agent betrays several cadets, Kumar is sent on a rescue mission. Caught in a hall of mirrors, can he cross wartime borders, rescue captured agents and return to his young wife in Malabar?

Barabanki: The Professor, the Pandit and the Policeman, Anuj Tiwari

Superintendent of Police Naveen Mishra and his storyteller colleague sub-inspector Awasthi are
called to investigate the death of a student at the Indian Engineering College, Lucknow. Little do
they expect their investigation to uncover a connection with a crime nexus in the heartland of
Uttar Pradesh. As the plot thickens, Jayanti, who is a student at the college, and Raghav, an alumnus of the college and now successful author, find themselves entangled with the investigation. Their reunion after three years is overshadowed by the mysterious death of Jayanti’s father and linked to the seemingly harmless professor at the college, Ansari.

Naveen and Awasthi navigate a corrupt system, enemy bullets, and a racket in Barabanki that can jeopardise the health of the entire nation.

The Haunting of Delhi City: Tales of the Supernatural, Jatin Bhasin and Suparna Chawla Bhasin

We know Delhi for its rich cultural tapestry, history, and monuments. We love it for its food – the kebabs, chole kulche, golgappe, and chaat. But what do we know about the dark shadows that lurk in its all-too-familiar haunts-the arcades of Connaught Place, the galis of Mehrauli, the lawns of Lutyens’ Delhi, or the pillars and arches of tombs in Hauz Khas?

The stories in The Haunting of Delhi City are set in the Delhi that we think we know well, but unknowingly share with beings of another world. Exquisitely chilling, each of these tales holds a piece of the city and its people – especially the ghosts.