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March 21, 2021
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As an e-book, I think the cover should have been more interesting.  Though the cover is good for the first two stories which include a tree, it doesn’t really suit the third one. Perhaps, the cover picture could be a female mythological figure or the author’s own imaginary creature considering that all the tales included them.


Name: Strangely Familiar Tales
Author: Vijayalakshmi Harish
Format: Softcopy
Number of pages: 55
Availability: Pothi Store (Buy it here)
Rating: 4/5


I was quite interested in the title and wondered what the strange tales were all about. But, then I guess, people in the world are strange and strange people do strange things, so, the title was quite good for the stories written in this book. But, just in case the author decides to write some more tales, I guess the apt title for this book should have been ‘Lakshmi’s Strangely Familiar Tales – Part 1’ or the like. It would have a personal touch and create a sequence/collection for all her books with strange tales.


The author has written in Indian-English. Therefore, this book can be enjoyed by an Indian or someone who knows India well, unless, they sit with Google. I did not find any grammatical errors and was very happy about it.


There were none available but the author did give warnings and introductions about what was to be expected in her book. I quite liked that. She was frank, yet humble.

If you are unaware of Hindu mythology, sit with Google by your side. Thanks to India’s Most Haunted, I know what a yakshi is now.

I also liked that the author referred her readers to a few books written by other authors.


After every tale, the author has mentioned her sources of inspiration for these stories. It gives a good insight about the story-line and meaning, so, that readers can understand the book better.

*A Fishy Affair*

From the beginning, I connected with the protagonist when she mentioned that, contrary to what people say, writing does not bring in the sort of money needed to survive in a city. I slipped into an imaginary world where, instead of a blogger, I was a detective, like her, and received those cheques with an impressive number of zeros on them. But, then the story came to an end and my bubble popped. It had quite a satisfying end though.

This story was totally my type of read. It included mystery, crime, suspense, detective work and some relationship gossip. In short, it was about love that turned sour due to politics and ego. You will enjoy it.

*Bitter Fruit*

This was a mysterious story till the end, and yet quite interesting. I found many things to ponder on from it.

It began with the thoughts of a newly-wed orphan girl who was forced into marriage to a man 20 years older than her. After reading her fate, I hope parents realize that our lives are short and we should take care of ourselves and be there for our kids for as long as we can, because you never know how our friends and family will treat our kids when we are gone. It’s a cruel world out there.

This story also reminds us to live in the present and be thankful and cherish what we have instead of brooding over what we have lost, or what we do not have.

*A Definition of Evil*

To read this tale, I had to push myself through the beginning. It was filled with weretigers, nagins and yoginis. I had to read the story once again to understand what was happening. It becomes better only towards the end. We learn here that all culprits are not evil. Sometimes, the victims are the evil ones with power.


I did not find any areas for improvement. But, I would love to suggest that the author write more stories and release a big fat hardcopy which could be a collection of all her strange tales.


I felt that the book could have had more stories. But, still, I enjoyed reading the ones already in it.

This is a part of the Blogchatter Review Program.

Check out other books that I have read HERE.

Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva
Cindy D'Silva, besides being a mother of two angels, is a belly dancer, writer and photographer. She loves partying, bowling and eating sushi. There is a detailed biography about her on the ABOUT ME page in case you would like to know more. :) You can like and follow her Facebook page to get all updates on the latest blogs and more:


  1. Sakshi Varma says:

    I would agree that 3 stories is a bit less for a book. I am sure I would be totally unsatisfied at the end of the book and hungry for more strange tales!

  2. Amrit Kaur says:

    I like such books which are a mixture of crime, detective, etc. Also glad to know author was straightforward yet humble. It shows that the author wants to send across right message through writings

  3. Ishieta says:

    Not all books always have the best cover page or all fabulous stories. but sometimes they have that one story which really touches your heart and makes it worth it to have picked up that book!

  4. It is said that we should not judge a book by its cover but I agree. This cover would put me off too. Nonetheless the story lines are impeccable.

  5. The story lines seem nice. Thanks for introducing the book to us. A book with a plot as powerful as this must be read for sure…

  6. Dr Bushra says:

    Yes there could have been more stories. Though it’s very good that the author has shared source of inspiration and stuff. Seems like a nice read!

  7. Shwet says:

    I really like the Indian slang in books and I connect with it. I do feel that the book cover could be more enticing. I know I should not judge a book by it’s cover but visually appealing cover will catch your attention to know more about it in detail in the first place! Your review is amazing. I am intrigued and want to read the book soon!

  8. Rakhi Parsai says:

    That is such an honest review of the book Cindy. I love the way you mention all the details of the book and make it easy for the reader to make an informed decision about which book to buy or not. I am intrigued by the second one in this Bitter Fruit and would love to get hold of this book to read all the three mentioned by you here.

  9. The book seems to have 3 interesting stories and I too agree that the cover could have been better. Frankly, If I had not read the review or known anything about thsi book, I would have not bought it after looking at the cover. The stories seem to be interesting and the book surely makes a good read.

  10. Milan Singhal says:

    The fishy affair sounds interesting, The book is written in indian english , making it relatable; so it would make an interesting read.

  11. This book sounds like it will be right up my sleeve! I love a delicious mystery novel – perfect for year-round entertainment reading. Thanks for sharing your review!

  12. Your review has certainly given me plenty to read on weekends. Loved your detailed analysis of the title of the book. Honestly, it took me a while to understand.Would also like to check on your review for the book ‘India’s Most Haunted.’

  13. Haha like you I too get carried away to the author’s world if the book is good. This is not the genre i prefer yet you didevoke my interest in it

  14. Varsh says:

    This book has most of the elements that I like to enjoy in a book. Indian English is interesting to read at times. I like Bitter Fruit amongst these.

  15. Neha Tambe says:

    Seems like an interesting book to read. I like books with mythology twists so this might be interesting and a quick read as well.

  16. Ruchi Verma says:

    I really feel that this book got great stories, but your style of reviewing it is simply made me feel to grab this book and read the stories myself now. Thanks for sharing!!

  17. Alpana Deo says:

    mystery, crime, suspense, detective work and some relationship gossip-that’s my type. Starting the book review with the book cover is a good idea.

  18. I also feel that cover page of this e book would have been better. cover page is something that create first good impression. I really like your review style and it is impressive that you have shared all tiny details about book as per your reading experience. among all these, “Bitter fruit” story sounds most interesting to me. would love to give it a try.

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