Re: RARA-AVIS: Information on old non-Western detectives

From: Diane Trap (
Date: 17 May 2000

> Is there a good source for information on non-Western
> detectives and mysteries written in non-Western countries
> from before, say, the 1970s? I've read, for example, that
> Sir Lanka (then Ceylon) had several writers of detective
> fiction and even versions of hard-boiled detectives appearing
> in the 1940s; some of the writers are supposed to have been "Vanan"
> or "Tamil Vanan," "Devan," and "Vaduvur Duraisami Iyengar,"
> and and some of the characters are supposed to have been
> named "Shanker Lal," "Sambu," and "Digambara Samiyar." has a list of links to library catalogs around the world. You may have better luck trying a British or Indian catalog than OCLC.

I found a few hits for "Tamil Vanan" and "Shankur Lal" on AltaVista, including an essay that gives titles in the Shankur Lal series, at

You may want to try some variant spellings. I found nothing under
"Shanker Lal" on AltaVista, for example, but got a handful of hits with
"Shankur Lal" and a bigger handful with "Shankar Lal", not they were all necessarily relevant. has a directory of search engines by region. An Asian or Indian search engine may give you better coverage of regional web pages.

Hope this helps!

      -----Diane Trap

> Thanks in advance,
> Jess Nevins

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