The who’s who of whodunnit is in Jaipur for the literary festival. And Sherlock Holmes revisited is the talk of the town. But, clearly Ian Rankin and Alexander McCall Smith are missing the pertinent point, namely that they are redundant. Now they may be of the old school of detective fiction where, like the Scarlet Pimpernel, we need to seek the culprit here and there. But Osama bin Laden has put paid to that sort of writing. Detectives need no longer look long and hard among clues and stray remarks to find the culprit. Osama says that he, and he alone, is responsible for nearly every crime that we can think of.
Before the Americans spend a vast fortune trying to find out the antecedents of the failed attempt on the Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas comes news from Osama that he had masterminded the whole show. This opens up exciting vistas for all the intelligence agencies across the world. They can downsize their staff since all they need is a core force to try and track Osama in his cave, but then again, we are not sure whether he exists or not. Geographically speaking, this should not be such a difficult task. Still, it is a heartening piece of news that every big ticket crime in the world can now be attributed to a cave in Bora Bora. This means that the rest of us can get on with our lives.
The day of the super sleuth has passed, it is now time for the super suspect. And here there are no surprises. We now learn that the Indian embassy received a bomb in the post in Italy. Don’t bother to splash out on an expensive investigation. It is just Osama up to his old tricks again.