Thursday3Some: For the Love of Parvati by Susan Oleksiw

Please welcome Susan Oleksiw, author of the Anita Ray Mystery series, which is set in South India. So far, the series includes 3 novels and over a dozen short stories. It's exciting to find a mystery series set in exotic locales.

Susan also writes the Mellingham Series featuring Chief of Police Joe Silva, set in a small coastal town in New England. 

Find Susan Oleksiw Online

Amazon Author Page:

About For the Love of Parvati

Anita and her Auntie Meena travel to a family estate in central Kerala during the monsoon to visit relatives. When they arrive they find the family in disarray, and a new maidservant who is clearly frightened of something. In addition, an old family servant has disappeared after telling the family he was going on pilgrimage, and during a break in the rains, Anita finds a body swept down the river with unusual wounds.

When did you write For the Love of Parvati?

I started working on this formally in January 2011, but I began thinking about the book much earlier, probably one or two years before I started roughing out the idea. I'm a slow writer, so even though I expect to create a draft in three or four months, I know it will be several months after that before I have something good enough to show an editor. Once I begin writing a novel, however, I stick with it, writing every day no matter what. I may be working on other things, such as a blog post, book review, or short story, but I work on the novel daily until I have a complete draft.

What was the spark that gave you the story idea?

I visit India every year, partly because I love the country and partly to visit friends. Several years ago I was chatting with a fellow writer who is quite well known in Kerala, and writes novels in Malayalam, the local language. She has written stories in English and had one novel translated into English (Children of God, by Sarah Thomas). She prefers themes of social significance, and she was talking about her newest idea, a woman who escapes the civil war in Sri Lanka and makes her way to Kerala, where she finds work as a maidservant. She had spoken with the woman by phone, and the story had started to take shape. But about then her husband died, and she put aside her.

The idea stayed with me, and I was looking forward to seeing what she did with it. We talked a year or so later, and she said she wasn't going to write the story. She was painting now, and not writing. I asked if she'd mind if I took the story idea, so I have used it as the basis for the series of crimes in For the Love of Parvati. This is one of the very few times when I've taken on an idea I got from someone else.

I think the idea appealed to me because the Sri Lanka woman was an illegal alien with all the fears of her position that we find with the same group in the US. India is home to several communities of refugees, and they face the same fears as our immigrants face here.

Why do readers buy For the Love of Parvati?

If you want to get away from your own life and world, and immerse yourself in a different culture, the Anita Ray series will take you there. A lot more people know about India, have traveled there, or have friends from that country. The interest in other Asian countries is growing, and one of the best ways to explore another country is through stories.

I am told also that people love the relationship between Anita and her Auntie Meena. Anita is a very independent young woman photographer who has struck out on her own, to the dismay of her traditional extended family. Auntie Meena, Anita's mother's younger sister, is determined to bring her back into the fold by finding a suitable husband for her. Anita will have none of this, but that doesn't stop Meena.

Buy Links

For The Love Of Parvati (Hardcover from Amazon)

For the Love of Parvati (Kindle Edition)

Last Call for Justice (A Mellingham Mystery Book 6) Kindle Edition

Takeaway Truth

A little vacation can always be found between the covers of a book. Buy one today.


  1. Sounds very interesting. Yes, I totally agree that you can visit the world and different cultures through a book. One reason why I love to read.

  2. I try to make the setting part of the story, so readers are immersed in another culture and another world. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  3. SlingWords always provides sound writing tips along with entertainment, also a chance to get better acquainted with an author. Thanks, Joan, for another delightful meet.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sharon. I also enjoy Slingwords.

    2. Aw, gee thanks, Sharon! I love having authors on SlingWords. I'm just a fan girl.

  4. I loved reading both books and recommend each series to readers.

    1. Thanks, Jacquie. Support from fellow writers means a lot. Thanks for commenting.

    2. Hello, Jacquie. Thanks for stopping by. I can't wait to read Susan's books. I really like exotic settings.

  5. I especially want to thank Joan Reeves for hosting me. I enjoy discovering new writers, and I hope some readers have discovered a new book of interest about India. Thanks, Joan.

    1. It was my pleasure to meet you and host you today, Susan. Thanks for being such an interesting guest.

  6. My interest is piqued! India is such a beautiful place and so fascinating with its rich history and culture.

    1. Writing about India is like taking a vacation, and of course I get to go there to do research. Thanks for coming by.

    2. Thanks for visiting, E. Wouldn't it be great to take a trip to India?