The title refers, by way of a pun on 'Plain' as the reverse of 'Hills', to the deceptively simple narrative style; and to the fact that many of the stories are set in the Hill Station of Simla—the 'summer capital of the British Raj' during the hot weather. Not all of the stories are, in fact, about life in 'the Hills': Kipling gives sketches of many aspects of life in British India.
Set principally in Shimla, the mountain town and summer capital of the Raj, Kipling's 40 short stories on the manners and mores of British settlers in India are well observed and masterful character studies. Martin Jarvis begins beautifully; his warm voice is a rich and textured instrument, and he becomes Kipling's narrator effortlessly; rather like Fitzgerald's Nick Carraway, Kipling's stand-in casts a camera-like view on the intrigue, pettiness, and genuine tragedies in his little world. There is wit that borders on the Wildean ( She was wicked, in a businesslike way. There was never any scandal; she had not generous impulses enough for that ). It would be a nearly flawless listen but for Jarvis's inaccurate and rather cringe-inducing accents for the Indian characters. \n