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The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (edition 2012)

by Tarquin Hall

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1381286,938 (3.75)11
Member:PennyMck
Title:The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
Authors:Tarquin Hall
Info:Hutchinson (2012), Paperback
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:fiction, mystery, india, december, 2012

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The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
Colorful, entertaining, fast-paced and (to my surprise) even educational. Hall does a good job juggling several mysteries and manages to weave in some historical facts about the partition of India and Pakistan and its bloody aftermath; what I most enjoyed though were the humor and the insights into Indian society. The one major problem is that the book left me with a craving for chicken tikka masala and naan, and I'm not sure I can read any more of Hall's books if I don't have Indian food nearby! ( )
1 vote bostonian71 | Jan 28, 2014 |
I'm just back from a quick trip to India, courtesy of Tarquin Hall. This is no small feat, as I've been given strict orders by my physician for the past 14 years, that I should no longer take trips to India because of a health condition I have. But Hall deftly flies me on the wings of his words, and the vast girth of Vish Puri back to the land I love.

Had I not already loved this series, I still would have picked up this book because of the title. Yum! Who can resist? (And there's a recipe for that chicken, and a few other delights, in the back of the book, as well as here: http://www.cravebyrandomhouse.ca/2012/08/27/vish-puris-deadly-delicious-butter-c...) Vish Puri is still is tubby, mustachioed self, sabotaging his scale so his beloved wife doesn't realize he's not very successful on his diet, and tracking down murderers (and a mustache thief as well.)

I always learn a little something extra in a Vish Puri novel, both about the culture, and sometimes history. This time, it was more about the partitioning of India, the more personal aspects, that came through. The things we do to each other in the name of religion and peace break my heart sometimes.

As to Vish Puri, he's tracking down the killer of the father of one of India's rising cricket stars. It takes him through many walks of life, as well as down memory lane, and even into Pakistan.

Best of all, there's book 4 in the series waiting for me to read! ( )
  bookczuk | Dec 22, 2013 |
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in a Goodreads giveaway.

This was an enjoyable read. Mummy is definitely turning out to be my favorite character in this series. Hurrah for strong female characters, especially crafty old ladies!

The author has a talent for breaking up serious topics with quirky, humorous content. As far as I'm concerned, this doesn't lessen the importance of the serious topics, but helps keep the book in that "lighthearted mystery" genre. Both serious and funny topics are well handled throughout.

The only thing that really bothered me about the book was how Puri started digging into the affairs of the Indian crime underworld without any repercussions. Didn't he think of them targeting his family, for example? But I suppose in a feel-good mystery like this, focusing on the whodunnits and whys is more important than the harsh realities. ( )
  akswede | Oct 14, 2013 |
Review based on ARC.

This is the third mystery by Tarquin Hall involving the endearing Vish Puri, India's "Most Private" Investigator. I have not read the other two books but, after having read this one, am definitely interested in seeking them out!

Vish Puri a/k/a Chubby is a detective with an addiction to the flavorful and savory foods of India. I can relate. Butter Chicken, or what I have called Chicken Tikka Makhani, is one of my favorite dishes, and I can understand the obsession. However, Puri is more than just a stomach with good taste. Puri is a detective who can and will handle all manner of cases, even that as bizarre as a missing mustache.

The thrust of this book revolves around the murder mystery of the father of a Pakistani cricket hero while eating at a post-match dinner. In order to solve the mystery of who has poisoned the victim, Puri investigates various dark underbellies -- gambling, smuggling, and match-fixing. Puri even takes the investigation into history, and we lean about the blood and horror of the 1947 partition between India and Pakistan. In doing so, Puri is eventually led a lot closer to home then he ever hoped to be: he must work with his mother, Mummy-ji, who has herself sworn off investigation.

Throughout the food and the mystery, there is humor. The book is endearing, entertaining, and satisfying. Recommended to readers who like mysteries, who have a sense of humor, and who at least understand why Makhani is so good.....

This and other reviews can be found at AllBookReviewer.blogspot.com ( )
  avanders | Sep 15, 2013 |
I won this book from Goodreads First Reads giveaway. I've read the other two books of the Vish Puri most private investigator series, and was this book did not disappoint! In this book, Mr. Puri solves three murders, takes down a cricket match fixing ring, takes down a moustache thief, and learns a great deal about his mummy-ji in the process. There are some heart-rending serious parts in the book concerning the partition of India and Pakistan in the 1940s, but Mr. Hall manages to include a bit of that history in the telling of the rest of this very entertaining book. Thank you Mr. Hall for another enjoyable excursion! ( )
  Lettypearl | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
The opening of Hall’s outstanding third mystery featuring PI Vish Puri (after 2010’s The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing) sets the tone nicely as Puri tinkers with the bathroom scale to prevent his wife, who refers to him as Chubby, from learning that he’s gained weight. Soon after, a representative of the Moustache Organization of Punjab (MOP) asks him to find the fiend who cut off half of the record-setting long whiskers of one of its members. This case fades as he looks into a more serious matter—the poisoning of a guest at a dinner following a high-stakes cricket match. A resourceful and dogged investigator, Puri follows a twisting trail that connects with corruption in the sport and illegal gambling. Well-drawn colorful characters bolster a whodunit sure to appeal to those who enjoy a dash of humor with their crime.
added by VivienneR | editPublisher's Weekly (May 21, 2012)
 
India’s Most Private Investigator faces threats from near and far as he grapples with the death of a Pakistani cricket-ace’s father.

The butter chicken served at the VVIP table of the Delhi Durbar Hotel promises to be most delicious. It also proves fatal. One bite and Faheem Khan keels over dead. Fortunately, one of the VVIPs is Vish Puri, invited with his wife and Mummy-ji by his nephew Rohan of the Delhi Cowboys to a post-match feast. His presence on the scene prompts Sir James Scott, working for the Indian Cricket Board, to hire him to investigate. Unfortunately, Faheem’s son Kamran, bowler for the Kolkata Colts, has gone back to Rawalpindi to mourn. So Puri, who had never met a Pakistani in person before the Khans, must travel across a most-feared border in pursuit of justice. His dread of being in Pakistan is soon replaced by the terror of learning that Mummy, who pretends to be on a mission to bury the ashes of Ritu Auntie’s late husband in the Ganges at the holy city of Haridwar, is actually investigating Khan’s death too. While Vish focuses on a point-shaving scheme as an obvious motive, Mummy zeroes in on her fellow VVIPs. But what could the elderly mother of Satish Bhatia, the Call Center King, or Mrs. Megha Dogra, wife of Ram Dogra, the Prince of Polyester, know about the murder of an elderly Pakistani?
added by VivienneR | editKirkus Reviews
 
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For Ax and the childhood we spent together
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Stripped down to his undergarments and tweed Sandown cap, Vish Puri stepped onto his wife's old set of bathroom weighing scales.
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Mustachioed sleuth Vish Puri tackles his greatest fears in a case involving the poisoning death of the elderly father of a leading Pakistani cricketer, whose demise is linked to the Indian and Pakistani mafias and the violent 1947 partition of India.

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