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The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin…

The Case of the Missing Servant (2009)

by Tarquin Hall

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vish Puri (1)

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» See also 137 mentions

English (59)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All (64)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
The hero of this novel, first in a series, may remind you of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, if he was Indian, in contemporary Delhi, had a love of disguises, and was a little too fond of fast food. Vish Puri is a average family man who heads Most Private Investigations, which specializes in running background checks on prospective spouses. However, when an old friend is accused of murdering a servant, Puri takes the case to clear his friend. With his 1999 Super Sleuth Award from the World Federation of Detectives, Puri is sure he is up to the case, in addition to his normal case load. This humorous mystery is full of quirky characters and details of the exotic land of Punjab. Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series will be delighted. ( )
  ktoonen | Mar 5, 2017 |
Yes, this is yet another mystery series set in a non-Western locale with lots of local color. But this one has a well-constructed plot and seems pretty straightforward about its descriptive accomodations for a Western audience. It's not deep philosophy, but it is smart, funny mystery that provides enough clues to give you a gut instinct for what has happened but not enough to draw all the threads together before the ending. For fans of "local color" mysteries such as M.C. Beaton and McCall Smith, this is a fun series. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
The Case of the Missing Servant is the debut novel of new mystery series. Vishi Puri, founder and brains behind Most Private Investigators Ltd.leads his personally picked team into a variety of highly confidential cases. Puri, overweight, happily married, and loving father, uses his people skills and natural smarts with clients, staff, and other involved parties to learn as much as he can to solve cases.

Entertaining, refreshing, fun and full of lots of twists and surprises, new series is compelling on many levels. Puri is a very good man but not a saint with an engaging family. Secondly, we learn much about modern-day India and its serious growing pains trying to catch up to Europe and the US, as well as learning about Indian culture. A winning combination! ( )
  Bookish59 | Jul 17, 2016 |
The Case of the Missing Servant -Tarquin Hall
audio performance by Sam Dastor

Do not compare Vish Puri, India’s most private detective, to Sherlock Holmes. After all he is applying principles of detection that were established in India 2,000 years before Conan Doyle put pen to paper. Vish would also dislike a comparison to McCall Smith’s Precious Ramotswe. Despite his use of the expert, female undercover operative known as ‘Facecream’ , Vish Puri is certain that detection is a man’s work. His Mummy-ji is clearly of a different opinion and pursues her own investigation as she deems necessary.

With apologies to Vish Puri, I enjoyed this Indian detective story in the way that I enjoy a visit to Botswana with the # 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Sam Dastor gave an outstanding performance of a mildly entertaining mystery with humorous characters in a rich cultural setting. I’m moving on to the next book.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
The first book in this series introduces us to Vish Puri, lead detective at Most Private Investigators. Vish Puri has worked on a lot of cases through the years, but up until now his main body of work has primarily been in screening prospective partners in advance of arranged marriages. That soon changes following the arrest of a high-profile lawyer who is accused of murdering his maid, Mary. The police say they have witnesses of him dumping the body and Puri's job is to prove the man’s innocence and find the real killer. Puri is supported by a fascinating team of operatives, each with their own background.

I found myself engaged in this books storyline immediately, pulled into the vividly atmospheric descriptions of Delhi. The writing is filled with subtle humor and it was so interesting to get to know Vish and his family- his doting wife Rumpi and his mother, Mummy-Ji, who has some interesting career plans of her own. They, along with Puri’s undercover operatives, Facecream, Tubelight and Flush are a really well-written cast of characters that add a lot of humor to the story.

This is a quick read and an enjoyable book I read to fulfill a challenge. I was pleasantly surprised and would like to try another in the future. ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hall, Tarquinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Vish Puri, founder and managing director of Most Private Inbestigators Ltd., sat alone in a room in a guesthouse in Defence Colony, south Delhi, devouring a dozen green chilli pakoras from a greasy takeaway box.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0771038259, Hardcover)

Watch out Alexander McCall Smith! Here comes the first novel by the highly acclaimed writer Tarquin Hall in an entrancing new mystery series set in India.

The portly Vish Puri is India’s most accomplished detective, at least in his own estimation, and is also the hero of an irresistible new mystery series set in hot, dusty Delhi. Puri’s detective skills are old-fashioned in a Sherlock Holmesian way and a little out of sync with the tempo of the modern city, but Puri is clever and his methods work.

The Case of the Missing Servant shows Puri (“Chubby” to his friends) and his wonderfully nicknamed employees (among them, Handbrake, Flush, and Handcream) hired for two investigations. The first is into the background of a man surprisingly willing to wed a woman her father considers unmarriageable, and the second is into the disappearance six months earlier of a servant to a prominent Punjabi lawyer, a young woman known only as Mary.

The Most Private Investigator novels offer a delicious combination of ingenious stories, brilliant writing, sharp wit, and a vivid, unsentimental picture of contemporary India. And from the first to the last page run an affectionate humour and intelligent insights into both the subtleties of Indian culture and the mysteries of human behaviour.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A prominent lawyer who asks Puri to find a missing servant is arrested for the young woman's murder when her body is found, requiring complex work by Puri's staff. Meanwhile, he must check out the squeaky-clean fianc of the granddaughter of a revered war hero. And Puri's visiting Mummy-ji undertakes her own search when her son is shot at.… (more)

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