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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)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6435515,030 (3.71)125
  1. 30
    The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Both books are cosy mysteries, with several plot lines, in an exotic environment. Nice, comfortable reads
  2. 20
    The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama (chazzard)

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» See also 125 mentions

English (50)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
This is the "fluffy" book I put aside to read the "more serious" (or better written, or whatever I was thinking) book by Tey.

Lesson learned.

Our hero, Vish Puri, is a very human one. He runs a detective agency in Delhi, where things are somewhat different than they might be in the U.S. or the U.K. He takes his company motto, "Confidentiality is our watchword" seriously. He's portly, patient, persistent, and extremely clever.

Although most of Puri's (fondly known as "Chubby") cases come from pre-marriage investigations, he's consulted on other things as well, including possible murders. In this first book of the series, he'w working on a marriage case when he's asked to help a lawyer who's accused of murdering a servant.

On the surface, Hall's book seems a funny take on detectives, much like the Botswana series by McCall-Smith, but don't make the mistake of thinking that they're in the same class. They couldn't be more different.

Although the book is funny enough to make the reader laugh out loud in places, Hall has written with a thinly veiled undercurrent of anger at the corruption, mismanagement, and blindness of the Indian government. This reader enjoyed learning about both the pleasant ambiance of Delhi and the hidden rot in the city.

Most highly recommended to those who like some meat and some humor with their mysteries. ( )
1 vote bohemima | Feb 5, 2015 |
This is the first novel of series of novels featuring a private detective Vish Puri. It is set in Delhi at the turn of the century. Vish Puri is a well known private detective and is asked by a lawyer from Jaipur to look into the disappearance of one of his servants.

It's not a great story but does give a peek into the modern Indian culture. An average read. ( )
  mausergem | Apr 24, 2014 |
This was an interesting mystery with a fascinating setting. At times I was reminded of the style of The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, but the story was unique and it was also quite funny. Puri (affectionately called Chubby) is a bit rough around the edges, but he's kind and likable and very good at his job. The supporting cast of characters are just as endearing, especially Puri's Mummy, who is as talented, in her own way, an investigator as he is. I would definitely read more from this series. ( )
  virginiahomeschooler | Feb 11, 2014 |
Enjoyable start to this mostly light-hearted mystery series. Vish is an appealing character (if a bit full of himself), his operatives are talented and idiosyncratic, and the cases, if not quite as well-developed as in later books, are still interesting. There aren't as many food references, either, which is actually probably better as I don't have an Indian restaurant right outside my house. ( )
  bostonian71 | Feb 5, 2014 |
This was an easy-going reading. Detective Vish Puri is a very loveable person who is on the one hand the Boss but on the other hand a cunning fox and has a heart of gold, not only for his family and friends but also for his employees. He gives his clientele one reason to hire him: CONFIDENTIALITY IS MY WATCHWORD. Therefore his clients have the feeling that he isn't putting much effort into their case even though he is working long hours. He is a sucker for food and that's his 'only' weakness completely to the chagrin of his wife, because his doctor has put him on diet, but Puri finds always ways and means to get around this.
He has to solve different cases at the same time which are keeping him up busy but he has tricks and his employees which are helping him. For example he has several phones and if a client is phoning the operator is working like an actor because she has to act for completely different situations like a wealthy person as well as a clerk, a doctor or a lawyer.
His mother would also like to be a detectiv and she is the one who is solving his personal problem without his knowing, because he has strictly forbidden her to make inquiries.
It's a fabulous cosy mystery. ( )
  Ameise1 | Jan 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hall, Tarquinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Valkonen, TeroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the memory of Grandpa Briggs
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:10 -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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Average: (3.71)
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