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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 139 mentions

English (65)  Italian (3)  Spanish (1)  German (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
My spouse thought I should read this book. It was a dead-tree book, but interesting, none the less. The interest in this book is that it is written about an Indian private detective, i.e. a private detective living in the country of India. Which is to say, this book is not at all like the books about Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, who are "Indian" private detectives living in the Four Corners area of the U.S.A. Now days, we refer to those "Indians" as being "Native Americans". Perhaps "Indigenous Americans" would be a better term, given that I'm a Native American by dint of having been born here. But I digress. Anyway, the interest for my spouse, was to learn something about the culture of India.

So, Vish Puri, aka "Chubby", is a private detective in India. He is hired to find some dirt on the potential son-in-law of a very rich guy. Obviously, the rich guy doesn't want him for a son-in-law. Then, a rich and powerful lawyer gets into a bit of trouble and hopes Vish will bail him out. It seems that he has been accused of being responsible for the rape and murder of a young woman who had been a servant in his household. The murder rap came some months after the body had been found. The servant girl went missing about the same time. It's not completely clear, however, that the body is actually that of the missing servant. It's just a similar size and shape...or something.

So, Vish, is to figure out whether or not the body is the missing servant, or if the girl is actually out somewhere hiding among the billion folks in India's hinterlands. It doesn't help that no one really knows the girl's origins, or anything much more about her than her first name. They don't even have a decent picture. But Vish, who runs The Most Private Investigator, and in his estimation, India's greatest detective, head and shoulders above lesser lights such as Sherlock Holmes, and his gang of helpers, Handbrake, Doorstop, Facecream, etc. pursue all leads ruthlessly and eventually figure out what's important to know about the prospective bridegroom and the missing servant girl. Quite fun!
( )
  lgpiper | Jun 21, 2019 |
Private investigator, Vish Puri, is a quirky detective--sort of an Indian Poirot. It was a quick read, and fun to be immersed in the Indian culture. (Downside is there are lots of references to Indian food--now I want to find a good Indian restaurant--any suggestions for someplace near me? We haven't had much luck w the ones we've tried.) ( )
  tkcs | Feb 23, 2019 |
Will appeal the the same readers as fans of McCall Smith's Number One Ladies Detective Agency. The mystery was nothing special, but I enjoyed getting a taste of India. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Vish Puri is India's Most Private Investigator. Confidentiality is his game. His bread and butter cases consist mostly of scoping out potential partners in a culture where prearranged marriages are the norm. Fathers consider the services Puri and his team provides a deeper background check of eligible mates for their daughters. Then one day a servant girl goes missing. Rumor has it, her own employer (a wealthy lawyer) murdered her. All the evidence points to him so this should be an easy case...
Interesting tidbit - Puri doesn't like being compared to Sherlock Holmes. "Sherlock is a fictional character" he sniffs. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Aug 27, 2018 |
Review: The Case of The Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall. 12/19/2017

You can tell the story was written by a well researcher and a knowledgeable person of India. The book was filled with upscale scenarios, plenty of fiction, humor in the mix, and creative characters. In a series of twist and turns, Tarquin Hall takes the reader through the social life of one of society’s recent climbers of rich people in Delhi who works at a multi-national company.

The story is about Vish Puri, a detective who solves mystery cases. Puri was commissioned to take on a case of Mary, a missing maid who disappeared two months earlier among a few cases he was also working on. Vish has a team of helpers who are by his side twenty-four seven who just happen to have unusual nicknames as Tubelight, Flush, Facecream, and his driver, Handbrake. Vish Puri had a habit of giving people creative names. The detective represents old-fashion values like decency, a good family man who likes spicy food. The story is suspenseful, funny, and with an adventurous read to the end.

There were plenty of subplots so it was a slower read to keep characters and places organized. The author made some of the reading easier by placing an India glossary at the end of the book. I was also captivated by the descriptions of India, traditions, cultures, society, and ancient ruling still being used. ( )
  Juan-banjo | Dec 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

» see all 8 descriptions

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