The Case of the Missing Servant

I really should have saved this book for my summer reading. It’s light, funny, and oh so good. A perfect summertime read. But I didn’t think about it til I was well into it and hooked on what was going to happen and by then I couldn’t put it down. The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator by  Tarquin Hall (published by McClelland & Stewart) is about Vish Puri, the head of Most Private Investigators Ltd. in Delhi, India. I seem to be on an India kick in my reading… I wonder why :) Anyway, Puri is India’s most respected investigator and is currently working on 3 cases … one involves digging into the past of a prospective suitor for the bride-to-be’s grandfather … he smells something fishy with this guy and just doesn’t think he adds up. The second involves the murder of a servant girl named Mary who vanishes one night at the home of lawyer Ajay Kasliwal where she had been working. He is later arrested and charged with murder and Puri is required to pull all the stops and get him set free. In the middle of all this someone takes a pot shot at Puri one morning while he is watering his beloved chili plants on his roof-top garden… yes, it’s funny, very funny and so good. In addition Tarquin Hall fills the remaining space with really interesting facts about India (which I assume are accurate)… some of which will have you shaking your head with wonder. Also, the sights, smells, and sounds are so well described that you feel part of the scene. The dialect is perfect, the characters so well written, and the story never drags. There’s even a Glossary at the back of the book to describe all the Indian words that pop up regularly. It’s a New York Times Notable Book…  another one I’d never heard of. I really must start paying more attention to their lists. Pick up a copy for your summer reading and laugh yourself silly. It’s really, really good.

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