The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri series Book 1)

Explore the entire Star Trek book collection, apps and more. Get relationship help, parenting advice, healthy recipes, and tips for living a happy life from our author experts. Get access to the best in romance: See More New Releases. Puri was supposed to be keeping off the fried foods and Indian desserts he so loved. He derived a perverse sense of satisfaction from defying Dr.

Keeping this in mind, he was careful not to get any incriminating grease spots on his clothes. And once he had finished his snack and disposed of the takeout box, he washed the chutney off his hands and checked beneath his manicured nails and between his teeth for any telltale residue. Finally he popped some sonf into his mouth to freshen his breath.

All the while, Puri kept an eye on the house across the way and the street below. By Delhi standards, it was a quiet and exceptionally clean residential street. Residents could take a walk through the well-swept streets or idle in the communal gardens without fear of being hassled by disfigured beggars…or having to negotiate their way around arc welders soldering lengths of metal on the sidewalks…or halal butchers slaughtering chickens.

Most of the families in Defence Colony were Punjabi and had arrived in New Delhi as refugees following the catastrophic partition of the Indian subcontinent in As their affluence and numbers had grown over the decades, they had built cubist cement villas surrounded by high perimeter walls and imposing wrought-iron gates. Each of these minifiefdoms employed an entire company of servants. The residents of number 76, D Block, the house that Puri was watching, retained the services of no fewer than seven full-time people—two drivers, a cook, a cleaner-cum-laundry-maid, a butler and two security guards.

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The family also relied on a part-time dishwasher, a sweeper, a gardener and the local press-wallah who had a stand under the neem tree down the street where he applied a heavy iron filled with hot charcoal to a dizzying assortment of garments, including silk saris, cotton salwars and denim jeans. From the vantage point in the room Puri had rented, he could see the dark-skinned cleaner-cum-laundry-maid on the roof of number 76, hanging underwear on the clothesline. The mali was on the first-floor balcony watering the potted plants. The sweeper was using up gallons of precious water hosing down the marble forecourt.

These were not their real names, of course. Being Punjabi, the detective had nicknames for most of his employees and this being India, his company was as labor intensive as they came , relatives and close friends. For example, he called his wife Rumpi; his new driver, Handbrake; and the office boy, who was extraordinarily lazy, Door Stop. Tubelight was so named because he was a heavy sleeper and took a while to flicker into life in the morning.

The forty-three-year-old hailed from a clan of hereditary thieves, and therefore had been highly adept at cracking locks, safes and ignitions since childhood. As for Flush, he had a flush toilet in his home, a first for anyone in his remote village in the state of Haryana. The other member of the team, Facecream, was waiting a few miles away and would play a crucial part in the operation later that evening.

A beautiful and feisty Nepali woman who had run away from home as a teenager to join the Maoists but became disillusioned with the cause and escaped to India, she often worked undercover—one day posing as a street sweeper; the next as irresistible bait in a honeytrap. Puri himself was known by various names. But the rest of his family and friends knew him as Chubby, an affectionate rather than derisive sobriquet—although, as Dr.

Mohan had pointed out so indelicately, he did need to lose about thirty pounds. Puri insisted on being called Boss by his employees, which helped remind them who was in charge. In India, it was important to keep a strong chain of command; people were used to hierarchy and they responded to authority. Meanwhile, Tubelight, who was middle aged with henna-dyed hair and blind in one eye, was disguised as an autorickshaw-wallah in oily clothes and rubber chappals. Crouched on his haunches on the side of the street among a group of bidi-smoking local drivers, he was gambling at cards.

His military moustache, first grown when he was a recruit in the army, was waxed and curled at the ends. He was wearing one of his trademark tweed Sandown caps, imported from Bates of Jermyn Street in Piccadilly, and a pair of prescription aviator sunglasses. He has a team of undercover operatives with cutest nick names in town; Tubelight because the man is slow , Facecream because the girl is fair , Flush his was the first house in the village to have a flush.

Even before he can seriously start his search the police claim to have found her body and arrests Mr. Puri solve the case? Can he prove the innocence of his client??? While watering plants at his home Mr. Puri miraculously escapes an attempt on his life and it is then that the detective instincts of his mother raises its head and nothing he says can discourage her from the case of shooting on his son. Needless to say the situation gets quite a many chuckles out of us. It was not possible to explain all this to you at home. A detective who can not keep secrets in his home: The driver of Mr.

The best part about the book is that no where does it go overboard in description. A who-dun-it with Indian Tadka can not get better than this. I am now waiting for a series of cases to follow.

Hardback Editions

Those that contain larger than life characters placed in the modern-day back drop of hustling and bustling India. I am a big fan of his Mummy. Puri himself was known by various names. Flush, who was thirty-two, skinny and wore thick, milk-bottle-bottom glasses, was sitting in the back of Puri's Hindustan Ambassador monitoring the bugs the team had planted inside the target's home earlier, as well as all incoming and outgoing phone calls. One forgets how old a civilization is India yet it a culture in transition. Tarquin Hall has created a wonderfully humorous, light-hearted tale starring a very charismatic, if not slightly full of himself, lead character who certainly has earned the recognition and prestige that is showered upon him. His current investigation was but one example.

So go grab your copy NOW!!! Jan 16, Lori rated it really liked it Shelves: It's funny how things find a strange way of lining themselves up. A few months ago, I came across an ARC copy of this novel at a local library sale. I flipped through it, read the back cover, and thought it sounded interesting.

Tarquin Hall author of The Case of the Missing Servant

Once I got home, I stacked it up on my bookshelf with the other books I purchased that day, and there it sat She offered to have me host the author, Tarquin Hall, on TNBBC to discuss the novel which is taking place all this week and offered up 5 copies of the novel to get the discussion going! The Case of the Missing Servant is - at it's heart - a true murder mystery. Taking place in Dehli, we met Vish Puri: India's Most Private Investigator. A portly, proud, and persistent undercover detective who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth of the disappearance of Mary, a maid servant who seemingly vanished in the middle of the night.

Using ancient espionage methods, Vish Puri enlists the help of spies like FaceCream, Tubelight, and Handbrake to investigate the situation. Little by little, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together for our hero - leading the reader on what first appears to be a twisting, turning, seemingly endless wild goose chase. Tarquin Hall has created a wonderfully humorous, light-hearted tale starring a very charismatic, if not slightly full of himself, lead character who certainly has earned the recognition and prestige that is showered upon him.

Boasting about his numerous awards, his photo appearing on the cover of a popular magazine, and the many cases he has already solved, Vish Puri is quick to refuse help from his Mummy - who manages to perform some of her own undercover investigations throughout the novel as well. Hall also does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the storyline, of allowing us to get lost in the plot, and giving us just enough information to keep us guessing the whole way through.

What really made the book for me, in the end, was the authentic way in which Tarquin's characters spoke English.

The Case of the Missing Servant: A Vish Puri Mystery by Tarquin Hall

The Case of the Missing Servant has ratings and reviews. This is the first book in the Vish Puri series, and it's the only one that I had not read. The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Turn on 1-Click ordering for this browser Book 1 of 4 in the Vish Puri Series.

In conversation, it is quite common to hear the characters saying "The driver was doing reckless driving This books is worth the read, and I hope if you enjoyed it, that you will check out the second novel of the series, which just released this past week, "The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing". Mar 06, Doreen added it. A maidservant has gone missing, and a crusading layer has been accused of killing her.

Puri sets out to prove the attorney's innocence. Other more minor cases are also investigated. Puri is called the Punjabi Sherlock Holmes and, although he shares similarities with a number of fictional detectives, he has a charm all his own. He is clever and resourceful but with enough eccentri This is the debut appearance of the Punjabi detective, Vish Puri, founder of Delhi's Most Private Investigators, Inc. He is clever and resourceful but with enough eccentricities and flaws vanity, boastfulness to make him both memorable and likeable.

He is assisted by a motley crew of investigators, although they are not developed to any great extent. The author excels at local colour. He describes the sights, sounds and smells of India; the food descriptions alone leave the reader craving Indian food. The author also touches on the country's contemporary problems e. The book is sufficiently suspenseful while also evoking pathos and laughter at times. It is definitely a promising introduction to a literary detective. May 29, Indrani Sen rated it really liked it Shelves: This is a gem of a detective story based in Delhi.

A thoroughly enjoyable read. This is the first book I have read of this author. I couldn't believe that he is not Indian. Except for perhaps one or two scenes, I felt that he has gotten India and Indians very well. Mar 30, Susan in NC rated it it was amazing Shelves: I loved this book and hope there are many more to come - Vish Puri is a great hero!

Down and out in Delhi

Puri carefully records all of his cases at completion, as he is sure future generations will want to study his methods and even has the title picked out for his future memoirs: Puri is I loved this book and hope there are many more to come - Vish Puri is a great hero! Puri is hilarious and wise, following the investigative methods laid down by his two gurus: The "New India" of hour call centers, hyper-development and booming high-tech industry has created a lot of growth, opportunity, and new money, but also a lot of crime, and Puri is busier than ever.

Here he is working on two investigations - one checking into the background and suitability of a potential bride groom, and in the other case he must discover the fate of the missing servant girl of the title to save a client accused of killing her. It's a glorious ride following Puri as he marshalls his many, sometimes dubious resources to get to the bottom of these two challenging cases, and his supporting cast of characters, including his staff, his patient wife and his wise Mummy-ji a natural investigator in her own right, despite Chubby's misgivings! Aug 03, Laurie rated it it was amazing.

If Kim's Babuji became a private investigator in modern India, he'd sound a lot like this.

  • Sanditon, The Watsons, and Lady Susan.
  • Paperback Editions!
  • The Case of the Missing Servant.
  • This Is No Drill: America’s Casualties at Pearl Harbor;
  • The Hoodoo Man (The Boudreau Family Saga Book 1).
  • Blueprints for the Messianic Era.
  • Against Compulsory Vaccination: A Long Train of Abuses and Usurpations.

Jan 18, Traci Andrighetti rated it it was amazing. I'm officially obsessed with this series! If you want to escape into India, this is your book. Oct 06, Orinoco Womble tidy bag and all rated it it was amazing Shelves: An enjoyable read that held my attention throughout. I'm the sort of person that usually has books on the go at any one time, but this one took precedence until I finished it. The Boss of Most Private Investigations takes on the tough cases himself. Whether it's vetting a prospective bridegroom or upsetting a bogus charge of murder, Vish Puri grants his clients' wishes.

He's no Sherlock Holmes as he says, Holmes is fiction while he is "really real" so sometimes things don't go to plan, but An enjoyable read that held my attention throughout. He's no Sherlock Holmes as he says, Holmes is fiction while he is "really real" so sometimes things don't go to plan, but tension and laughter are well mixed, with as many twists and turns as a ZeeTV soap opera.

Like Watson, Mr Hall tends to mention other previous cases that don't appear on his book list. I wonder if these are just Doyle-style teasers, or if someday we will be able to read The Case of the Laughing Peacock or of the Absconding Accountant.

  • Tiento II (de falsas).
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I really hope so. The local color and varied characters are spot on. I have not read a great deal of books set in India but I was so engrossed in this detective story that I must read further into Vish Puri's The Case of And kudos for the glossary in the back - that is a great help and so interesting! Jun 25, Laura rated it liked it Recommended to Laura by: Just arrived from Tunisia through BM.

This is the first book of the series Vish Puri which meaning is "granter of wishes". He is the founder and director of Most Private Investigators Ltd. The plot tells the story of a murder investigation in which a public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant.

Jul 22, Anupama Sarkar rated it liked it. The book is much more than a simple murder mystery. It is an amalgam of suspense, drama, exploration of human mind and a perfect paint picture of Punjabi Society of Delhi. In fact, it would be wrong to categorize the book as simply a mystery, though at the surface it appears to be so Read more at http: There was a popular song during my youth by a band called 10cc. Fairly soon, I understand we're to get our first Tatas on these shores. Must needs we leap aboard the wagon, fringe on the top gaily floofledy in the breeze of our passage on to the NEXT trend!

And then where will Tarquin Hall be? Vish Puri, our sleuth for this inaugural outing of the "Most Private Investigations Ltd" series, will be rattling around in iUniverse, his loyalists ordering a few copies here and there, and perchance Tarquin Hall coming up with the odd a very advised use of the term new entry but probably not. The investigations here are not in the least bit the point of the book. The point is India, Indians, and the astonishing amount we here in the West don't know about any and all of those things.

As such, I enjoyed the book quite a lot.

From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator

I'm on record in several previous reviews as saying we'd best get used to Indian influences in our literature, because their influence is finally catching up with their numbers. I for one welcome this, because I find India completely fascinating, and I really really enjoy chances to add to my store of knowledge of the place. Hall makes a very good guide, since he's as white a white boy as my blue eyes have ever seen. Well, least said soonest mended, and let's move on to the important part: Should you read the book?

Fun, for me; pleasantly charmingly amusing, for me; but for a mystery reader, it would be a horrible experience, and for a snootybootsy four-hankies-and-a-pistol reader it would be a horrible experience, and for the general what's-new-this-week reader it would be a disorganized mess. If you're in the mood for a curry, though, could do nicely. Just don't go in with expectations too high. After a week of emotionally charged books, I was ready to read something less serious, and it was right there and then that the colorful cover of Hall's novel beckoned to me.

Spring has announced itself in the past few weeks, heating up my living room and forcing me to open up the curtain-less windows to a cacophony of happy chatting terrace loungers, soaking in the sun. When I closed my eyes, there were certainly moments that I could believe myself to be in dusty, crowded Delhi.

If only I had a After a week of emotionally charged books, I was ready to read something less serious, and it was right there and then that the colorful cover of Hall's novel beckoned to me. If only I had all that delectable street-food available to me as well The novel's detective protagonist is a quirky character, not unlike Agatha Christie's Poirot and his Mummy-ji strongly reminded me of Miss Marple in feigning stupidity and ignorance when dealing with suspects and possible meddlers in his cases. Puri is a kind-hearted man, who treats his servants and personnel as fairly as possible.

Novelists such as Aravind Adiga, and a slew of talented writers still unknown outside India, are painting artful portraits of present-day city life. Most recently, Sam Miller and Tarquin Hall, both experienced British reporters, have published books that attempt to decode this confounding megalopolis, an ever-expanding urban corridor in which the 21st century's ambitions and nightmares seem to thrive side by side.

Puri's humdrum days of digging dirt on candidates for arranged marriage are interrupted by a murder case. A maidservant named Mary has gone missing, and lawyer Ajay Khasliwal, a patriot who yearns for his country to be a superpower, has been accused of impregnating the young woman, a migrant labourer from the tribal hinterlands, and then disposing of her body. Khasliwal, however, claims he's been framed. Over whiskey and chili cheese toasts at the Gymkhana Club, he explains that he's been trying to bring "inept local and national authorities to account" and, as a result, a "conspiracy of interests" is out to get him.

Puri traipses between Delhi and Rajasthan trying to prove the attorney's innocence, unearthing the "endemic corruption" that is "severely hampering the country's development", as well as the shady ways of progress-wary purists. Hall has woven his impressive knowledge of India into a tautly constructed novel that is a highly readable introduction to the country for newcomers.

His portrait of Delhi's middle classes is complex, and he understands that urban growth is often "built on the backs" of the rural poor. But his insistence on eliciting laughs by making fun of Indian English is tiresome, and his generalisations about Indian culture are at times off-key. The inclusion of even one non-Indian character would have infused the book with a note of redemptive honesty, but the author has shied away from confronting his ambiguous relationship with Delhi.

Sam Miller, by contrast, is forthright about his connection to India, his wife's home country, which enables Delhi: