Bound copy of The Case of the Love Commandos by Tarquin Hall

Case Closed

One of the most satisfying parts of the writing process is getting a finished manuscript bound. It makes the whole process feel worthwhile! I get mine done in Delhi in leather with gold emboss. The lettering’s stamped by hand and, to be honest, it’s all a bit wonky, but then that’s part of the charm. This is a bound copy of the first draft of ‘The Case of the Love Commandos’ (to be published Oct 2013), corrections and all. Something nice to pass onto the kids. Perhaps between now and then, I’ll get myself a nice old antique glass cabinet to put my growing collection in.      


Booksgasm on Butter Chicken – ‘thoroughly enjoyable’

The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Mark Rose on March 8, 2013 Tarquin Hall’s THE CASE OF THE DEADLY BUTTER CHICKEN is the third charming entrant in his series starring Vish Puri, the sole proprietor of Delhi’s Most Private Investigations Ltd. Puri is a stolid Indian character, much in love with his country’s food, and much put upon for his weight by his beloved wife. He grows his own chilies in a rooftop garden; he sabotages the bathroom scale so that it looks like he’s not gaining weight; he is inordinately fond of his own mustache; and, in general, he seems a likable enough chap. Read more…


Bush Shirts and Safaris Clarified

Just came across this photo while sorting through my archive.  It’s of one of the notices I found pinned to the board in the  lobby of the Delhi Gymkhana Club in 2006.  I later quoted it verbatim in Vish Puri No.1, The Case of the Missing Servant. I’m still not quite clear what a Bush shirt is. If anyone’e got any examples or know where to get one, do let me know!


Postcard from the Kumbh

It was 5.30 am. I was standing in the middle of the largest gathering of humanity ever witnessed on the planet. Around me in a surreal half-light cast by rows of overhead halogen lights, millions upon millions of pilgrims were filing past in a remarkably quiet and orderly fashion – a vast multitude that made the crowds of Times Square seem positively puny. It was Friday February 14th, one of the most auspicious days of the Maha Kumbh Mela, the largest Kumbh Mela pilgrimage to be held in 144 years. I had already visited the confluence of the Ganges, Yamuna and (mythical) Saraswati rivers and watched Hindu pilgrims washing away their sins. I’d seen fathers with children clutched in their […]



As is befitting at the launch of any new enterprise here in India, I’m hanging a string of lemon and green chillies – a totka – on my new web site and blog. Hopefully they’ll satisfy the desire of Alakshmi, the goddess of misfortune, who is said to have a weakness for sour and pungent things, and she’ll refrain from entering the site. As she’s described as being ‘antelope-footed’, ‘bull-toothed’ and – surely worst of all – ‘cow-repelling’, this seems no bad thing. Everyone else – benign gods and mere mortals besides – is more than welcome, and I hope to tempt you back with regular posts on life in Delhi over the coming months and years ahead!


Radfoot Strongdoctor

Background image courtesy of Eileen Kroll