The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken

vp3#3 The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken – Out in July 2012

In his most daring assignment yet, Vish Puri infiltrates the dangerous world of illegal gambling to solve the murder of a high-profile Pakistani on Indian soil.

Dubbed “a wonderfully engaging P.I.” (The Times, London), Tarquin Hall’s irresistible protagonist Vish Puri has become an international favorite through a series that “splendidly evokes the color and bustle of Delhi and the tang of contemporary India” (The Seattle Times). Now the gormandizing, spectacularly mustachioed sleuth finds himself facing down his greatest fears in an explosive case involving the Indian and Pakistani mafias.

When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in the multi-million-dollar Indian Premier League dies during a post-match dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan—the country in which many members of the P.I.’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one woman in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji.

“A wry whodunnit.” – PEOPLE

“Hall…has a gift for conveying the rich stew of competing cultures in contemporary India with a wonderful economy of image… [He] presents a complex hero in a complex country with a great deal of history, humor, and panache.” – BOOKLIST (Starred Review)

“Outstanding…Well-drawn colorful characters bolster a whodunit sure to appeal to those who enjoy a dash of humor with their crime.”

“Tarquin Hall is a British journalist who lives in Delhi and he has an outsider’s ability to spot the incongruities and telling detail that a local might take for granted. I read his latest mystery, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, and enjoyed it so much I immediately read the first two books of the series… [T]he driving force of all the stories are the charmingly believable characters… His team of misfit assistants come into focus with each book, their varied backgrounds letting us see what life is like in India for people of various castes and economic backgrounds… Gently amusing and with a real feel for Delhi, this is a charming series. Each new novel has raised the stakes subtly and Hall has grown more confident with each outing. It’s quite possible that what has begun as a fun series will become a genuinely great one.” – HUFFINGTON POST

“In Punjabi detective Vish Puri Hall has created a cross between Hercule Poirot and Rumpole of the Bailey and planted him firmly in a faux Spanish villa in middle-class Delhi… Hall does an excellent job of conveying the bustle and glitz of modern Delhi and providing readers with a gently humorous take on life in contemporary India. If “Masterpiece Mystery!” is not currently scouting locations in Delhi, I’d have to say that they are missing a major opportunity.” – CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

“It’s very difficult to resist a book about a deadly butter chicken… Tarquin Hall is as much historian as humorist and he evokes the India where he lives and which he obviously loves, presenting it as a vivid world of color and savory fragrances.” – WASHINGTON TIMES

“This lovely series is a great example of crime fiction functioning as a foreign holiday for the armchair traveller. Hall’s readers become happily immersed in the glorious rhythms and neologisms of “Dilli” language, while the cuisine is so well described you can almost smell it.” – MORNING STAR

“All the characters, even the very minor ones, are drawn with such loving detail. The author reminds me very much of P G Wodehouse in his ability to poke gentle fun at people’s foibles in such a way that we can recognise ourselves in them and end up laughing at ourselves as well as with the characters. This is the third outing of Vish Puri; a wonderful find. Very funny.” – EUROCRIME

“The story is fast-paced and Tarquin clears knows his butter chickens and kebabs as he gives us a taste of the sights, sounds and smells of Delhi… The novel is a potpourri of Delhi culture… Vish Puri proves entertaining indeed. This is a prefect read, especially accompanied by some pakoras and chai!” – TIMES OF INDIA

Radfoot Strongdoctor

Background image courtesy of Eileen Kroll