The Case of the Missing Servant

vp1#1 The Case of the Missing Servant – A New York Times Notable Crime Book

Meet Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. Portly, persistent, and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swath through modern India’s swindlers, cheats, and murderers. In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centers and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri’s main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri’s resources to investigate. With his team of undercover operatives—Tubelight, Flush, and Facecream—Puri combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago, and reveals modern India in all its seething complexity.

‘A first novel set in Delhi that offers penetrating insights into the new India.’ – NEW YORK TIMES

‘Great fun – a seething slice of the sub-continent.’ – THE TIMES

‘India’s Most Private Investigator uses stealth, cunning and above all discretion to turn the tables on a killer…lively and quick-paced series debut.’ – KIRKUS REVIEWS (Starred Review)

‘India, captured in all its pungent, vivid glory, fascinates almost as much as the crime itself.’ – ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

‘Entertaining…Hall combines an insider’s insight with the eclectic eye of a good foreign correspondent…. The very opposite of the “exoticism” of which this kind of fiction is often accused. Instead of escaping into “another world”, western readers are encouraged to see an unflattering reflection of their own values and desires.’ – FINANCIAL TIMES

‘Tarquin Hall is a distinguished journalist and has no problem marshalling details to create a sense of what everyday life is like in Delhi: the smell of chat and kachoris seems to waft from the page, as indeed does the stench of political corruption.’ – DAILY TELEGRAPH

‘The debut of what promises to be an outstanding series… The novel is dense with atmosphere, creating a delightful mix of the exotic and familiar… An excellent, delightfully humorous mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, The Case of the Missing Servant immediately joins the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as representing the best in international cozies.’ – BOOKLIST (Starred Review)

‘In addition to having created a marvelous literary personage in Puri…Hall has a fine grasp of the nuances of north Indian life and lingo, as well as an in-depth knowledge in a wide range of subjects…I look forward eagerly to the next Vish Puri book.’ – INDIA TODAY

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Background image courtesy of Eileen Kroll