Book Review: The Case of the Missing Servant – Tarquin Hall

Title: The Case of the Missing Servant: A Vish Puri Mystery
Author: Tarquin Hall
ISBN: 9781416583684
Pages: 320
Release Date: June 2, 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Mystery, Multicultural Fiction
Source: Library
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary:

Vish Puri is often called the “Sherlock Holmes” of India, though he takes pride in the fact that Holmes was fictitious and Puri most certainly is not.  Clever, resourceful, and a lover of fine food, Puri knows how to get things done and find answers others can’t.  When Puri is hired to find a servant girl known only as Mary, he faces his most challenging case yet.

Review:

When Jen of Jen’s Book Thoughts sent around an email a few months ago announcing a new “Detectives Around the World” feature, I immediately knew I was in.  One of my main passions with my blog is to expose people to literature about South Asia, so this seemed like the perfect chance to do just that!  Plus it gave me an excuse to read Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant, the first book in the new Vish Puri detective series, something I’d been wanting to do for some time.

I have to say, I absolutely loved this book.  The descriptions are so vivid and detailed that The Case of the Missing Servant will make you feel as if you are in India.  Hall does an incredible job making India come to life for the reader.  I knew the author was British, but when I found out he lives part-time in Delhi, I wasn’t surprised at all.  Tarquin Hall knows India inside and out.

One thing that really struck me about The Case of the Missing Servant was the dialogue, and specifically, the sentence structure and use of language by the characters.  I was really shocked at how spot on it is.  I’ve never actively thought about how native Indians speak English until I read this book.  Hall does such a wonderful job with it, it’s just another intricate detail of this incredibly wrought work.

The mystery in this novel is very well done.  I have to admit, I had no idea what the outcome of the book would be and was very impressed with Vish Puri for figuring it out.  Hall is a fine mystery writer and knows how to keep the reader intrigued as he takes them through the twists and turns of the plot.  He clearly put a lot of thought into this book.

I can’t recommend The Case of the Missing Servant highly enough.  Whether you’re itching for a new detective novel or just want a taste of bustling India, this book is fun, smart, well-written, and entirely absorbing.

Comments

  1. This looks so good. For some reason, I think I might have one of the books in this series.

  2. This looks so good. For some reason, I think I might have one of the books in this series.

  3. This books looks like a fun read – just from the cover alone. Of course it was your review that really got me to add it to my TBR list. Thanks, Swapna!!

  4. This books looks like a fun read – just from the cover alone. Of course it was your review that really got me to add it to my TBR list. Thanks, Swapna!!

  5. You’re my first stop on Jen’s Detectives Around the World! It’s a pleasure to “meet” you, Swapna!

    You’ve sold me on giving Vish Puri a try! I’m especially looking forward to getting a taste of bustling India.

  6. You’re my first stop on Jen’s Detectives Around the World! It’s a pleasure to “meet” you, Swapna!

    You’ve sold me on giving Vish Puri a try! I’m especially looking forward to getting a taste of bustling India.

  7. This sounds fabulous! When you signed up for Hall, I was intrigued because I had not heard of his Vish Puri series. Now I definitely need to put it on my TBR list!

    Thanks so much for this fantastic contribution to the theme week.

  8. This sounds fabulous! When you signed up for Hall, I was intrigued because I had not heard of his Vish Puri series. Now I definitely need to put it on my TBR list!

    Thanks so much for this fantastic contribution to the theme week.

  9. This sounds grand, and right up my alley! Oh, my first stop of this DATW and I’m already adding to my wish list! :p

  10. This sounds grand, and right up my alley! Oh, my first stop of this DATW and I’m already adding to my wish list! :p

  11. You’ve made the book sound wonderful — and I feel a new series coming on. This week is going to be dangerous for my wish list.

  12. You’ve made the book sound wonderful — and I feel a new series coming on. This week is going to be dangerous for my wish list.

  13. This sounds so fun, but Tarquin Hall doesn’t sound Indian. Is he an Indian author?

  14. This sounds so fun, but Tarquin Hall doesn’t sound Indian. Is he an Indian author?

  15. Aarti – He’s not Indian, so it doesn’t count for the South Asian Author Challenge, unfortunately. But he does a great job capturing the spirit of India in the book, I think he lives in India part of the time!

  16. Aarti – He’s not Indian, so it doesn’t count for the South Asian Author Challenge, unfortunately. But he does a great job capturing the spirit of India in the book, I think he lives in India part of the time!

  17. I love great dialogue in a book! This one sounds so good!

  18. I love great dialogue in a book! This one sounds so good!

  19. I’m so glad you liked this book! I remember you told me several weeks ago that you were reading it when you commented on my review of it. I thought it was great and I’m glad you decided to highlight for Jen’s very creative Detective event this week.

    Did you know that the second book, The Man Who Died Laughing, is coming out this summer? I’m very excited.

  20. I’m so glad you liked this book! I remember you told me several weeks ago that you were reading it when you commented on my review of it. I thought it was great and I’m glad you decided to highlight for Jen’s very creative Detective event this week.

    Did you know that the second book, The Man Who Died Laughing, is coming out this summer? I’m very excited.

  21. Sounds like an interesting and (from a Western perspective) exotic mystery. Definitely an add to my TBR list…

  22. Sounds like an interesting and (from a Western perspective) exotic mystery. Definitely an add to my TBR list…

  23. This sounds like a wonderful read and I am going to add it to my wish list. I love the fact that it is so descriptive and that the mystery is so engaging. I bet it will make a delightful read for me. Thanks!

  24. This sounds like a wonderful read and I am going to add it to my wish list. I love the fact that it is so descriptive and that the mystery is so engaging. I bet it will make a delightful read for me. Thanks!

  25. I am definitely going to have to check this out. I spend a lot of time working with native Indians and I love the way they speak English. I’m sure I’ll be able to appreciate the dialog. The basic storyline sounds interesting in and of itself. I’m curious as to why anyone would be interesting in finding a lost servant girl…

    I hope you’re having as much fun with DATW as I am!

  26. I am definitely going to have to check this out. I spend a lot of time working with native Indians and I love the way they speak English. I’m sure I’ll be able to appreciate the dialog. The basic storyline sounds interesting in and of itself. I’m curious as to why anyone would be interesting in finding a lost servant girl…

    I hope you’re having as much fun with DATW as I am!

  27. Thanks for this recommendation – I was looking for a new book for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge and this fits the bill. Good blog BTW

  28. Thanks for this recommendation – I was looking for a new book for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge and this fits the bill. Good blog BTW

  29. I simple LOVED this book! I expect to read the series.

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