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