Read Fallet med den försvunna tjänsteflickan by Tarquin Hall Marianne Mattsson Online


Möt Vish Puri, Indiens mest diskrete privatdetektiv. Korpulent, fåfäng och mycket skicklig löser han fall i den myllrande staden Delhi. Lik en nutida, indisk Hercule Poirot charmar han både klienter och läsare med sin anslående mustasch och faiblesse för godsaker (plus en fru som vakar som en hök över vad han stoppar i sig). Den inrutade tillvaron med slentrianuppdrag somMöt Vish Puri, Indiens mest diskrete privatdetektiv. Korpulent, fåfäng och mycket skicklig löser han fall i den myllrande staden Delhi. Lik en nutida, indisk Hercule Poirot charmar han både klienter och läsare med sin anslående mustasch och faiblesse för godsaker (plus en fru som vakar som en hök över vad han stoppar i sig). Den inrutade tillvaron med slentrianuppdrag som går ut på att kolla upp bakgrunden hos blivande par i arrangerade äktenskap bryts när Puri en dag blir kontaktad av en advokat. Denne anklagas för att ha mördat sin unga tjänsteflicka som plötsligt försvunnit. För att rentvå sig måste advokaten hitta henne, och Vish Puri åtar sig med glädje det intrikata fallet. Sökandet efter flickan tar honom och hans medhjälpare genom ett kokande Delhi, fyllt av avgaser, callcenter och massor av grön chili. De färdas över stora delar av landet och genom de olika samhällsskikten i dagens Indien. Från extrem lyx i skyddade bostadsområden till rena slummen, där tjänstefolket bor. Fallet med den försvunna tjänsteflickan är en charmig och underhållande detektivroman i samma anda som Damernas detektivbyrå. Den utspelar sig i gränslandet mellan det nya och det gamla Indien och bjuder på både spänning, sympatisk huvudperson och en levande skildring av ett fascinerande land....

Title : Fallet med den försvunna tjänsteflickan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789137133850
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 251 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Fallet med den försvunna tjänsteflickan Reviews

  • Didi
    2019-03-19 23:07

    I’m no expert when it comes to detective novels but when I read a good one I’m really happy about it and I just have to tell you guys about it. The Case of the Missing Servant ignited some kind of desire to read more detective novels, especially of its kind. What kind you may ask? Those that contain larger than life characters placed in the modern-day back drop of hustling and bustling India. All the elements for a captivating intrigue are present; starting with Vish Puri.... Go to to read more.

  • Poonam
    2019-03-20 17:31

    Having heard so much about the book, I was eager to read the book. However, I was rather disappointed. To be fair, let us just say, it was nothing out of ordinary for me.Vish Puri (pun on Hindi phrase for your wish comes true)is 51-year old Punjabi, pot-bellied private detective. (He is being India's Poirot.) But the book more reminded me of Mma Ramotswe for its sheer draggy quality. However, don't get me wrong, my perspective is biased, since Delhi is home - this stereotyped peculiarity that Punjabis display is no longer exotic. I am used to their amusing manner of speaking and conservative line of thought. Vish Puri (and his clan) is guilty of both.The book is full of instance when English language is so innocently butchered by Punjabis. Even the notices on Gynkhana club seem to be written incorrectly and sometimes they are outright hilarious. Sample a few of these snatches of conversations:"I am not having the foggiest." (I have no idea.)"He’s knowing Bunty Bannerjee.""Everyone's doing gossip."Then there is a sequence that emulates Holmes' deduction methods. Mr. Hall, I am sure, had fun writing that. Btw, Vish Puri, is never flattered by the reference 'Sherlock Homes of India' since in his mind Chanakya devised those deduction tricks and tactics centuries ago and Holmes just copied those without crediting him. I would have been happier if the mystery story in the book was shorter and crisper, however, I have to admit that the author has interesting writing style that is full of amusing observations about city that is Delhi and people who are Indians. Sample:"Her (secretary) job required her to keep her Boss’s diary, answer the phones, manage the files, and make sure Door Stop, the office peon didn’t steal milk and sugar."While describing vehicles on road " and occasional unworthy hybrid vehicle that defied description".I will read second book if I have time to spare (from other books, of course). :P

  • Syl
    2019-02-28 20:19

    3.5A more than decent cozy mystery with an Indian detective as the lead. I had encountered Vish Puri, his girth, his lovable wife concerned about his health and his underlings in book No. 3, the Case of the deadly butter chicken, and hence was acquainted with him much before reading this first book of the series, which introduces him and his retinue.Vish Puri is a 50 something private detective, who earns his bread and butter with matrimony cases, but once in a while is embroiled in a much more interesting murder mystery.. as with this one.While investigating prospective grooms for a couple of clients, he is called by a Lawyer whose female servant has run away and is suspected to have been molested and murdered by him. So Vish is embroiled in a couple of parallel cases, and finally comes out with a solution to all.What I loved about this book:The cute Indian English lingo, which I often overhear is used to perfectionRandom facts about history and geography of IndiaThe circumstances of the seemingly silly murders/mysteriesHomelife of Puri with slightly dominating wife and motherWhat I dont like that much:The oddities and drawbacks of India are mentioned in every other pageSometimes the solutions are very unorthodox or unbelievableOverall, a series which I will pursue, especially when I need a quick stopgap in between serious/depressing reads.

  • Leila
    2019-02-22 22:36

    Any fan of the Ladies No 1 Detective Agency (A McCall Smith) will find a new pleasure here. My mother recommended this author/series to me recently after reading The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, which is book 3. I like to try and read these in order if I can, so Missing Servant starts it off. Not only is there an interesting mystery to be solved by Vish Puri, private investigator; you will learn so much without being hit over the head with it about Punjabi (and Indian) life. In the way that Mma Ramotswe of No 1 ladies gives you a glimpse into a world utterly dissimilar to your own in Botswana, and the everyday details and features that make it different to Western life yet universally relevant and comforting; Tarquin Hall delivers the same gentle education. Compelling, lovable, imperfect characters and exotic location meld in a charming and unique way. If you have an interest or affinity for southeast Asian desi culture there is enough real idiomatic language and authentic detail to teach you at least what you like to eat when you have Indian food; and a little of the intricacies of the Indian caste system. From meddling aunties to interfering mothers; Vish Puri takes on standard investigations into potential brides or grooms all the way to murder! Highly recommended. Book equivalent of a mug of hot tea & a back rub; entertaining and suspenseful yet loving, sweet, and informative. Thanks Mom.

  • Faith
    2019-02-28 20:37

    This is the first book in the Vish Puri series, and it's the only one that I had not read. It's also the only book that I listened to rather than read. Unfortunately, it was not one of my favorites. I was hoping for more charm in the narration, but the reading was too slow paced for me and I didn't care for some of the female voices. As usual there were several storylines running concurrently but none of them really grabbed me, and some of them had abrupt, unsatisfying conclusions. However, I did like the picture of life in contemporary India.

  • Girish
    2019-02-24 22:14

    A detective agency set in Delhi, a crime wrapped in the Indian masala alongside matrimony investigations and the pot bellied pakora crunching Indian Hercule Poirot in Vish Puri. The detective has a team of agents with nicknames such as Tubelight and Facecream. The detective skills, for all the monologue on history of detective skills, is not so spectacular and lot of hardwork. The book is a simple read and seems so normal to read. So much like watching TV detectives on candid camera.Vish Puri is a character written for a series. The 'Indianness' in the book is overwhelming including bad English, caste elitism and caring mummyji. If you had any doubt, there is 5% of the Kindle edition dedicated to a glossory of Indian terms including 'cousin-sister [a colloquiialism emphasising that in India a first cousin is like a sibling]' , 'Dosa [a South Indian crepe made from rice and lentils]' to more hard hitting ones like 'dalits [untouchables, low caste; means 'suppressed']'. Tough to believe it is written by a foreigner (and maybe a tad worrying too)One thing I did before writing the review was re-read my reveiw of Mccall Smith's No 1 Ladies Detective Agency. And I realised I took whatever I read to be a painting of Africa. Now I know, how so many people are going to assume this is India. Maybe not really as long as we acknowledge the humor. Might read a few more books in this series.

  • Karen
    2019-03-13 20:13

    Little slow in places. Overall, an okay 'Sherlock' kind of mystery.3☆

  • Lori
    2019-03-06 23:20

    It's funny how things find a strange way of lining themselves up. A few months ago, I came across an ARC copy of this novel at a local library sale. I flipped through it, read the back cover, and thought it sounded interesting. Once I got home, I stacked it up on my bookshelf with the other books I purchased that day, and there it sat... Until I met Lucinda, who with the authors literary agent, in NYC during the BEA.She offered to have me host the author, Tarquin Hall, on TNBBC to discuss the novel (which is taking place all this week) and offered up 5 copies of the novel to get the discussion going!So, of course, in order to participate in the Author Q&A, and drive some discussion, I pulled the book off of the bookshelf and began to read it.The Case of the Missing Servant is - at it's heart - a true murder mystery. Taking place in Dehli, we met Vish Puri: India's Most Private Investigator. A portly, proud, and persistent undercover detective who will stop at nothing to uncover the truth of the disappearance of Mary, a maid servant who seemingly vanished in the middle of the night.Using ancient espionage methods, Vish Puri enlists the help of spies like FaceCream, Tubelight, and Handbrake to investigate the situation. Little by little, the pieces of the puzzle begin to fit together for our hero - leading the reader on what first appears to be a twisting, turning, seemingly endless wild goose chase.Tarquin Hall has created a wonderfully humorous, light-hearted tale starring a very charismatic, if not slightly full of himself, lead character who certainly has earned the recognition and prestige that is showered upon him. Boasting about his numerous awards, his photo appearing on the cover of a popular magazine, and the many cases he has already solved, Vish Puri is quick to refuse help from his Mummy - who manages to perform some of her own undercover investigations throughout the novel as well.Hall also does a fantastic job of pulling the reader into the storyline, of allowing us to get lost in the plot, and giving us just enough information to keep us guessing the whole way through.What really made the book for me, in the end, was the authentic way in which Tarquin's characters spoke English. In conversation, it is quite common to hear the characters saying "The driver was doing reckless driving..." or "Don't do the sleeping." or "You want I should send someone with you?"A real gem of a novel, a true taste of India, and a dynamic cast of characters.This books is worth the read, and I hope if you enjoyed it, that you will check out the second novel of the series, which just released this past week, "The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing".

  • Doreen
    2019-02-22 20:23

    This is the debut appearance of the Punjabi detective, Vish Puri, founder of Delhi's Most Private Investigators, Inc.A maidservant has gone missing, and a crusading layer has been accused of killing her. Puri sets out to prove the attorney's innocence. (Other more minor cases are also investigated.)Puri is called the Punjabi Sherlock Holmes and, although he shares similarities with a number of fictional detectives, he has a charm all his own. He is clever and resourceful but with enough eccentricities and flaws (vanity, boastfulness) to make him both memorable and likeable. He is assisted by a motley crew of investigators, although they are not developed to any great extent.The author excels at local colour. He describes the sights, sounds and smells of India; the food descriptions alone leave the reader craving Indian food. The author also touches on the country's contemporary problems (e.g. rapid urbanization, outsourcing, caste prejudices, the gap between rich and poor, rampant corruption).The book is sufficiently suspenseful while also evoking pathos and laughter at times. It is definitely a promising introduction to a literary detective.

  • Indrani Sen
    2019-02-26 21:27

    Very highly recommended if you like Alexander McCall Smith and/or Agatha Christie. This is a gem of a detective story based in Delhi. A thoroughly enjoyable read. This is the first book I have read of this author. I couldn't believe that he is not Indian. Except for perhaps one or two scenes, I felt that he has gotten India and Indians very well.

  • Smita Beohar
    2019-02-19 23:08

    The Case of the Missing ServantAuthor: Tarquin HallPublisher: Random HousePrice: Rs. 430/-Let me make myself very clear at the outset. I have never been a fan of who-dun-it novels by Indian Authors. The only one that I have liked in recent times was Krishnna’s Konfession & that too I attribute to the fact that it was chick-lit cum mystery novel. My last attempt at Indian thriller (though I must accept it wasmore of a love story) was “My Friend Sancho” by Amit Verma. The book though listed Man Booker Prize in 2007 (!!!) was just about average. So when I heard about “The Case of the Missing Servant” I wasn’t very excited but two facts made me pick up the book- It has got rave reviews- It was listed in the ‘HT Page Turners to pickup in 2009’ & the list is yet to fail me.The cover & the catch line “Meet Vish Puri India’s Most Private Investigator” reminded me of “The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency” but that’s where the similarity ends.Vish Puri, a pot bellied 51 year old man is the MD of India’s Most Private Investigator Ltd. From screening grooms for matrimonial alliances to murder mysteries Mr. Puri has done it all and is considered to be the BEST in the business.He has a team of undercover operatives with cutest nick names in town; Tubelight (because the man is slow), Facecream (because the girl is fair), Flush (his was the first house in the village to have a flush). Mr. Puri’s lands with one of the most complicated cases in recent times when a Public prosecutor is accused of murdering his maidservant Mary. He faces the indomitable task of finding Mary who was just another face in the crowd & has now vanished in thin air. Even before he can seriously start his search the police claim to have found her body and arrests Mr. Kasliwal.Can Mr. Puri solve the case? Can he prove the innocence of his client???Well that’s not the only worry that he has in his mind. While watering plants at his home Mr. Puri miraculously escapes an attempt on his life and it is then that the detective instincts of his mother raises its head and nothing he says can discourage her from the case of shooting on his son. Needless to say the situation gets quite a many chuckles out of us.The book is- A Page Turner- Racy- Cute- Funny- Adorable Sample this, Mr. Puri a hot shot detective leaves for Jaipur for an overnight trip but no one at home has any clue about the trip and this is how he explains things to his zapped driver“I have packed my overnight things in the cardboard box. It was not possible to explain all this to you at home. Everyone is doing gossip”. A detective who can not keep secrets in his home :DThe writing is taut and the description of India very colorful & real. The driver of Mr. Puri, Handbrake loves his job but hates the fact that his boss asks him to follow traffic rules & speed limit. The later meant giving way to traffic & this humiliated him to no ends. Isn’t that the mentality of every 2nd Indian? But the best part is that the author is not Indian and that makes the accurate description more marvelous & special. The best part about the book is that no where does it go overboard in description. The mystery when solved leaves some loose ends but I felt the humor & the writing make up for every small flaw. I won’t spend much time in shredding or appreciating the book & all I will say is.A who-dun-it with Indian Tadka can not get better than this. Not at all over the top, has lovable characters & the taut writing makes the book an immensely entertaining read. I am now waiting for a series of cases to follow. So go grab your copy NOW!!!

  • Susan in NC
    2019-02-22 23:09

    I loved this book and hope there are many more to come - Vish Puri is a great hero! "Chubby" to his loving wife Rumpi, "Mummy-ji" and wonderfully mixed bag of friends and associates, he calls himself India's Most Private Investigator and his ego (rightfully) equals Poirot himself. Puri carefully records all of his cases at completion, as he is sure future generations will want to study his methods and even has the title picked out for his future memoirs: "Confidentiality Is My Watchword".Puri is hilarious and wise, following the investigative methods laid down by his two gurus: the philosopher-statesman Chanakya, "who lived three hundred years before Christ and founded the arts of espionage and investigation", and his own father, a deceased Delhi police detective. The "New India" of 24-hour call centers, hyper-development and booming high-tech industry has created a lot of growth, opportunity, and new money, but also a lot of crime, and Puri is busier than ever. Here he is working on two investigations - one checking into the background and suitability of a potential bride groom, and in the other case he must discover the fate of the missing servant girl of the title to save a client accused of killing her. It's a glorious ride following Puri as he marshalls his many, sometimes dubious resources to get to the bottom of these two challenging cases, and his supporting cast of characters, including his staff, his patient wife and his wise Mummy-ji (a natural investigator in her own right, despite Chubby's misgivings!) are wonderful - I hope to read more about them in future books.

  • Laurie
    2019-03-02 00:22

    If Kim's Babuji became a private investigator in modern India, he'd sound a lot like this.

  • Traci Andrighetti
    2019-02-28 19:22

    I'm officially obsessed with this series! If you want to escape into India, this is your book.

  • Nehirin~
    2019-03-20 21:08

    Üzerinde uzun uzun düşünmeye ya da yazmaya gerek yok. Eğlenceli, hoş bir kitap. Yazarın diğer kitaplarını da okumak isterim.

  • Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
    2019-03-13 20:33

    An enjoyable read that held my attention throughout. I'm the sort of person that usually has 2-4 books on the go at any one time, but this one took precedence until I finished it. The Boss of Most Private Investigations takes on the tough cases himself. Whether it's vetting a prospective bridegroom or upsetting a bogus charge of murder, Vish Puri grants his clients' wishes. He's no Sherlock Holmes (as he says, Holmes is fiction while he is "really real") so sometimes things don't go to plan, but tension and laughter are well mixed, with as many twists and turns as a ZeeTV soap opera. Like Watson, Mr Hall tends to mention other previous cases that don't appear on his book list. I wonder if these are just Doyle-style teasers, or if someday we will be able to read The Case of the Laughing Peacock or of the Absconding Accountant. I hope so. I really hope so.

  • JulieDurnell
    2019-02-25 18:09

    I found this first in a series book absolutely wonderful-Vish Puri is the Punjabi equivalent of Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot. The local color and varied characters are spot on. I have not read a great deal of books set in India but I was so engrossed in this detective story that I must read further into Vish Puri's The Case of..... And kudos for the glossary in the back - that is a great help and so interesting!

  • Laura
    2019-02-26 20:29

    Just arrived from Tunisia through BM.This is the first book of the series Vish Puri which meaning is "granter of wishes". He is the founder and director of Most Private Investigators Ltd. The plot tells the story of a murder investigation in which a public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant.

  • Anupama Sarkar
    2019-02-28 23:20

    The book is much more than a simple murder mystery. It is an amalgam of suspense, drama, exploration of human mind and a perfect paint picture of Punjabi Society of Delhi. In fact, it would be wrong to categorize the book as simply a mystery, though at the surface it appears to be soRead more at

  • Richard Derus
    2019-03-19 20:25

    There was a popular song during my youth by a band called 10cc. The chorus of this song was, "I'm not in love/so don't forget it/it's just a silly phase I'm goin' through...." India, books Indian in setting and theme, Indian food *dripdrool*, Hindu theology, henna tattoos, all objects of fascination for me and much of the American culture just now. Fairly soon, I understand we're to get our first Tatas on these shores. (Go Google "Tata.")So what's a weentsy-teentsy little shoestring publishing house like Simon and Schuster supposed to do, try to buck the trend? Heavens to Betsy! Perish forbid! Must needs we leap aboard the wagon, fringe on the top gaily floofledy in the breeze of our passage on to the NEXT trend! And then where will Tarquin Hall be?Tarquin who?Vish Puri, our sleuth for this inaugural outing of the "Most Private Investigations Ltd" series, will be rattling around in iUniverse, his loyalists ordering a few copies here and there, and perchance Tarquin Hall coming up with the odd (a very advised use of the term) new entry but probably not.The investigations here are not in the least bit the point of the book. The point is India, Indians, and the astonishing amount we here in the West don't know about any and all of those things. As such, I enjoyed the book quite a lot. I'm on record in several previous reviews as saying we'd best get used to Indian influences in our literature, because their influence is finally catching up with their numbers. I for one welcome this, because I find India completely fascinating, and I really really enjoy chances to add to my store of knowledge of the place.Hall makes a very good guide, since he's as white a white boy as my blue eyes have ever seen. This means that things which would not need saying, like the fact that servants must fill washing machines by buckets, get said and our spoiled, spoiled eyes get big at the very *notion* of not simply twisting a tap for instant, clean water of whatever temperature we desire. (PLEASE GOD, plagues wars famines whatever, DON'T MAKE ME GIVE UP HOT SHOWERS!)Oh! The story! Well, least said soonest mended, and let's move on to the important part: Should you read the book?Nah. Fun, for me; pleasantly charmingly amusing, for me; but for a mystery reader, it would be a horrible experience, and for a snootybootsy four-hankies-and-a-pistol reader it would be a horrible experience, and for the general what's-new-this-week reader it would be a disorganized mess. If you're in the mood for a curry, though, could do nicely. Just don't go in with expectations too high.

  • Tze-Wen
    2019-03-04 19:33

    After a week of emotionally charged books, I was ready to read something less serious, and it was right there and then that the colorful cover of Hall's novel beckoned to me. Spring has announced itself in the past few weeks, heating up my living room and forcing me to open up the curtain-less windows to a cacophony of happy chatting terrace loungers, soaking in the sun. When I closed my eyes, there were certainly moments that I could believe myself to be in dusty, crowded Delhi. If only I had all that delectable street-food available to me as well... a cold lassi certainly would not have gone amiss!The novel's detective protagonist is a quirky character, not unlike Agatha Christie's Poirot (and his Mummy-ji strongly reminded me of Miss Marple) in feigning stupidity and ignorance when dealing with suspects and possible meddlers in his cases. Puri is a kind-hearted man, who treats his servants and personnel as fairly as possible. Although the world he lives in is not a straightforward one, he manages to skillfully wind his way through exasperating bureaucracy and corruption.The Case of the Missing Servant is not just a very enjoyable crime novel, it also introduces the reader to everyday India, a rapidly modernizing country. Puri and his family live in the middle of a newly built concrete jungle, pitched as the Valhalla for the nouveau riche. In reality, the buildings are very badly constructed, and though seemingly the standard for the modern Indian, the area is (still) surrounded by open-sewered slums. What also surprised me, was how badly servants (and/or people of lower castes) are treated. While Ajay Kasliwal, Puri's client, tries to take on corrupted officials and officers, his wife pays their servants less than the going rates and treats them in a dismal manner. I found it incredible that she hired Mary, the maidservant who disappeared, without inquiring after her origins (or even her last name). The widespread corruption in every layer of society and the money-greasing practices of Rinku, Puri's childhood friend, were yet another revelation. And finally, I had no idea that match-making (and hiring private detectives to delve deep into prospective partners' pasts) was still common practice. The novel was a cultural eye-opener for me, but it really did so much more than that. Highly amusing and deeply sobering at the same time, it made anticipate reading the sequel to this breath-taking crime story. Now, please excuse me while I go make myself a cup of chai.

  • LJ
    2019-02-23 21:09

    First Sentence: Vish Puri, founder and managing director of Most Private Investigators Ltd., sat alone in a room in a guesthouse in Defense Colony, south elhi, devouring a dozen green chili pakoras* from a greasy takeout box.Private Investigator Vish Puri has his hands full. An honest and respected public litigator has been accused of murdering his maidservant. The police say they have witnesses of him dumping the body. Puri must prove the man’s innocence and find the real killer. A second case has Puri investigating a potential bridegroom. The bride’s father is certain there is something his daughter’s fiancée is hiding. And who attempted to kill Puri while he was on his own rooftop?Puri is often compared by others to Sherlock Holmes but he also reminds me of Hercule Poiroit, albeit with a larger spirit. He also made me think, a bit, of Louise Penny’s Gamache because of his four rules of detection. All together, he is a very likable, appealing character. He’s not perfect, fortunately, as he has an intense fear of flying.Puri is supported by a fascinating team of operatives, each with their own background. Best of all is Mummy, his mother, who conducts her own investigation and has the experience for so doing. No amateurs here.It is fascinating to look at an entirely different culture. One forgets how old a civilization is India yet it a culture in transition. There is a bit of a moral and/or cautionary tale for Westerners here. The gap between the wealthy and the poor is huge. The old jobs for the individual and the poor are disappearing. The Indian court and justice system is a shamble. Bribery is the way in which much gets done. ”How can India reach superpower status with all the corruption around.” Yet Puri also observes that Krishna stated “The discharge of one’s moral duty supersedes all other pursuits, whether spiritual or material.”. The three mysteries within the story are very well done. There is nothing obvious about them and the investigation is done through following the clues and investigative procedure. I like that. The writing is first rate; not a portent or cliff hanger in sight. This was a very enjoyable book and one I probably would not have picked up had it not been a selection of my mystery readers’ group. I would read more in the series and would definitely recommend “The Case of the Missing Servant.”THE CASE OF THE MISSING SERVANT (PI-Vish Puri-India-Cont) – VGHall, Tarquin – 1st in seriesSimon & Schuster, ©2009, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9781416583684

  • Gav Reads
    2019-02-25 00:35

    I’ve found my new favourite detective. This time they are from India in the guise of portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, private detective Vish Puri.The Case of the Missing Servant is our first introduction to this ‘Indian Poriot.’ An established detective, with an web of contracts and employees, Puri is very much a conductor and ring master, though even he has problems with an interfering mother. As an introduction it works well. Hall gives us several threads to follow. Not only do we have the ‘missing servant’ we also have assassination attempts, unsuitable suitors and other case name dropping.The thing that Hall captures most is the colour. The characters are lively and background is vibrant. Good crime authors present the solving of the crime in an engaging way but great ones also make their manor a character in its own right. I enjoyed seeing how Puri works. His employees make a great supporting cast. Their characters are all as different as the jobs they do, which makes their interactions with Puri delightful to read.What’s different for me is that Puri has a loving and happy family life and after seeing his mother you can tell where Puri gets his nose from. It’s unusual to have such a happy detective and that makes The Case of the Missing Servant such a joy to read. Yes, the crime is serious and seriously handled but the nature of a cosy crime novel is that it isn’t disturbing. His idiosyncratic ways make it fun.As with Sherlock Holmes he names previous cases to wet our appetite for further adventures though there are no worries on that score with The Case of the Man who Died Laughing and The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken already out and on my shelf waiting.

  • Julie Davis
    2019-02-24 17:07

    Bookmark goes undercover as a maid, while Popcorn is outside drinking tea from a crumpled paper cup. Scott and Julie enjoy their new Punjabi nicknames almost as much as they enjoyed The Case of the Missing Servant. This book discussion is Episode 63 at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.===================#68 - 2010.I learned about this series from Mystery Scene magazine. A judiciously quirky Indian detective (meaning realistic) and his operatives on an introductory case which also introduces us to life "inside" India. Case wrapped up nicely and the next chapters will begin the big, novel-long case, I assume. we shall see how we go on from here.Update: I am finding this an enjoyable "cozy" sort of mystery, like a trip to India, and also somewhat frustrating as I have to look up many of the native words in the glossary in the back of the book. I understand if a word requires complex descriptions, as do some of the common terms. For example could not the author simply have used the native word for gardener and then put "gardener" in parentheses? Yes, I am just that lazy, or possibly there are just that many native words used in this book. Anyway, I really like it otherwise and am moving onward with it.Final thoughts: this was a classic mystery in many ways and yet it still managed to fool me. Extremely well done and gave a bird's-eye view of India without needing tons of info-dumps. Highly recommended and I am going to see if there is another about Vish Puri. (P.S. I am a big fan of his Mummy.)

  • Spuddie
    2019-03-08 21:19

    In this thoroughly enjoyable first in series featuring PI Vish Puri in Delhi, India, you are not only introduced to a whole cache of fun and interesting characters but given a cultural tour of a middle-class Indian household as well. Puri is contacted by an old friend, a prominent lawyer who is being set up to take the fall for doing away with one of his former maidservants who disappeared a couple of months previously. Puri and his crack team--whom he's given hilarious nicknames like Facecream, Handbrake, and Tubelight--begin digging, surveilling and infiltrating the home of the lawyer to find out all the things that they aren't being told. As the investigation is underway, a body is actually discovered and suddenly witnesses are coming out of the woodwork who saw the lawyer disposing of it. Given the corruption in the Indian police force and political system, it's entirely possible that someone has it in for the lawyer and is framing him--and it's Puri's job to find out who and why.The reader was excellent, handling a variety of voices and accents well, with a pace and tone that captures the essence of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, both the reader and the story itself, and the cultural immersion as well. There was a good mix of humor--the tone was light, but some serious issues were also addressed. The main mystery was fairly easy to figure out, as were the side mysteries but it didn't keep me from enjoying the story.

  • Alyce (At Home With Books)
    2019-03-15 16:26

    Imagine Sherlock Holmes in modern-day India, and you've got a good feel for what this book is like. The Case of the Missing Servant is written in such a way that it was as if I was listening to the characters voices speaking (in English of course) with Indian accents. I was very impressed by this writing which was so easy to read, yet captured the grammatical idiosyncrasies of Indians speaking English.Vish Puri is an intelligent private investigator who is famous for solving crimes, yet also does a brisk business spying on potential spouses to make sure their histories are clean. Filled with offbeat humor and a fast-paced plot, the reader follows along on his search for the true killer of a servant girl named Mary.This was a very good murder mystery (more in the tone of Sherlock Holmes, not so much a thriller - although there is suspense) with a decent amount of Indian cultural information thrown in. The story itself is not really offensive, but there are some swear words that are written in the local dialect, and I was surprised at some of the meanings when I looked them up in the glossary at the end of the book. Some were silly, but others were pretty crude, then again you'd never know it unless you used the glossary.I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery or enjoys stories set in India.

  • Linda
    2019-02-17 17:35

    Delightful, even if Vish Puri is a pompous, sexist ass sometimes. Set in contemporary Delhi, Puri is hired to find out what happened to a missing servant girl whom his client is accused of killing. One subplot has him investigating the prospective groom of his client's daughter, and the other has his mother investigating who is responsible for shooting at him.All the plots were satisfying, the characterization deft, and there was plenty of dry humor, too. Bonus points for the extensive glossary and for the descriptions of all the tasty food. There are several reviews comparing this to Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe novels. To the extent that they both are outsiders writing about former British colonies, the comparison has merit. However, McCall Smith's works really are love letters to the country and the people of Botswana. They are gentle musings on human nature. Hall vividly depicts modern Indian culture, but I wouldn't characterize the book as particularly affectionate or gentle. It's also a better mystery than most of McCall Smith's books.

  • Tweedledum
    2019-03-10 18:31

    Tarquin Hall delights in spinning a mystery story that dances along amongst the sights and sounds and voices of India. Then suddenly we are pulled up sharp to bear witness to the exploitation and decimation of a community and environment. There, .... heart stops, shock registers, Hall has opened our eyes for a moment....then we're off again lightly traveling like a gawping tourist, eagerly awaiting a happy ending. Genius.As Vish Puri juggles with time and geography to investigate 2 contrasting cases he is shot at while tending his chilli plants on the roof of his house. Mammi-gee arrives having learnt of the outrage. Dismayed to discover her son doesn't appear to be investigating his own attempted assassination she sets out to discover the would be murderer for herself. Meanwhile we begin to discover the hidden talents of Vish Puri's unlikely team of clandestine and undercover employees.

  • Angie Boyter
    2019-03-19 19:36

    Rather disappointed. I forced myself to finish it, hoping the denouement would redeem a pedestrian read, but it didn't, even though they were mildly unconventional.It was compared to Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe, but I think the comparison is not valid except that both are detectives and several cases are included in one book.There is none of the lightness or nice observations on humanity that Smith includes, and the characters are not especially engaging.The fascination of the ancient Indian culture was offset by my distaste for the contemporary society, so full of corruption and inequality.This is one series I have ni interest in continuing.

  • Tammy
    2019-03-17 23:10

    At times I was confused with all of the different characters' names/nicknames and trying to remember who was who, but it was still an enjoyable and interesting read.