Created by Tarquin Hall
Possibly inspired by the phenomenal success of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Precious Ramotswe, British writer Tarquin Hall introduced VISH PURI, the head of Delhi's Most Private Investigators Ltd., in The Case of the Missing Servant (2009).
Like McCall-Smith's work, the strength and charm of this book relied on its subtlety, its gracefully nuanced character studies and its vividly rendered cultural color, rather than fisticuffs and gunfire. Pot-bellied, eccentric Puri is middle-aged and married, a Delhi version of Horace Rumpole, but with better grooming skills. Not for him, then, the mean streets -- most of his cases consist of background checks on potential spouses. But don't be fooled -- he's not quite the complacent, dandyish buffoon his adversaries may think, and when push comes to shove, as they do when he's called upon to investigate a missing servant girl whose employer has been charged with her murder, it soon becomes apparent that Vish possesses a keen wit and a razor-sharp mind.
And so it goes. Through the series, Vish proves himself to a worthy and wily detective -- even when his family and even more eccentric associates is driving him crazy.
Gumshoes from the sub-continent.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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