Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

Vish Puri (nicknamed Chubby by his family and friends) is the owner of Most Private Investigators Ltd. in Delhi. Puri is very good at his job and has surrounded himself with dedicated employees like Handbrake and Facecream. He is hired by Ajay Kasliwal, a lawyer, to find a maid named Mary who worked for Kasliwal and has gone missing. The police have questioned him about Mary and the rumor mill is running wild that he's murdered her. Puri's task proves difficult because he has hardly any information about Mary like her last name or even a photograph. The detective has also been enlisted by Brigadier Bagga Kappor to find out dirt about Mahinder Gupta. Gupta is set to marry the brigadier's granddaughter, Tisca, and he believes Gupta is not a suitable match. In addition, Puri's own mother does some detecting of her own when someone tries to kill Puri while he's tending to his chili plants on the roof. Of course as a mother, protecting her son is her top priority--even if she has to do her investigating in secret, since Puri disapproves of her participation. The Case of the Missing Servant is a delightful mystery that immerses the reader in contemporary Indian culture. Readers of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series will be thrilled to find a book that combines a foreign locale and an engaging main character with a humorous/cozy bent.

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