Friday, June 5, 2020
Rereading — The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator, does what is needful to solve his cases. They usually involve investigating prospective brides and grooms for arranged marriages, but there are also big, serious cases. Such is the main problem in this book where Puri has to save a crusading lawyer's reputation while discovering what happened to the missing servant the lawyer is rumored to have murdered.
A judiciously quirky Indian detective (meaning realistic) and his operatives are highlighted, as well as his Mummy who sets out to solve a mystery that her son does not take seriously. This was an enjoyable "cozy" sort of mystery, like a trip to India. Rereading it seven years after the last time (for A Good Story podcast #63), I am struck by just how realistically regular Indian life is portrayed. I say that after watching so many Indian films in the last couple of years that I noticed tons of authentic details that slid past me in previous readings.
Ultimately, 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. (P.S. I am a big fan of his Mummy-Ji.)