Saturday, November 20, 2010

"From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator"

I probably will never get to visit India.

So I guess some might say I am visiting vicariously through my Bollywood movies, and now through a new mystery series of books (2 so far) by the Author Tarquin Hall.

Now you may ask; how could an English author know enough about India, the culture, and the people to write a book about solving mysteries in India? Well, he knows quite a lot, since he is married to an Indian journalist and they divide their time between living in London and Delhi.

The Vish Puri mystery series is about a 51 year old, chubby, Indian private investigator that started Delhi's Most Private Investigators Ltd. He takes on variety of cases and is proud of the fact that he is the best PI in India! The style of the mysteries, kind of reminded me of “The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency” books since he is tackling a few investigations at the same time but since the culture is different it doesn’t feel like it is the same kind of story.

The first book is entitled, “The Case of the Missing Servant”. The main case of the book is about Ajay Kasliwal who is a powerful lawyer and has a record of prosecuting corrupt government leaders. Puri is hired to find Mary, a missing maid from Kasliwal home where she worked. A rumor is started that she may have been pregnant and so she was killed by Kasliwal. When her dead body turns up, Puri must find a way to clear his client. I was caught up in the mystery within the first few pages. I felt I could envision the type of man Vish Puri may look and act like. I also could feel and see the sights and sounds of India due to the great descriptions while reading the book.

The most helpful part of the book was a glossary at the back of the book that has the definitions and explanations of many Indian words and customs that make you feel almost bi-lingual by the end of the book, well not quite bi-lingual, but you at least know a few new words and customs.

I highly recommend this book if you love a great mystery! I am very excited to read the second one in the series entitled “The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing.”