Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Armchair Novel Review: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken

The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator

Written by Tarquin Hall
Trade Paperback, 368 pages
Also available as an eBook

What is better than reading a mystery novel in the summertime (or anytime, for that matter?) Reading a mystery novel set in a foreign country. I have long loved my Scandinavian whodunnits and have always wondered what other settings I might find as intriguing backdrops to mystery.

Along comes Tarquin Hall with his Vish Puri series set in India - a wonderfully quirky, cozy and intriguing series with the rich histories, peoples and landscapes of this complex land.

The Vish Puri series has been compared to Alexander McCall Smith's works and I definitely agree, but Tarquin Hall's books manage to keep a light edge while delving deeper into the murder mysteries. His background as a journalist shows through in his attention to detail, creating a thoroughly and immensely enjoyable read. 

In The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, the father of a famous cricket player is poisoned at a VIP banquet and Vish Puri must delve into the lives of him and his son, as well as the other famous people at the table. The case takes him into Pakistan, and deeper into Indian history than he imagined. Even his own family history is shaken up in this addictive read. Meanwhile he is on the hunt for the thief of the country's longest mustache, stolen right from the lip of the wearer. Intrigue compounds for our intrepid, and hungry, "Most Private Investigator".

Tarquin Hall is a British writer and journalist who has reported extensively on S.E. Asia and the Middle East for the British press. He is also the author of the highly acclaimed non-fiction books Salaam Brick Lane and To the Elephant Graveyard. Hall is now at work on the fourth installment of the Vish Puri series. He lives in Delhi, India.

Other books in the Vish Puri series

#2 The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing – A Seattle Times Best Crime Novel of the Year

#1 The Case of the Missing Servant – A New York Times Notable Crime Book

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