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The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken: A Vish Puri Mystery (Vish Puri Mysteries) Hardcover – July 10, 2012
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“A thoroughly engaging series . . . Hall has a gift for conveying the rich stew of competing cultures in contemporary India with a wonderful economy of image. . . . Hall presents a complex hero in a complex country with a great deal of history, humor, and panache.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Outstanding . . . Well-drawn colorful characters bolster a whodunit sure to appeal to those who enjoy a dash of humor with their crime.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“India, captured in all its pungent, vivid glory, fascinates almost as much as the crime itself.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Hall writes amusing mysteries . . . [his] affectionate humor is embedded with barbs.” —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
“Splendid . . . Entertaining . . . Vish Puri is large, constantly hungry, a perpetual victim of Delhi’s traffic congestion, and a wonderfully engaging P.I. . . . A joy to read.” —The Times (London)
“Hall takes the reader into a very Indian, very Delhi web of spirituality, sin, slums, and power broking, but all treated with a veneer of wit and intelligent absurdity.” —India Today
“Modern India, in all its colorful squalor, provides a vivid backdrop for this well-crafted whodunit.” —Jean Westmoore, Buffalo News
“It’s only a matter of time before Hollywood turns this into a movie or a TV show... The three books develop nicely with each central mystery a little more complicated and dangerous than the one before… It’s quite possible that what has begun as fun series will become a genuinely great one.” (The Huffington Post)
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Top Customer Reviews
Vish Puri, affectionately called Chubby by his family, is the Boss of Most Private Detectives, assisted by a large group of operatives with colorful monikers like Tubelight, Facecream, Handbrake, Flush, and Chanel No.5. Even his beloved Mummy-Ji gets in on the sleuthing action on occasion--though against Puri's wishes.
As the story begins, Puri has been put on a diet by his wife, Rumpi. He'll do anything to make her happy, but he finds food irresistible. The descriptions of his meals were so mouth-watering I finally had to resolve not to read the book unless I had already eaten.
Puri has several cases on his plate (no pun intended): the murder (by poisoned Butter Chicken) of wealthy Pakistani Mr. Khan at a cricket federation dinner; allegations of cricket match fixing; and the "theft" of the long, luxuriant mustaches of two men.
Puri's adventures are comic, but author Tarquin Hall isn't just playing for laughs. He doesn't turn a blind eye to the corruption in Indian society or its inequities, like an elderly servant who is made to sleep on her master's kitchen floor.Read more ›
Hall once again manages to masterfully capture the nuances of an Indian life in general, and that of Delhi particular. As a Delhiite myself, I am always surprised by his deep understanding of the city's subculture, and knowledge of the best and the worst that the city offers. He certainly has a keen ear for the colloquial "Indian" English, with sentences missing articles and verbs at their end (e.g. "hunger is there"), making his books a delightful hilarious read. In this particular book, the accounts of contemporary cricket on the Inidan subcontinent, and of the partition in 1947, are particularly interesting. The long descriptions of the food always leaves one with longing, and the book provides some recipes in the end (I found this amusing). Some part of the mystery were "out there" (e.g.: a bloody assasination and chase at a farm house party), but overall, it was fun.
A big thank you again to the author for writing this fun read, and hopefully we won't have to wait too long for the next addition to this Delhi-detective series.
This is the third installment of the charming Vish Puri series. Its usual cast of thoroughly engaging characters is back too including Puri's Mummy-ji who may be a better detective than he, and Rumpi, Mrs. Puri, who is determined that her 'Chubby' lose weight whatever it takes.
Character, atmosphere and culinary delights take center stage as Hall takes us on a delightful romp through the streets of Delhi to meet its intriguing assortment of personages. I hope we don't have to wait too long for Puri's next caper.
Puri and his family are fortuitously present when the elderly Faheem Khan is poisoned with aconite in his butter chicken. Puri's investigations lead into the world of illegal Indian betting and of cricket match fixing. But, secretly, Puri's mother begins looking into how the murder is related to the crimes committed during the bloody 1947 partition of India.
But where author Tarquin Hall excels is in introducing the new, conflicted India to foreigners -- a country both as wealthy as the Mugals and as poor as a begging street urchin, as technological advanced as an Indian call center and as rooted in time as a widow scattering her husband's remains into the fetid Ganges River. Every time I read Hall's books, I learn so much about modern India, where money, rather than birth, is creating the new caste system.
Some mysteries need to be read in order; however, Hall's mysteries, like those of Rex Stout, aren't that way. All of Hall's Vish Puri books are excellent: Don't miss the previous books, The Case of the Missing Servant and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing: Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you are up to it with Indian history, this book makes for a good read. A lot of the book is thronged in history. And a lot of it is clouted in modernism as well. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dimmy
Riemastuttava ja jännittävä dekkari sekä hauska kurkistus delhiläisen salapoliisin perheelämään. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Leena Kytömäki
Actually I don't remember any sexual content, perhaps some innuendo. This book is highly entertaining. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Bonnie Dickson
Lovely story. Best is Tarquin's excellent description of the Indian society and state. He skillfully shows the sweet spots and bitter points in India. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mikko tapanainen
Tarquin Hall produces another slightly demented, fast-paced mystery. Vish Puri is his usual laid-back, overeating self, afraid only of his wife (he has sabotaged the bathroom... Read morePublished 9 months ago by hazel f
This is one author I would love to meet -- his wife too. The book brings along the usual characters but also includes a story like related to the partition of India/Pakistan in the... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Richard H.