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The Case of the Love Commandos: From the Files of Vish Puri, India's Most Private Investigator (Vish Puri series Book 4) Kindle Edition

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Length: 321 pages
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Series: Vish Puri series (Book 4)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Vish Puri of Delhi, head of Most Private Investigators, Ltd., is regarded by many (and himself) as the best private eye in India. Puri’s closed cases for the month of June include delivering an enormous ransom and recovering a pampered pug from its kidnappers, as well as helping a celebrity chef with a hacked computer. The chef responds by treating Puri to a spirit-transforming plate of papri chaat and tamarind chutney. Puri’s love of food—and Hall’s descriptions of the dishes he enjoys—is one of the delights of this series. From pampered pugs to hacked computers, Puri is plunged into a much more serious investigation at the behest of one of his operatives, a member of a real group called the Love Commandos, dedicated to helping mixed-caste couples. The Love Commandos have engineered the rescue of a young woman of the high-caste Thakur family from an arranged marriage. The young woman wants to marry an “untouchable” Dalit boy. The young man goes missing. Puri and his operatives infiltrate the Dalit boy’s home in a tiny Indian village, so traditional that schoolchildren automatically arrange themselves according to caste. As in any Puri novel, a great deal of humor about Puri’s family life is mixed with skillful plotting and realistic descriptions of contemporary India’s overflowing street life. Hall, a British journalist who has lived in South Asia for more than a decade, is also the author of the memoir Salaam Brick Lane. --Connie Fletcher

Review

"A thoroughly enjoyable read." Bookbag

Product Details

  • File Size: 4309 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00FALOS9S
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (October 8, 2013)
  • Publication Date: October 8, 2013
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BSAONOA
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,255 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Tarquin Hall is the author of the Vish Puri mysteries, set in India. The first in the series, 'The Case of the Missing Servant', was named by the New York Times as a Notable Crime Book and given starred reviews by Kirkus, Library Journal and Booklist. Hall divides his times between London and Delhi with his wife, Indian-born journalist Anu Anand, and their young son.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on October 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The Love Commandos are determined to change India's caste system. Believing that the custom of arranged marriages is detrimental to India, the Love Commandos facilitate marriages between members of disparate classes and religions. Although (as Tarquin Hall points out) India's hierarchy of class is slowly being replaced by a hierarchy of wealth that gives a rich Dalit more clout than a poor Brahmin, arranged marriages within castes continue to thrive -- much to the dismay of the Love Commandos.

Vishnu Mishra, a Thakur (or "lord"), has threatened to kill Ram, a Dalit (the lowest caste), if he comes near Vishnu's daughter Tulsi. With the assistance of the Love Commandos, Tulsi and Ram are preparing to elope. When Ram is kidnapped, Love Commando Laxmi, who is also an operative for Most Private Investigators Ltd, turns to her boss, Vish Puri, for help. The story becomes a murder mystery when Puri's investigation leads him to Ram's murdered mother. The killing implicates Mishra -- but could it be that easy? Puri has his doubts. His investigation is complicated by the appearance of his archrival, Hari Kumar of Spycatcher Private Investigators, and by the murder of a second woman, a researcher in a genetics lab.

Puri is rather impressed with himself and a bit of a braggart (he is, he says, "the best detective in all India"), an amusing trait that Hall milks for all its comic potential. If pride goes before a fall, poor Puri's ego is in for a battering. Puri is affectionately known as "Chubby" to his wife Rumpi. Puri's employees also have descriptive names -- Handbrake, Door Stop, Tubelight, Facecream (a/k/a Laxmi) -- but not much personality.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jane on October 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I became a fan only two weeks ago and simply cannot put these books down. The Case of the Love Commandos is my favorite so far. It's fast paced and exciting, but the characters really do come alive and I've fallen in love with them.

The Vish Puri series is similar to the Number One Ladie's Detective Agency books. It includes lovable characters fighting for what is best about their traditional cultures mixed in with a large helpings of intrigue, compassion, suspense, and in the end, happiness and hope.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jill Meyer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm reviewing this book and rating it by comparing it to past novels by Tarquin Hall.

Probably the closest many readers will ever get to India will be to read novels like Tarquin Hall's "The Case of the Love Commandos". Hall, a British journalist and ex-pat living in India, has created a wonderful character in Vish Puri and his family and associates. Puri, who lives in Delhi with his wife Rumpi and his mother Mummy-ji, is the operator of "Most Private Investigators". Puri takes cases from finding kidnapped dogs,detecting murders and murderers of both the blatant and subtle variety, tracking down runaway lovers, and, of course, locating stolen items. He's ably assisted by various operatives he refers to by nickname, like "Handbrake" and "Facecream", among others. Vish Puri is not a modest man about his detecting skills and is rarely shamed into admitting failure in solving a case.

But if Vish Puri is the main character in the "Most Private Investigator" series, then the country of India, its foods, its cities, its religious observances, and its social system are strongly supporting "characters". Each Tarquin Hall novel is a learning experience in itself, with Hall blending in all aspects of Indian life together to make a plot and to give the reader a picture of modern-day India seldom seen even in more serious literature.

In "The Case of the Love Commandos", the plot is secondary to the character and societal development. Vish is called in by his operative "Facecream" to help her find a missing bridegroom-to-be. "Facecream" is active in her spare time with the group "Love Commandos", which seeks to help along young love between different caste members. The groom - a member of a low caste "Dalit" - has become engaged to a young woman from a higher caste.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Claude Lambert on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The 19th century had all these wonderful books for teens and adults that made you dream, like the The Three Musketeers, Les Miserables, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Scaramouche and the fabulous Kim by Kipling (see also the old movie!). Then that literary vein seemed to die in books and was left to the movies.
This special pleasure is finally back with Tarquin Hall.
The whole series drives you in various corners of India behind the adventures of a lovely and funny middle aged PI, his colorful employees and his tiresome but efficient mother. There is mystery, action, surprises, plenty of delightful characters and an underlying social sense that gives strength to the books.
You will double that pleasure by listening to the audible version: it leaves you imagining the noises and the smells, and seeing the dust because the reading by accomplished actor Sam Dastor, who was born in India, adds a lot of color and authenticity to your own reading of The Case of the Love Commandos, audible.
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