The wonderful fourth outing for Delhi detective Vish Puri.
When Ram and Tulsi fall in love, the young woman’s parents are dead set against the union. She’s from a high-caste family; he’s an Untouchable, from the lowest strata of Indian society. Young Tulsi’s father locks her up and promises to hunt down the “loverboy dog.” Fortunately, India’s Love Commandos, a group of volunteers dedicated to helping mixed-caste couples, come to the rescue. But just after they liberate Tulsi, Ram is mysteriously snatched from his hiding place.
The task of finding him falls to India’s “Most Private Investigator”. Unfortunately, Vish Puri is not having a good month. He’s failed to recover a cache of stolen jewels. His wallet has been stolen and he’s having to rely on his infuriating Mummy-ji to get it back. And to top it all, his archrival, suave investigator Hari Kumar, is also trying to locate Ram.
To reunite the star-crossed lovers, Puri and his team of operatives must infiltrate Ram’s village and navigate the caste politics shaped by millennia-old prejudices.
©2013 Sacred Cow Media Ltd (P)2013 Random House AudioGo
"The Indian Hercule Poirot" (Financial Times)
"These books are little gems. They are beautifully written, amusing, and intensely readable." (Alexander McCall Smith)
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"Entertaining, funny and clever"
A well woven story, beautifully narrated as always by Sam Dastor. It had enough twists and turns to keep me guessing but it wouldn't have mattered if it hadn't - the real highlight is the way India shines through. The characters, particularly Mummy-ji, are just a joy. I hope Vish Puri has a long life!
"The Case of the Love Commandos"
A good story with well drawn characters with more than a touch of humour. For me the main character, known to his wife as Chubby, is an Indian version of Poirot. A moral, but rather bumptious private detective.
This story involves corruption at a high level as well as a love story between people from very different castes. Thus combining threads of old and modern India.
I was a delight to find people sitting down to eat a proper meal. From the many books I've read, I was beginning to think the majority of people eat on salad, noodles and pizza. I was also impressed by the main character being able to eat two Scottish Bonnets. I've only ever managed one.
Love a bit of light hearted detective fiction but so hard to find the right balance. These are perfect. Great characters, settings and wonderfully written.
"Is this the best Vish Puri?"
This is the most recent of Tarquin Hall's accounts of his Indian private investigator. It isn't necessary to read them in order, but I think it is best to start with The Case of the Missing Servant and build with the character as Hall does. Fat, slightly pompous, but alert and cunning, Vish Puri solves his cases by knowing India and the Indians. Hall injects huge amounts of humour into this narrative partly through genuine Indian English - 'Don't do tension!' and partly through a range of unforgettable characters from 'mummy-ji' (his mother who has a propensity for detective work herself) and his helpers - Flashlight and others. Behind the crime stories are fascinating nuggets of Indian history and character - in this case, it is about the (true) organisation which helps lovers to get away from families intent on imposing arranged marriages. Sam Dastor is the perfect reader - a straightforward, clear narrative becomes complete 3D technicolor as he goes into character. And what a joy this is! With both Hall and Dastor really knowing India, this series is totally gripping. I can't wait for the next one - and I really advise you to listen to Dastor - much better than reading the book!
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