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  • The Case of the Missing Servant

  • By: Tarquin Hall
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Series: Vish Puri, Book 1
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Meet Vish Puri, India’s most private investigator. Portly, persistent and unmistakably Punjabi, he cuts a determined swathe through modern India’s swindlers, cheats and murderers.

In hot and dusty Delhi, where call centres and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, Puri’s main work comes from screening prospective marriage partners, a job once the preserve of aunties and family priests. But when an honest public litigator is accused of murdering his maidservant, it takes all of Puri’s resources to investigate. How will he trace the fate of the girl, known only as Mary, in a population of more than one billion? Who is taking pot shots at him and his prize chilli plants? And why is his widowed ‘Mummy-ji’ attempting to play sleuth when everyone knows Mummies are not detectives?

With his team of undercover operatives – Tubelight, Flush and Facecream – Puri ingeniously combines modern techniques with principles of detection established in India more than two thousand years ago -- long before ‘that Johnny-come-lately’ Sherlock Holmes donned his Deerstalker.

The search for Mary takes him to the desert oasis of Jaipur and the remote mines of Jharkhand. From his well-heeled Gymkhana Club to the slums where the servant classes live, Puri’s adventures reveal modern India in all its seething complexity.

©2011 Tarquin Hall (P)2011 Random House Audio Go

Critic Reviews

“I’ve found my new favourite detective… The thing that Hall captures most is the colour. The characters are lively and background is vibrant. Good crime authors present the solving of the crime in an engaging way but great ones also make their manor a character in its own right... It’s unusual to have such a happy detective and that makes The Case of the Missing Servant such a joy to read.” ( Gav Reads)
“This is a detective story with a difference… I liken it to the charming novels of Alexander McCall Smith set in Africa since it leaves the reader with a similar happy feeling. An easy read with an interesting background.” ( Radio Scilly Bookshow)

What listeners say about The Case of the Missing Servant

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  • Angela
  • 11-01-2012

Love this Food-Loving Indian Detective

What made the experience of listening to The Case of the Missing Servant the most enjoyable?

I loved the whole story about Vish Puri and his operatives - such an insight into India and how people live. The narrator Sam Dastor was excellent bringing Vish to life.

What was most disappointing about Tarquin Hall’s story?

Not one bit of it.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favourite scene - just loved the whole book.

If you could rename The Case of the Missing Servant, what would you call it?

No rename is necessary.

Any additional comments?

Am hoping I will be able to download his second book soon - unfortunately being Australian based it's not yet available for me. His third book in the series is due in July 2012 and I can't wait to get hold of it.

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  • ProfJ
  • 21-07-2015

So Enjoyable

If you could sum up The Case of the Missing Servant in three words, what would they be?

engaging, humorous, informative

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mummy-ji, such a clever woman on so many levels.

Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor – was your favourite?

He does them all so well - and often made me laugh out loud

Any additional comments?

This book is a truly enjoyable mix of murder mystery, humour, and serious commentary on Indian society.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-2015

Review

Very good and funny and very well read, will look for more by the auther

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maja
  • 17-07-2011

an endearing first mystery

If you find that the intricate plot is of crucial importance in a mystery - then this may not be the right audiobook for you. The plot is fine, but it is not murder that gives this book its flavour. So why 5 stars? It is funny and witty and interesting, both through writing and brilliant accents by Sam Dastor. Regarding India's history and culture - i know very little of it so all that was there was very welcome.

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  • Mrs. Penelope Gordon
  • 07-03-2021

An absolute joy

I am so glad I discovered this book..just what we need in these dreary times to cheer us up.
Sam Dastor is truly amazing as the narrator.He literally brought the book to life.
It was interesting too in the descriptions of modern India
I shall definitely be listening to another of Tarquin Halls books

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  • Dee
  • 20-02-2021

Fantastic!

So enjoyed this book! It brought back many memories of India, the people and their culture. Exciting story, fast moving with a real sense of humour! Can’t wait to start the next book by this author!

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  • SeanaV
  • 15-05-2019

My First Vish Puri

I enjoyed everything about this book from beginning to end. The narrator really brought the characters to life. I enjoyed the author's dialogue and found myself laughing out loud, as I recognised certain turns of phrase. He wrote a very realistic ending, and provided subtle social commentary too. I can't wait to start the next Vish Puri.

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  • Christina
  • 19-02-2019

wonderful detective story set in modern India

The story is very gripping and full of detail. The plump detective, Vish Pury, takes us inside modern Indian society for a glimpse of the exotic, charming, complex and sometimes corrupt underbelly of the society and culture. As all good story tellers, Hall keeps you enthralled right to the end. The narrator is so well chosen too.

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  • lamorenchie
  • 19-01-2017

Absolutely wonderful!

A good detective tale set in India - it made me laugh so many times. Sam Dastor's narration is perfect. A total joy from start to finish.

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  • Marple
  • 24-01-2021

Not sure

I just couldn’t get into this one but enjoyed the narration. To me there were too many characters and I lost track and couldn’t concentrate on the storyline. I may give the series another chance .

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  • David
  • 10-12-2020

Warm, witty and gripping.

perfect if your looking for a book with substance, humour.

an ideal book if you enjoyed the a man called ove..

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