Sunday, February 27, 2011

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet (author Tarquin Hall)

Hosted by Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise
By Friday of each week you have to write a blog post about crime fiction related to the letter of the week.
Your post MUST be related to either the first letter of a book's title, the first letter of an author's first name, or the first letter of the author's surname.
So you see you have lots of choice.
You could write a review, or a bio of an author, so long as it fits the rules somehow. 

 This week the letter is H is brought to you by Tarquin Hall, author of The Case of the Missing Servant, the first in the Puri Vish mystery series. Find more H entries here.

Tarquin Hall is a writer and journalist who has lived for many years in South Asia, as well as the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. He is married to the journalist Anu Anand and divides his time between Delhi and London, England. His website is (taken from the back cover flap)

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall, 298 pages

Global Reading Challenge: India

Puri Vish is a Most Private Investigator in Delhi, with a great staff. He is hired to find a missing servant that the owner of the home has been accused to 'ruining', if not more. Unfortunately, even her name is barely known and India has over a billion citizens. Vish takes the case, a nice change from many of his marital background check cases.

Vish reminded me of a cross between Poirot and Holmes. Poirot because he keeps his ideas to himself, and Holmes because he notices little details. I kept thinking it would be a bit of a comedy, because the tone is light, and there is some humor, but Vish is a serious investigator, with high quality investigative tools. There are some great characters that can be further developed, especially Vish's mother, who looks into an attempt on Vish's life, much against Vish's wishes. But she is very good. The employees, with nicknames like Facecream, Tubelight, and Flush, are smart and loyal and look interesting in their own right.

Add all these great characters to the vivid setting of India with its unique culture and traditions, and Tarquin Hall has written a great mystery novel that I'm glad I've caught at the beginning. The next book in the series, The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, was just released last summer. Vish also refers to some of his past cases in this novel, so maybe some of them will be written.