The Death of the Missing Servant with its unusual detective, the vibrant and delightful Vish Puri. Known affectionately as Chubby by friends and family, Vish Puri heads Most Private Investigators, Ltd, with aplomb.
Hall evokes Delhi in images and voices that linger. The novel has a glossary that will keep the reader up-to-date on vocabulary, and I enjoyed getting the definitions of terms with which I was vaguely familiar, as well as those that were new to me.
What was the most fun was the character of the irrepressible Vish, whose ego is no small thing, but who also has an innocence that makes him lovable. The minor characters were interesting as well, and I hope to see them better developed, especially Mummy, who could have an agency of her own.
The dialogue, dialect, and cultural mores are seamlessly blended--and informative. Several serious themes are treated with a light touch that makes you think, but that doesn't take over the story.
An Adventure in Reading posted about Tarquin Hall here.
Fiction. Mystery. 2009. 295 pages + glossary.