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Extended Audio Sample The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken: A Vish Puri Mystery Audiobook, by Tarquin Hall Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (600 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tarquin Hall Narrator: Sam Dastor Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Vish Puri Mysteries Release Date: October 2012 ISBN: 9781481524186
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Dubbed “a wonderfully engaging PI” (London Times), Tarquin Hall’s irresistible protagonist Vish Puri has become an international favorite through a series that “splendidly evokes the color and bustle of Delhi and the tang of contemporary India” (Seattle Times). Now the gormandizing, spectacularly mustachioed sleuth finds himself facing down his greatest fears in an explosive case involving the Indian and Pakistani mafias.

When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in the multimillion-dollar Indian Premier League dies during a postmatch dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan—the country in which many members of the PI’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one woman in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Outstanding third mystery…Well drawn, colorful characters bolster a whodunit sure to appeal to those who enjoy a dash of humor with their crime.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Hall has a gift for conveying the rich stew of competing cultures in contemporary India with a wonderful economy of image…Hall presents a complex hero in a complex country with a great deal of history, humor, and panache.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “A wry whodunit, with recipes.”


  • “Vish’s third outing continues the tradition of Hall’s lively franchise.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Max | 2/2/2014

    " What I really liked about this book was the colorful language and the descriptions of the way of life. The author does his part to reconcile irreconcilable differences between peoples and nations in this story. He is also very timely (Feb 2013) in the book's expose on the treatment of women. Mr. Hall provides a little knowledge that goes a long way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lili Alaniz | 1/7/2014

    " This book was a nice treat. The plot was well put together and it definitely kept me interested. Even so, I was not on the verge of my seat when the detective finally unraveled the mystery/crime. It was rather anticlimactic and although the author did an excellent job weaving in historical events, there was no excitement in the ending. Nonetheless I would still recommend because although not a nail bitter, it was a definite good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patty | 1/3/2014

    " I adore Vish Puri. Can't wait for the next one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Megan | 12/24/2013

    " I was lucky enough to win a copy of this book via First Reads and thoroughly enjoyed it. As a bonus, the third installment of the Vish Puri cases includes some delicious-looking recipes at the end of the book, which I can't wait to try! What a great addition since my mouth is often watering as I read about the tasty treats Vish Puri (or should I say "Chubby?"):) eats. I really enjoyed this one, as the 1947 Partition played a key role in the main case...as did Vish's Mummy. I think Vish would have to admit that maybe, just maybe, mummies are cut out for detective work, after all. The primary case requires Vish to travel to Pakistan...but the decision about whether he will make the trip is almost as much of a mystery as who killed Faheem Khan. As was the case previously, Vish is working on two cases with the help of his resourceful crew and the outcomes of both cases are not revealed until the final chapters. The minor case seems more lighthearted on the surface but when the motive is revealed, the reader sees that it has deeper meanings. I've really enjoyed being introduced to this series -- the writing is "tip-top," I love the setting and reading about various issues India is dealing with, and the characters are quite likeable. Thanks to First Reads again for the opportunity to read the latest Vish Puri case! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas | 12/17/2013

    " Love these books, which I only listen to as audiobooks, because the readings are too good to pass up. In this book, Hall has gone beyond the comedy and cultural expose of the first two books to begin to explore more serious problems, like India's relationship with Pakistan. Since it is still as entertaining and colorful as ever, and the characters have no trouble staying in character, I say, Bravo, Tarquin Hall! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeanne | 12/14/2013

    " Vish Puri covers a lot of territory in this murder mystery; from the moustache club, illegal cricket betting, the grim history of India and Pakistan, and his latest attempt at dieting. Chubby's world has never been so alive as it is in this book. Wandering the streets with Chubby has become a wonderful guilty pleasure for me, and Vish always catches his man! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara | 12/6/2013

    " I love these books! I found it hard to follow all the different characters but really enjoyed the historical aspect about partition. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leslie Angel | 12/3/2013

    " so glad to have discovered this author. If you like Colin Cotterill, you'll like him. Love the Indian setting and relationships. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lauren | 11/11/2013

    " I didn't like it as much as the previous two. A forward about the India-Pakistan 1948 conflict would be helpful, as I am regrettably uninformed about it. Not a huge fan of 'Mummy' either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marcia Gjundjek | 10/1/2013

    " kind of a quirky mystery... i enjoyed it, not a big fan of the described food but tried to get around that! Altho' - he was always eating! A nice detective story..... fun - and quirky! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilynn | 10/1/2013

    " I love everything about this series - the characters, the plot, and especially India! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katiekins | 9/28/2013

    " I loved the first two books in this detective series set in India, but this one was a little slow in the middle. I got bogged down, but it was still a worthy read, if more serious than his other two. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Prak | 9/22/2013

    " Great read. Funny as the other Vish Puri books, especially if you imagine Anupam Kher as Vish Puri (see the first book), but also made me appreciate the tough times during the partition of India. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie (Kwiltreader) | 6/23/2013

    " Most excellent read, especially with recipes in the back of the book. Even better as an audiobook. The reader made names and places sound more lyrical than I could have imagined. It provided a look into India and it's history that I found intriguing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sujayendra Padiyar | 2/19/2013

    " Quite monotonous once you've read the first two in the Vish Puri Mystery series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 10/2/2012

    " the characters are interesting and the mystery was good, but my favorite part is the glimpse of Indian culture! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 9/1/2012

    " This was a fun mystery, and the setting--modern India--was authentic and delightful. Some parts seemed convoluted, but on the whole I enjoyed it and will probably look for some more Vish Puri mysteries. "

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About the Author
Author Tarquin Hall

Tarquin Hall is a writer and journalist who has lived and worked in much of South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the United States. He is the author of Mercenaries, Missionaries, and Misfits: Adventures of an Underage Journalist; To the Elephant Graveyard; Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End; and the Vish Puri series of mystery novels.

About the Narrator

Sam Dastor studied English at Cambridge and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. His early theatrical experience includes a spell at the National Theatre under Sir Laurence Olivier and time spent acting in the West End. For the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has been seen in Timon of Athens, Tales from Ovid, and a world tour of A Servant to Two Masters. His many television appearances include I, Claudius; Yes, Minister; Mountbatten; Julius Caesar; and Fortunes of War. He has also appeared in the films Made, Jinnah, and Such a Long Journey, recorded over a thousand broadcasts for the BBC, and narrated numerous audio books.