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Download The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Case of the Missing Servant: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator 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 (2,513 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tarquin Hall Narrator: Sam Dastor Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Vish Puri Mysteries Release Date: August 2009 ISBN: 9781482978902
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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 centers 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Entertaining…Hall combines an insider’s insight with the eclectic eye of a good foreign correspondent…. The very opposite of the ‘exoticism’ of which this kind of fiction is often accused. Instead of escaping into ‘another world,’ western readers are encouraged to see an unflattering reflection of their own values and desires.”

    Financial Times

  • “Great fun—a seething slice of the sub-continent.”

    Times (London)

  • “A first novel set in Delhi that offers penetrating insights into the new India.”

    New York Times

  • “India, captured in all its pungent, vivid glory, fascinates almost as much as the crime itself.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “In addition to having created a marvelous literary personage in Puri…Hall has a fine grasp of the nuances of north Indian life and lingo, as well as an in-depth knowledge in a wide range of subjects.”

    India Today

  • “Tarquin Hall is a distinguished journalist and has no problem marshalling details to create a sense of what everyday life is like in Delhi: the smell of chat and kachoris seems to waft from the page, as indeed does the stench of political corruption.”

    Daily Telegraph

  • “The debut of what promises to be an outstanding series… The novel is dense with atmosphere, creating a delightful mix of the exotic and familiar… An excellent, delightfully humorous mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, The Case of the Missing Servant immediately joins the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as representing the best in international cozies.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Selected for the July 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Notable Book for Crime Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nan | 2/15/2014

    " Good mystery. Light. Interesting to learn a bit about India. Good for commuting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sue T | 2/14/2014

    " I really wanted to like this one, but it just didn't gel. A large part of the problem for me was the extremely poor sentence structure. I expected it in the dialogue, having worked with a large number of people from the Indian sub-continent. However, it was extremely off-putting in the narrative. There were several places where I had to re-read sentences multiple times and still had no clue what the author was trying to say. I expected much better considering the author is a journalist. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 2/12/2014

    " I liked this book very much. I prefer this author to Alexander McCall Smith, by a wide margin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tomi-Ann | 2/12/2014

    " Vish Puri is India's "Most Private Detective." I'm glad this is the first in a series, because that way I know there will be more to enjoy. Easy, fun reading, but with the added bonus that you learn about the minutae of the lives of Jains, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and even the native Adivasis of India. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allie | 2/2/2014

    " I received this as a First Reads giveaway and loved it. I loved the amusing and unusual characters and enjoyed the mystery so much that I had to run out and pick up the second book too. It was fun to read about India from this detective's point of view. I also really liked the supporting characters as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia Porterfield | 1/31/2014

    " I enjoyed this book for it's fun play on detective work. At parts it reminded me of No 1 Ladies and the killer was very contrived but still a fun book. As my mother and I call it - a subway book. I would read the next in the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy Nelson | 1/25/2014

    " Loved the characters and the setting. It's a fun detective novel but even more because you get a good flavor for the Indian culture, too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gaye | 1/20/2014

    " So fun to listen to! Laugh out loud funny, and a mystery too! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mike Currie | 1/9/2014

    " A great whodunnit and an insight into a different culture "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet Martin | 1/6/2014

    " A picture of contemporary India that is simultaneously sympathetic and hysterically funny. Vish Puri and his wonderful family are the best way I can think of to spend time. The audio version is absolutely perfect. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amos | 12/25/2013

    " Fun little detective yarn (in the Sherlock Holmes tradition) based in the back alleys of modern day India... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 12/15/2013

    " An enjoyable mystery set in modern day India. Imagine a Hindi Sherlock Holmes and you have Vish "Chubby" Puri. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/12/2013

    " Charming. A fun and witty mystery series - looking forward to the others! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veronica Sanche | 12/4/2013

    " A fun to read story that follows India's version of Hercule Poirot - the unstoppable PI Vish Puri. Well written, dialogue is good and the plot is slowly revealed. And of course, Vish Puri always gets his man!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Ronan Drew | 11/26/2013

    " I defy you to read this book without rushing out to the nearest Indian restaurant. The wife of our hero, Vish Puri, is a fine cook and the descriptions of food are delightful. The mystery is pretty good, too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Turi | 9/1/2013

    " A fun and funny book. Set in India, Vish Puri, "India's Most Private Investigator" gives a perfect look into the way things work there. Just a fun read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amber | 3/27/2013

    " Well-constructed and well-written mystery set in India. Some interesting insight into modern Indian life, if not ultimately an especially memorable story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mkb | 3/16/2013

    " What a fun book - the Indian Sherlock Holmes! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 1/1/2013

    " A quick, entertaining read with a main character who reminds me of a somewhat comedic version of Poirot. The glossary of Indian terms in the back would be useful for anyone not familiar with Indian culture. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Katalin | 10/31/2012

    " oh my goodness.... what was I thinking? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 P. | 10/12/2012

    " Serviceable, but poorly plotted. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee Bush | 8/25/2012

    " OMIGOSH, I LOVE this book! Hercule and Jane Marple, move over--Vish is even more fascinating, more realisitc, and the descriptions of modern Indian life are fascinating. All this, and a clever mystery, too!! More, please, and VERY SOON! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Noelle | 8/1/2012

    " loved it, loved the story, characters, everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gillian Chan | 5/10/2012

    " Funny and engaging, MOST PRIVATE detective Vish Puri is an accomplished detective who investigates the case of a missing servant. With twists and turns, this book had me laughing and hungry all at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Margaret | 2/23/2012

    " a light and fun read. very much felt like i was in india. targuin captures the smells, essence, complicated politics, dusty government offices piled high with dusty ledgers that makes india wonderful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joni | 11/12/2011

    " Once you understand some of the Indian jargon it was a fun read. I'm looking forward to other cases of Vish Puri. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lane | 9/22/2011

    " Fabulous! I'll write more later. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 7/9/2011

    " It is like Indian Columbo. Yeah, I knew the culprit pretty early, but you know what? The characters were so fun, it didn't matter. I haven't enjoyed a detective story this much in awhile. Maybe I was just in the right mood for it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amos | 5/14/2011

    " Fun little detective yarn (in the Sherlock Holmes tradition) based in the back alleys of modern day India... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie | 5/11/2011

    " The best parts of this book for me were: 1) the view into modern life in New Delhi, India 3) the way Hall manages to capture the Indian-English dialect spoken in parts of India and 3) Mummy-Ji. The mystery itself had a somewhat unsatisfying resolution, but it was still fun.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth | 4/29/2011

    " The mystery was just so-so. The descriptions of life in and around Delhi were amazing though. It didn't just take me back, but made me want to go back. I will read another one just to get another taste on India "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teekayn | 4/28/2011

    " Great writing and a great finish... A classy suspense thriller... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 4/26/2011

    " Sherlock Holmes meets Slumdog Millionaire. A nice mystery which gives the reader insight into the Indian infrastructure and society, or at least how the author sees it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janine | 4/2/2011

    " Vishi Puri, Most Private Investigator. Delightful, read more of this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 3/24/2011

    " A great read - fun book - well written mystery set in India. The writing is terrific, the characters are engaging. I was fascinated by the Indian culture. A great mystery without being bloody or gory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 3/5/2011

    " This audio production is pure delight! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claude | 2/17/2011

    " Quite enjoyable. Except for the notes explaining the words in Urdu or other, which are in a list at the end of the book. My pet peeve. Particularly hateful in a kindle book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 2/9/2011

    " First in series. Setting (India)and quality of writing made this a pleasant, gentle diversion. "

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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 many television appearances include I, ClaudiusYes, MinisterMountbatten; and Fortunes of War. He has also appeared in the films Made and Such a Long Journey, recorded over a thousand broadcasts for the BBC, and narrated numerous audiobooks.