We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing | [Tarquin Hall]

The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

Dr. Suresh Jha, best known for unmasking fraudulent swamis and godmen, dies in a fit of giggles at his morning yoga class when goddess Kali appears from the mist and plunges a sword into his chest. The only one laughing now is the main suspect, a powerful guru named Maharaj Swami, who seems to have done away with his most vocal critic.
Regular Price:$15.36
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Audible Editor Reviews

Tarquin Hall has evidently taken the criticism of his fun but simplistic first detective novel to heart; this second installment in the Vish Puri series is a head and shoulders above The Case of the Missing Servant, which was not too shabby in the first place. Where the first book was a fairly straightforward case, this one has at least a half dozen spectacular false endings that will keep you guessing until the very last minute.

Luckily, what hasn't changed at all is Hall's wonderful sense of authenticity in the dialogue. His ability to capture the flavor of New Delhi is impeccable, but a bigger treat is the return of narrator Sam Dastor, whose delivery of the rich dialogue is utterly unimpeachable. From English to Hindustani to Gujarati to Punjabi to even a little bit of ancient Urdu, Dastor does not miss a single beat while following the trail of Vish Puri, india's Most Private investigator, and it is his voice work that truly highlights what a good job Hall has done of showcasing all the comic wonder that northern india has to offer.

The case this time is much more complicated than just a missing servant. When "guru buster" Dr. Jha dies laughing in the face of an apparition of Kali, who slays him with a giant sword in a public park in the middle of the afternoon in front of dozens of witnesses, the alleged miracle appearance by the goddess touches off a whirlwind of speculation and debate between the rationalists and the godmen. it is too easy to accuse Maharaj Swami, the cult religious figure of the moment, who had long promised Jha he would get the "miracle" that was coming to him.

To assist him in solving this supernatural murder mystery, Puri enlists his team of various amusing undercover agents to infiltrate the confidences of his suspects and root out the evidence of the case. Thrown in for good measure is a minor secondary mystery involving the robbery of a ladies' gambling circle, presided over by Puri's own fairly witty wife and his overwhelmingly clever mother. Filled with criminal magicians, shady preachers, snooty academics, slimy bureaucrats, and a generous helping of police who are slow on the uptake, Hall's solid, classic characters are given fresh, spicy life thanks to such a charming narration. To read the book in print is to miss all the fun, as there is no better guide to Vish Puri's world than the flawless interpreter of Sam Dastor. —Megan Volpert

Publisher's Summary

Dr. Suresh Jha, best known for unmasking fraudulent swamis and godmen, dies in a fit of giggles at his morning yoga class when goddess Kali appears from the mist and plunges a sword into his chest. The only one laughing now is the main suspect, a powerful guru named Maharaj Swami, who seems to have done away with his most vocal critic.

Vish Puri, India’s Most Private Investigator, master of disguise and lover of all things fried and spicy, doesn’t believe the murder is a supernatural occurrence. How did the murder weapon miraculously crumble into ash? To get at the truth, Puri and his team of undercover operatives—Facecream, Tubelight, and Flush—must travel from the slum to the holy city of Haridwar on the Ganges.

©2010 BBC Audio (P)2010 Sacred Cow Media, Ltd.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (473 )
5 star
 (146)
4 star
 (190)
3 star
 (99)
2 star
 (25)
1 star
 (13)
Overall
4.0 (302 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (122)
3 star
 (57)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (4)
Story
4.4 (302 )
5 star
 (174)
4 star
 (81)
3 star
 (32)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Carolyn Memphis, TN, United States 12-13-10
    Carolyn Memphis, TN, United States 12-13-10 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    24
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    212
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Fun and entertaining"

    This is a wonderful froth of a story with excellent narration that brings the story to life. There are no downsides. It is beautifully told with lots of detail, including lots of references to delicious food, which is always a plus for me. The sub-plot with the detective's mother was also a joy. The book combines the intellect and detection skills of Sherlock Holmes and the humor of Stephanie Plum (if she were a chubby Indian detective). I'm hungry for more from Tarquin Hall.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Lake Oswego, OR, United States 10-01-10
    Dr. Lake Oswego, OR, United States 10-01-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    429
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    113
    86
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    56
    0
    Overall
    "Fun and entertaining - nothing too serious"

    My title says it all. I enjoyed this story and it held my interest. It helps if you enjoy an India-oriented story that is mindful of and plays with the differences between Indian and American culture.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 12-16-10
    cristina Somerville, MA, United States 12-16-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1086
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    189
    168
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    249
    72
    Overall
    "Entertaining"

    The plot (very light) seems secondary to the characters, who are amusing and entertaining. The reader is great. I loved his voice and am not sure I would have liked the book as much if it had been performed by a lesser actor. Definitely not "literature." More like an afternoon movie on TV.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 09-06-10
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 09-06-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    868
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    99
    75
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    127
    11
    Overall
    "All Aboard!"

    I'm on board for this series. The second installment is even better than the first, reversing a trend I've seen in too many series lately. Bravo!

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coffee Lover Huntsville, AL 03-28-12
    Coffee Lover Huntsville, AL 03-28-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    357
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    136
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    124
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it!"

    This was a lovely romp. At times it was laugh out loud funny but still kept you guessing till the end. If you are looking for fast action and edge of the seat suspense, this is not the book for you but if you want a gentle, comfortable mystery to while away your leisure hours, you can't go wrong with this title. I lived in India for several years and feel that Sam Dastor did an amazing job of narration. Tarquin Hall does a great job with character development and obviously understands the human condition that transcends cultural boundaries. I loved this book and hated to have it end.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl W. Vanvalkenburg Conroe, TX 01-29-11
    Carl W. Vanvalkenburg Conroe, TX 01-29-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Excellent example of genre"

    A sort of "locked room" mystery interlaced with two or three subplots. Narrator Sam Dastor does a spectacular job of juggling UK, Indian, and American accents. A brief, painless glimpse into contemporary India.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen eugene, OR, United States 06-26-10
    Karen eugene, OR, United States 06-26-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    75
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    152
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "fun ;and well done"

    enjoyable mystery, very nice narration.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Traci Wilton, CT, United States 06-25-11
    Traci Wilton, CT, United States 06-25-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    12
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "light and different"

    I enjoyed this book. It's very short and very light. I learned a lot about Indian culture.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marianne Adrian, OR, United States 03-28-12
    Marianne Adrian, OR, United States 03-28-12 Member Since 2009

    GroovyMC

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Warning: Addictive listening ahead!"

    I confess. I listened to this book in a day and then I started over, listened again and then I bought the other one in the series and I listened to it. This book is like a visit to India. In addition to being funny with an engaging plot, Tarquin Hall does an amazing job of creating atmosphere. His lively descriptions of the sights and sounds and tastes and daily life in India bring the book to life. The narrator also gets five stars with his warm voice and beautiful accent. My next challenge will be to find an Indian restaurant in Boise Idaho! If I had a complaint, other than that I don't have the funds to hop on a plane to India, it would be that there are only two books in this series. However the next is due out July 1!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    01-12-11
    01-12-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Great Fun!"

    This book was a modern Sherlock Holmes with a bit more fun. An easy read/listen. Only one thing, not really a complaint, but I am familiar with indian cluture, but the author used quite a few words in Indian. Most the author uses the english word, or a discription of the item right after, but a few he does not. (mainly food items) It would have helped me envison the scene better if I knew what it looked like. Otherwise I really enjoyed it. The narrarator is Fantastic!! Even though he does the voices for a few women, they sound just like I would expect them to sound.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 43 results PREVIOUS125NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.