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The Case of the Missing Servant | [Tarquin Hall]

The Case of the Missing Servant

In hot and dusty Delhi, 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?
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Publisher's Summary

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, 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 2000 years ago - long before "that Johnny-come-lately" Sherlock Holmes donned his Deerstalker.

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.

©2009 Sacred Cow Media Ltd.; (P)2009 BBC Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (314 )
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  •  
    Anthony Wilson Newport Beach, CA, US 01-23-12
    Anthony Wilson Newport Beach, CA, US 01-23-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful"
    Would you listen to The Case of the Missing Servant again? Why?

    Yes I am sure I get something new out of it


    What did you like best about this story?

    The slice of life in India


    What does Sam Dastor bring to the story that you wouldn???t experience if you just read the book?

    His accents


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh


    Any additional comments?

    When is the next book

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brooke Memphis, TN, United States 04-03-12
    Brooke Memphis, TN, United States 04-03-12
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    "Great mystery with local India color"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    The narration and character voices were outstanding. I was sick while listening, and this audio book helped keep me distracted.
    The mystery itself kept me engaged, but I especially loved the local flavor. Woven into the mystery's seems were lovely extras about Indian life, from TV shows to the legal system, medical system, castes, country clubs, socioeconomic inequality, etc.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nitin Dallas, TX, United States 02-09-12
    Nitin Dallas, TX, United States 02-09-12 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Delhi English and sense of modern India"
    What did you love best about The Case of the Missing Servant?

    The narration is, to put it in the words of Vish Puri, truly first class. Dastor beautifully captures the nuance and rhythms of Delhi English just as Hall captures the details of upper middle class Indian life.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    The twists of the plot are engaging, as is Vish Puri.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend for anyone who knows anything of the culture, or indeed anyone who wants to get a charming (and realistically dodgy and corrupt) taste of modern India.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 03-10-13
    Kathi Sterling, VA, United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2010

    Love fiction--classic to light, serious to comedic. Selective non-fiction. These days lots of mysteries (not too violent, please :-)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Sam Dastor & Tarquin Hall = PERFECT BOOKS!"
    Where does The Case of the Missing Servant rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my all time favorites for series.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    No--but it moves at a good pace, and Vish Puri, India's 'Most private investigator" (AKA Chubby to his unimpressed family) is so funny -- as well as a good mystery--that I never want to miss one single word of it.


    Have you listened to any of Sam Dastor’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Sam Dastor is always perfect--and I love listening to him. For instance, as a 180 away from comedy--he has done a magnificent job narrating "Passage To India". He is wonderful no matter what he reads.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a jolly good book, and a delightful series. There are so few (beside this one, his first, there are so far only "The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken" and "The Man Who Died Laughing").

    I think these books are rich with insights and observations about human behaviors, humor, and -- oh yes, always a very good mystery to solve! I just wish this clever duo (Hall-Dastor) had many more! Please do yourself a favor and read this (and the others). You will be charmed (or at least, I was). Highly recommend.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ingrid SONOMA, CA, United States 01-23-13
    Ingrid SONOMA, CA, United States 01-23-13 Member Since 2012

    NorthBayGal

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    "I liked it :)"
    Any additional comments?

    I read the reviews and listened to the sample and decided to give it a try. I like series. I'm glad I listened to everyone. The narration is perfect, the story moves right along. The characters are good and by book two (which I'm listening to now) firmly in place and taking form in my mind. Mummy G is reminding me a bit of Grandma Mazur - not quite as spunky, but I wouldn't be surprised if given the chance she is.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy St Charles, MO, United States 01-06-13
    Nancy St Charles, MO, United States 01-06-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Ok, but not great"

    I just couldn't keep my mind from wandering, then had to go back and listen to it again, and again.. To me, the story lines were blurry and undefined. I had a hard time following, of course, I may have missed a bit while my mind was elsewhere! And, too many characters, I kept mixing them up.

    The description of the culture and people was terrific, though. I felt as if I was right there, and could see, feel and smell India. And, perhaps understand them a bit more as well.

    The narration was great. His accents were wonderful and the pace was just right.

    I'd say the series has potential, but I suppose, I need a bit more definition in my plots and investigations.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Hildebrand West Coast 12-04-12
    Margaret Hildebrand West Coast 12-04-12 Member Since 2004

    I live full-time in a motorhome, traveling west of the Rockies.

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    "Delightful Characters"
    If you could sum up The Case of the Missing Servant in three words, what would they be?

    Amusing intricate mystery


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy the family life of the lead character Puri, especially his mother Mummyji. Their interactions are amusing while still advancing one of the subplots that enliven the story. Similarly, the characters of Puri's various operatives as they investigate one or another mystery are by turns delightful and effective in turning up clues. Throughout the book, Indian culture and daily life provide an exotic background without minimizing the effects of poverty and corruption on the lives of the Indian people.


    What about Sam Dastor’s performance did you like?

    His narration is excellent. His accents and enunciation make the characters come alive and enhance the setting of the story.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me smile and chuckle while keeping me hooked on the central mystery as well as the two subplots.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the second of Tarquin Hall's mysteries I have read. The first (The Man Who Died Laughing) was more exotic and involved unusual characters - gods and magicians, while this one seemed more down to earth. With Sam Dastor's wonderful narration, I'll order the the rest of the series to enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dinah J. Stoffregen Arlington, TX United States 08-20-12
    Dinah J. Stoffregen Arlington, TX United States 08-20-12

    dj

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    "Entertaining and keeps you hooked."
    What did you love best about The Case of the Missing Servant?

    the characters!!! They're painted so vivid and given such distinct personalities, it was easy to follow and enjoy.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I love the main character. I like how he nicknames all his operatives. He gives the impression that he's not too smart, but he sneaks up on them with all of the answers.


    What does Sam Dastor bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    It's difficult to get all the different accents and voices in your head when you read. I like how they didn't all sound the same.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    it made me laugh off and on.


    Any additional comments?

    loved it

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Amherst, MA, United States 08-13-12
    Jonathan Amherst, MA, United States 08-13-12 Member Since 2007
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    "Good narrator, so so story"

    Excellent voice but the story (composed of several 'cases') seems recycled from other cases in other mysteries set in locales that are foreign to the reader. If you get it at a bargain ... Perhaps I'm just getting tired of this sub-genre.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    penni Oklahoma City, Ok, United States 08-07-12
    penni Oklahoma City, Ok, United States 08-07-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "India's Sherlock Holmes"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I am currently working in the Middle East and many of the characters seemed very authentic (as well as entertaining).


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Case of the Missing Servant?

    The relationships portrayed in the book were spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    I am planning on purchasing the other books in this series. A very nice listen on the way to work.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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