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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 Ratings

Overall

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The perfect voice for an excellent book

What did you love best about The Case of the Missing Servant?

It has the smells, the noises and the characters of India. Travel in your armchair! It is a mystery, good clean fun and entertaining. For once, here comes a PI who is a good family man. It is almost unheard of in literature.

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

The hero is a PI of modern times in India, so he can use scientific tools when needed. However, he prefers to use his own contacts and spies rather than DNA. It allows the reader to meet a multitude of fascinating characters. The book is a lot of fun.

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

There are of course Indian names of people and meal courses. I bought the audio because I was curious to hear the pronunciation. Dastor, however, proved to be much more: a delight. He changes voice with the different characters, he reads extremely well, the rhythm is perfect. The Indo-British accent he produces is wonderful within the book, and you will want to cook your own curry while listening to this. I intend to buy the audio of everything he is willing to read.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It is a long book. It will take a long week-end of leisure.

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  • ann
  • NORTHPORT, NY, United States
  • 05-02-13

mystery, fun to listen, experience Indian culture

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

Humor, mystery, culture

What did you like best about this story?

I was introduced to India through a fun and interesting mystery. I often laughed out loud, and the characters are well developed and memorable.

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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 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Indie Sleuth Triumphs

Fun and absorbing read. This series will be a joy to those who wish a good glimpse of modern India as well.

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  • Story

Lighthearted and Funny

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed the story, the characters, the atmosphere of Delhi (both old and new) and I especially enjoyed the narrator. I ordered two more Tarquin Hall books after finishing this one.

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  • judith
  • clemson, SC, United States
  • 10-29-12

Okay, now, this is good!

What fun to hear. Good mystery, wonderful narration and different from anything I have ever heard. "Mama G" and family help with the detective agency as they try to live up to its humble reputation as best in India ( or the world).

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  • Story

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 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, United States
  • 02-03-12

Weak mystery wrapped in ol fashioned misogyny

What could Tarquin Hall have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This is a story of an older Indian man with old fashion beliefs and extreme arrogance. He spends the entire story bragging about in intellect and ranting about the downfall of Indian culture due to sex, drugs and Western influence.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator did a good job differentiating the voices of the many characters.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I was amused by the main character's disdain of Sherlock Holmes while the storyline is written within the same template.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Aja
  • Garland, TX, United States
  • 02-04-11

It was just ok

This book was just a last minute buy, so I didn't expect much. Which is exactly what it delivered! The narrator reads with an accent and I didn't care for the Indian culture that I don't understand fully. Women are portrayed as the weak ones in this book and I frankly just didn't care for the book at all. I will not be reading any more by this author.

1 of 12 people found this review helpful