• The Case of the Missing Servant

  • By: Tarquin Hall
  • Narrated by: Sam Dastor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (720 ratings)

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The Case of the Missing Servant  By  cover art

The Case of the Missing Servant

By: Tarquin Hall
Narrated by: Sam Dastor
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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

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A Complete Surprise

Narrator Sam Dastor completely changed my viewpoint on audio books. Because of him, I no longer look for a book to be read to me. I look for a book to be performed for me. Dastor makes a well-written book come alive with characters you really get to know and care about. The narrator does an admirable job of bringing every character to life. They all have distinctly different personalities because of his voice. In audio books I usually find women's voices sound fake, but Dastor slipped in and out of women's voices with great credibility. Peppered with humour and tension, the story of the missing servant unfolds in vivid descriptions of Delhi, Jaipur and other places in India. I enjoyed the Hindi words sprinkled in the story, and felt like they added another layer to the story for people who know some Hindi. This is quite an enjoyable book, and yet the author calls attention to social issues like the abuse of servants, arranged marriages and rape without being heavy handed or didactic. Listeners get the message. In my book, this is my pick of the year 2016. It's a great way to end the year.

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