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The Case of the Missing Servant

Narrated by: Sam Dastor
Series: Vish Puri, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Critic Reviews

“I’ve found my new favourite detective… The thing that Hall captures most is the colour. The characters are lively and background is vibrant. Good crime authors present the solving of the crime in an engaging way but great ones also make their manor a character in its own right... It’s unusual to have such a happy detective and that makes The Case of the Missing Servant such a joy to read.” ( Gav Reads)
“This is a detective story with a difference… I liken it to the charming novels of Alexander McCall Smith set in Africa since it leaves the reader with a similar happy feeling. An easy read with an interesting background.” ( Radio Scilly Bookshow)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Love this Food-Loving Indian Detective

What made the experience of listening to The Case of the Missing Servant the most enjoyable?

I loved the whole story about Vish Puri and his operatives - such an insight into India and how people live. The narrator Sam Dastor was excellent bringing Vish to life.

What was most disappointing about Tarquin Hall’s story?

Not one bit of it.

Which scene was your favorite?

No favourite scene - just loved the whole book.

If you could rename The Case of the Missing Servant, what would you call it?

No rename is necessary.

Any additional comments?

Am hoping I will be able to download his second book soon - unfortunately being Australian based it's not yet available for me. His third book in the series is due in July 2012 and I can't wait to get hold of it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-11-15

Charming

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

Fun, charming, spot-on!

What did you like best about this story?

The portrayal of India as it is - the delightful mangling of the English language and descriptions of the scenes like the one of the railway station, but not neglecting the darker side of corrupt officialdom and a justice system that is often less than truthful

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

The lovely sing-song delivery and speech patterns of the characters

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

Not necessarily. The plot was well crafted, but did not keep me on the edge, or keep me awake at night. It was a feel-good book!

Any additional comments?

I look forward to the next one.....

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Maja
  • 07-17-11

an endearing first mystery

If you find that the intricate plot is of crucial importance in a mystery - then this may not be the right audiobook for you. The plot is fine, but it is not murder that gives this book its flavour. So why 5 stars? It is funny and witty and interesting, both through writing and brilliant accents by Sam Dastor. Regarding India's history and culture - i know very little of it so all that was there was very welcome.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ProfJ
  • 07-21-15

So Enjoyable

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

engaging, humorous, informative

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mummy-ji, such a clever woman on so many levels.

Which character – as performed by Sam Dastor – was your favourite?

He does them all so well - and often made me laugh out loud

Any additional comments?

This book is a truly enjoyable mix of murder mystery, humour, and serious commentary on Indian society.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SeanaV
  • 05-15-19

My First Vish Puri

I enjoyed everything about this book from beginning to end. The narrator really brought the characters to life. I enjoyed the author's dialogue and found myself laughing out loud, as I recognised certain turns of phrase. He wrote a very realistic ending, and provided subtle social commentary too. I can't wait to start the next Vish Puri.

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  • Christina
  • 02-19-19

wonderful detective story set in modern India

The story is very gripping and full of detail. The plump detective, Vish Pury, takes us inside modern Indian society for a glimpse of the exotic, charming, complex and sometimes corrupt underbelly of the society and culture. As all good story tellers, Hall keeps you enthralled right to the end. The narrator is so well chosen too.

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  • lamorenchie
  • 01-19-17

Absolutely wonderful!

A good detective tale set in India - it made me laugh so many times. Sam Dastor's narration is perfect. A total joy from start to finish.

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  • H. Tollyfield
  • 11-19-16

Light hearted with a core of authenticity

I have really warmed to Vish Puri, the self-important private investigator at the heart of this story. His pompous self-assurance provides some beautiful comic moments, but there is much more to him. He has a real belief in ensuring that justice wins through in a corrupt and venial society and in his own way tries to make life better for the poor and the casualties of the caste system. He is courageous, vain about his appearance, has a passion for street-food and possesses a total belief in his own infallibility as an investigator.

The stories take place in modern sprawling Delhi and provide a real sense of the atmosphere of the city - it's sights, smells (stinks), bustling thoroughfares, corrupt police and crooked officials, and its complex, highly aspirational society. This is a story about modern India and is in no way nostalgic about the days of the British Raj - the heroes and the villains are all Indians. The plot and sub-plot are ingenious, but not too complex. The enjoyment of the listener is as much about following how Vish Puri, and his mother, go about solving the mysteries as it is about the solutions themselves.

Sam Dastor is an excellent narrator, bringing the language and the characters to life in a way which feels natural and makes the story very easy to listen to.

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  • Jaspal
  • 08-06-15

Smugness overload, nicely narrated though

Would you ever listen to anything by Tarquin Hall again?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

Seemed like something half-way between miss marple and sherlock holmes with a decidedly smug Puri as the super sleuth.
Still, the characterisation was good and the way privilege, poverty, growth and corruption rub shoulders in India was nicely portrayed.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful