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The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri 1) [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Tarquin Hall
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Kurzbeschreibung

20. April 2010 Vish Puri 1

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, where call centres and malls are changing the ancient fabric of Indian life, 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 two thousand years ago -- long before 'that Johnny-come-lately' Sherlock Holmes donned his Deerstalker.

The search for Mary takes him to the desert oasis of Jaipur and the remote mines of Jharkhand. 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.


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The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri 1) + The Case of the Man who Died Laughing (Vish Puri 2) + The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri 3)
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Produktinformation

  • Taschenbuch: 320 Seiten
  • Verlag: Arrow (20. April 2010)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0099525232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099525233
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,2 x 19,9 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 51.952 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"The most original detective in years. Picture Hercule Poirot with an Indian accent, eating chili pakoras and riding in an auto rickshaw. Tarquin Hall has captured India in a way few Western writers have managed since Kipling. India's humor, commotion and vibrancy bursts from every page, exposing its vast, labyrinthine underbelly. Scintillating!" (Tahir Shah, author of The Caliph's House)

"A brilliantly written humorous tale that vividly captures the sounds, smells and foibles of modern India" (Ayub Khan Din, writer of East is East)

"Lively and quick-paced ... What Cara Black does for Paris, Hall achieves for India" (Kirkus)

"Tubby, ingenious and hilarious, Delhi's most trusted PI, Vish Puri, is not easily forgotten. Properly disdainful of unoriginal crime-busters like Sherlock Holmes and James Bond, his unique methods of detection deserve to be widely known and feted" (David Davidar, author of The Solitude of Emperors)

"Entertaining . . . Hall combines an insider's insight with the eclectic eye of a good foreign correspondent . . . The very opposite of the "exoticism" of which this kind of fiction is often accused. Instead of escaping into "another world", western readers are encouraged to see an unflattering reflection of their own values and desires" (Financial Times)

Werbetext

Acclaimed writer Tarquin Hall makes his fiction debut with an Indian detective story

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Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Schön gemütlicher Ethno-Krimi, künstlich "altmodisch" nach Agatha-Christie-Manier, sehr liebenswert. Spielt jedoch im heutigen Indien (deswegen wollte ich ihn lesen)und bringt d. Leser so ganz nebenbei ei.ganze Menge echte Indien-Infos, man/frau merkt, daß d. Autor sich gut auskennt. Ich werde mir auf jeden Fall auch d. anderen Titel noch bestellen !
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1 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Zerstückelt 25. April 2010
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Leider konnte ich mich für das Buch gar nicht erwärmen, auch wenn es sich teilweise gut liest und der Krimi eigentlich spannend wäre. Auch wird das Leben in Indien ws sehr gut wieder gegeben, das Glossar am Ende ist sehr hilfreich. Dennoch bin ich damit nicht glücklich. Der Held, Vish Puri, ob absichtlich oder nicht, wirkt einfach unseriös, man kann ihn nicht ganz ernst nehmen. Die Nebenpersonen sind interessant, bleiben aber am Ende vage. Oft habe ich nachgeschaut, ob es nicht doch schon weitere Bücher um Vish Puri gibt, denn es wird immer wieder auf alte Fälle hingewiesen und ich dachte mir, dass ich dort vielleicht mehr Erklärungen finde, welche das Lesen einfacher machen würde. Die Mutter Puris ist schön verschroben, kommt aber total zu kurz, die Auflösung des Falls ist sehr lückenhaft, gewisse Dinge sind nicht ganz nachvollziehbar, weil wichtige Hinweise fehlen. Auch wenn das Ganze dann am Schluss aufgeht und die Verwicklungen doch sehr spannend sind, kann ich mich des Eindrucks einer von-oben-herab-Haltung des Autors nicht erwehren. Es hat mich einfach zu viel daran gestört. Mag ja sein, im Sinne von Agatha Christie, aber den Standard hat er einfach doch nicht ganz erreicht. Schade.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 von 5 Sternen  163 Rezensionen
86 von 88 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Travelogue, Food Primer and Detective Story All In One 5. Mai 2009
Von Terry Sunday - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Having traveled extensively in India, and having had a lifelong fascination with the subcontinent, I had high hopes for Tarquin Hall's "The Case of the Missing Servant." I expected this tale of Indian private investigator Vish Puri to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of India's teeming cities and dusty countryside. I expected it to offer the distinctive feel of the many religions and cultures that share the region. I even expected it to include mouth-watering descriptions of the distinctive spicy flavors of Indian food, ranked as one of the world's three greatest cuisines. I was not a bit disappointed. "The Case of the Missing Servant" does all of these things superbly. And, oh, by the way, there's a pretty good detective story in here as well.

Portly, pakora-munching, dapper-dressed Punjabi Vish Puri, called "Chubby" by his friends, would never be confused with Sam Spade or Philip Marlowe. He's more of a Delhi-based cross between Hercule Poirot and Perry Mason. The founder and managing director of Most Private Investigators, Ltd., Puri has observational skills rivaling those of "that Johnny-come-lately Sherlock Holmes," a detailed knowledge of 2000-year-old Indian principles of detection, and wide-ranging contacts in Indian society. Usually his work involves screening prospective matrimonial partners for the "arranged" marriages still common in India. But this time, aided by his team of undercover operatives nicknamed Tubelight, Facecream, Door Stop, Flush and Handbrake, Puri takes on the case of a servant girl who has gone missing from the household of a well-to-do Jaipur barrister. A badly beaten body dumped beside a roadway is identified as that of the missing girl, and evidence points to the barrister as her murderer. Can Puri clear the man who insists he's innocent? As he sifts through clues and chases tantalizing leads, Puri dodges bullets himself while never missing a meal.

If you enjoy fast-paced, lucid, satisfying and understandable mysteries, you definitely should read "The Case of the Missing Servant." Don't be put off by Indian words and names that may be unfamiliar to you. The characters are well-enough defined that you can easily tell them apart, even if their names sound strange to Western ears, and a comprehensive Glossary defines all the words you need to know, including the many varieties of foods that Puri consumes throughout the case. I got hungry just scanning through the glossary...
23 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Portly Indian Detective 8. Mai 2009
Von J. W. Kennedy - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
A servant girl goes missing; her employer is accused of murdering her. Meanwhile, a decorated military man does not like his granddaughter's fiancee; there is something "not right" about him. Vish Puri, owner of Delhi's "Most Private Detective Agency" is on the case!

The plot is satisfying, complex enough but not confusing, and the action moves quickly. There is some violence but not a lot of suspense. The mood overall is light .. not comedic, but definitely not very serious. The characters - particularly Puri himself - are very likable. He has a crew of investigative assistants with bizarre nicknames: Facecream, Tubelight, Handbrake, Flush ... sadly most of these characters are shadows. I want to know more about them, but the chameleonlike femme fatale Facecream is the only one with much of a developed personality.

Not knowing much about India aside from watching a few Bollywood movies, I found the setting to be quite fascinating. The social and political atmosphere of modern India is presented in a way that tells a lot without seeming like a "show-and-tell." The investigation takes Puri from the country clubs and mansions of Delhi's wealthy classes, to the squalor and poverty of uranium miners in Jharkhand. Conveys a very convincing sense of place.

The dialogue is fantastic. I was delighted by the peculiar phrasing of Indian English on almost every page. The book is packed with _bon mots_ which I may have to start using in conversations.

One only complaint: There is a glossary in the back of the book which provides definitions for roughly 100 Indian terms which are used in the book. I suppose this is a useful - perhaps even necessary - feature, but I found it to be terribly distracting to have to flip to the back and look up words every few pages. Footnotes would have been a better solution.

Fun and entertaining. Four and a half stars.
24 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Hindu Hanky Panky 23. April 2009
Von Jody - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Mr. Vish Puri ('Chubby' to his family, 'The Boss' to his employees), founder and director of Most Private Investigators, Ltd. (Confidentiality Is Our Watchword) is India's most celebrated detective, evidenced by his picture on the cover of India Today and the seven national and international awards he's won. He writes letters to the Times of India, scorns Sherlock Holmes as a Johnny-come-lately, favors Savile Row-made safari suits, silk dressing gowns, Sandown hats and to the consternation of his wife and doctor, greasy street food. His cases are mostly matrimonial in nature, families hire him to vet their sons' and daughters' intended spouses (the MPI, Ltd. offers a pricey Pre-Matrimonial Five Star Comprehensive Service) until he's called upon to look into the mysterious disappearance of a maidservant.

The inimitable Mr. Puri is as at home in the poorest villages as in the most opulent and Moghul-esque marble palaces. In his dogged pursuit of the truth, he slips undercover at the drop of a hat and engages in judicious larceny and blackmail. At the Most Private Investigators, Ltd, the client always comes first, though The Boss is entirely capable of holding back information that will damage a bride's one chance at marriage. In short, Mr. Vishi Puri is a most engaging and resourceful character on the order of Rumpole or Precious Ramotswe.

The Boss handles several cases at once with help from his fearless Mummy; his unflappable wife, Rumpi; assorted friends in high and low places; and a stable of investigators nicknamed Facecream, Flush and Handbrake. While investigating the title case, unmasking a balti-cook pretending to be the owner of the Indian Empress Restaurant, tailing a fiancé who's just too good to be true, and one who isn't; someone shoots at The Boss as he's tending his roof-top chili plants. His entire cadre of friends, family and employees is called into service.

Through these coloful characters, Tarquin Hall provides glimpses into contemporary Indian culture--class distinctions, outsourcing, the Byzantine Indian legal system, the erratic infrastructure of modern Delhi that makes it necessary to fill one's washing machine with buckets of water, and domestic life. It is engaging and by turns hilarious and touching; The Boss' plane trip is one of the funniest things I've ever read, while his experience in the town next to the uranium mine brought a lump to my throat. Mr. Vish Puri does what he can, however, and as all the cases are wrapped up and the missing servant is found, the reader happily celebrates the Festival of Lights along with the Puri family.

Mr. Hall uses many Indian colloquialisms for which he mercifully provides a glossary, and there are several allusions to Bollywood that might be unfamiliar to the reader (thank you, Google). While this was initially annoying, I came to appreciate the book not being dumbed down, and found I enjoyed recognizing words as they cropped up again. It's obvious that Mr. Hall adores India and its people; The Case of the Missing Servant is a loving portrait of modern India, warts and all and Mr. Vish Puri is a unique and wonderful new addition to the international detective community.
18 von 20 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Chubby 12. Dezember 2009
Von Stephen T. Hopkins - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Tarquin Hall's mystery novel, The Case of the Missing Servant, introduces readers to a memorable detective, Vish Puri. Known to old friends and family as Chubby, Vish Puri runs Delhi's Most Private Investigators Ltd., from which he and his staff spend most of their time performing investigations on potential marriage candidates to be sure that families aren't surprised by skeletons in the closets of a bride or groom. While part of The Case of the Missing Servant uncovers sensitive information about a bridegroom, the bulk of this mystery involves the disappearance of a servant and Puri's efforts on behalf of his client to prove that he did not murder the missing girl. Vish Puri has the grey matter to solve a case with the skill of a Hercule Poirot, the ability to draw information from others along the lines of Mma Ramotswe, and a distinctly 21st century Delhi temperament. Readers who love India or mysteries will enjoy reading The Case of the Missing Servant.

Rating: Three-star (Recommended)
Click here to purchase The Case of the Missing Servant from amazon.com.
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Droll, insightful, easy 10. Juli 2010
Von Sheetal Bahl - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I'll skip the story, since it's basically a whodunit, and there's enough on that already. Let me jump to quickly enumerating what I liked about the book so much:
1.Tarquin Hall, and his characters, has a very quaint, but very good sense of humour. What this achieves is that the book doesn't get weighed down by the seriousness of the many tragic events played out in the book.
2.The book is surprisingly insightful and honest about India, and in particular does a great job of capturing the essence of the predominant Punjabi culture in Delhi/NCR. But more importantly, it doesn't become derogatory or demeaning when touching upon the negativities, as a lot of other books are inclined to do. As a resident of Delhi, I very much appreciated the subtle exposure of the underbelly sans the vitriolic judgments.
Hall's eye for detail is fantastic, whether he's talking about the streets, the culture, the language, the food, the people, or the behavior of Delhi's denizens. He's alarmingly honest, but in a most entertaining way.
3.Finally, this is a very, very easy read, as crime fictions go, and otherwise. Hall almost imbues a children's book sort of feel into it, and makes the book such a breeze.
Overall, I'd strongly recommend reading this book. It's a quick few hours read, and those few hours will have been very well spent. I'm off now to look for more of India's "Most Private Investigator"!
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