Booker... (I hope Puri is pronounced like pure-ee)
The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri Series #1) by Tarquin Hall
When I picked up this book, I was thinking it would be like a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency set in India. I was mostly wrong. But, I was right to pick up the book. I really enjoyed it.
Vish Puri, India's most successful private investigator, does long for the simpler more moral days of the past and his investigations don't include the violence and sexual content found in so many of the mysteries on the shelf these days. In those ways this series is similar to the No. 1 Detective Agency, but in many ways it is different.
Puri has all the modern technology an investigator could want. He's also got more enemies than any person would want. This story starts quickly! We begin this story at the end of an investigation, giving you an idea of what Puri is all about. Then comes an assassination attempt. I really liked the start of this book.
In the story, Puri investigate two cases, one more major than the other. Both are solved in the end by the detective, who we discover is a compassionate upstanding person. Yet, he is not perfect so he's very likable. There's also a fun meddling character in the family who adds humor to the book.
I don't know much about India and its culture. I don't think I've even ever read a book that takes place in India, which actually made me a little hesitant to read the book. But, I enjoyed learning a little about India from Hall, a British writer who lived and worked in South Asia, the Middles East and Africa. Hall also provides a helpful glossary in the back of Indian words used in the book.
This is a great mystery book. And the second in the series is now out in paperback (The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing). Tarquin Hall also received Barnes and Noble's "Discover Great New Writers" Award for To the Elephant Graveyard. It got excellent reviews. He has other non-fiction work as well.