Well this was a delightful surprise! Once again, I went looking for another interesting murder mystery after a heavy SFF diet – and came across this one…
BLURB: When a young woman comes forward claiming to be the reincarnation of Riya Kaur, a wife and mother who vanished during the bloody 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Puri is dismissive. He’s busy enough dealing with an irate matrimonial client whose daughter is complaining about her groom’s thunderous snoring. Puri’s indomitable Mummy-ji however is adamant the client is genuine. How else could she so accurately describe under hypnosis Riya Kaur’s life and final hours? Driven by a sense of duty – the original case was his late father’s – Puri manages to acquire the police file only to find that someone powerful has orchestrated a cover-up. Forced into an alliance with his mother that tests his beliefs and high blood pressure as never before, it’s only by delving into the past the help of his reincarnated client that Puri can hope to unlock the truth.
I loved this one. Puri is a very busy and increasingly successful private investigator. But this isn’t the usual setting of somewhere in the US or UK – this is bustling India. It would have been so easy to have got this disastrously wrong and it’s a credit to the author and his in-depth knowledge of Indian society and its faultlines that it worked so well. I didn’t always like Puri. He is often impatient, argumentative, and horribly dismissive of his clearly very clever mother, but he’s also loyal, essentially kind-hearted and tenacious in trying to unravel wrongdoing in a society where corruption is deep-seated and people in the highest places often look the other way.
Despite the fact I crashed midway into this series – this is Book Five and I hadn’t read any of the previous offerings in this series – I didn’t at any stage find myself floundering. Hall has a deft writing style that focused on the setting and mystery so that I was swiftly caught up in Puri’s world and didn’t want to put this one down until I had finished it.
The worldbuilding is exceptional. Not only could I clearly visualise it all – I could taste and hear Puri’s surroundings, the pollution, the constant traffic and ceaseless churn of people struggling to earn a living. While Puri’s love of food gave me an insight into its role in Indian society, as well as succeeding in making my mouth water. All this was achieved without holding up the pace or getting in the way of the narrative arc – which is a whole lot harder to pull off than Hall makes it look. As for the two crimes, running side by side, they were brought to a satisfactory enjoyable conclusion without being too tidy. I absolutely loved this one – to the extent that Himself has gone out and bought me the first four books in the series as an early Valentine’s present – no wonder I love the man so much! Highly recommended for fans of murder mysteries in enjoyable and different settings. The ebook arc copy of The Case of the Reincarnated Client was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest opinion of the book.
I love that you often start series in the middle! Lol. But it sounds like it worked well this time, and gave you a favorite new author to read😁
Oh absolutely! In fairness – Netgalley don’t particularly highlight where a book is in a series. And as I’ve been crashing midway into series since forever, I’m reasonably laid back about it:)). Mostly, it works out!
Wonderful review series. Great that this is another one that was able to be read without reading the previous books. It sounds quite interesting.
Oh, it’s great fun. It was a treat to have such a different setting, too:)).
Wow – 10/10 and this is a book that you crashed into the series.. When I saw the heading and the No.5 I wondered if you’d read the other books and I’d maybe just missed the reviews. But this is so positive and I love the sound of the setting. Will have to add this to my wishlist. I’m really enjoying murder mysteries at the moment and the setting for this one really appeals to me. Plus, good to know that I don’t have to catch up with the others.
Oh yes – if you enjoy murder mysteries, this is a lovely change. And Himself has bought me the rest of the series as a Valentine’s pressie:))
This sounds totally delightful: the setting is indeed a very unusual one, and I *LOVE* the idea of the P.I. having to deal with his mother and to team up with her to solve the mystery 😀
Oh, it’s great! Especially as his mother is unexpectedly good at this stuff – which drives him crazy:)).
That’s great that you weren’t lost even though the series is five books in. I love a good murder mystery and that 10/10 is calling to me. And yay for your hubby and the early Valentine’s gift. Hope you enjoy those first four books just as much as you loved this one.
Thank you, Suzanne:). I hope I enjoy this one as much, too!
I know very little about India. I got onto the wait list for this at the library. Hopefully, I can get my mood to read it when I get it. I’m glad it was such a hit with you. Excellent review!
Thank you, Anne – I really hope you enjoy it. Have you ordered the first book? I’m going to start reading these in order, once I’ve got my current arcs out of the way:))