I encountered this cosy murder mystery series when I scooped up the fifth book, The Case of the Reincarnated Client as a Netgalley arc and liked it enough to go back and get hold of the previous four books. I have loved the previous two books in this series, The Case of the Missing Servant and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing – though I didn’t write full reviews.
BLURB: When the elderly father of a top Pakistani cricketer playing in a new multimillion-dollar cricket league dies frothing at the mouth during a post-match dinner, it’s not a simple case of Delhi Belly. His butter chicken has been poisoned. To solve the case, Puri must penetrate the region’s organized crime, following a trail that leads deep into Pakistan the country in which many members of the P.I.’s family were massacred during the 1947 partition of India. The last piece of the puzzle, however, turns up closer to home when Puri learns of the one person who can identify the killer. Unfortunately it is the one person in the world with whom he has sworn never to work: his Mummy-ji.
REVIEW: I have come to really love this wonderful series featuring Vish Puri as the top private investigator in India. And while the tone may seem reasonably light, that doesn’t prevent Hall from taking on some hefty issues – the ongoing blight of corruption within all layers of Indian society and the challenges brought about the swift changes and rise of the educated middle-classes. Vish Puri’s keen intelligence ponders some of these difficulties in amongst his constant press of challenging cases. Some of his cases are amusing and quirky. Others less so.
Vish’s journey into Pakistan for the first time in his life forces him to confront his belief that the people living there are constantly plotting India’s overthrow. However, my favourite character in this current book is Mummy-Ji, Vish Puri’s gutsy, street-wise mother who has several times in the past waded into the middle of one of his investigations, to his fury. Because she also finds herself having to confront the issue of Partition – a terrible time she lived through, as members of her own family were killed, and she had to flee for her life.
Though I would emphasise that while Hall leaves us in no doubt what occurred, he doesn’t require his readers to relive the worst of went down. So there are no scenes of rape or undue violence in this, or any of the other books. What we are confronted with, is the vividness and colour of Indian society where even the daily commute can be a white-knuckle adventure. I’m conscious that I have woefully sold this book short – the clever plotting, wonderful characterisation of each of the main protagonists and the fabulous scene setting mean it has become one of my favourite reading experiences of the year, so far. And I’m hoping Hall is busy writing the sixth book in this series – because I don’t want to face the rest of this wretched year without the prospect of yet another fix of Vish Puri to dive into… Highly recommended for fans of well written cosy murder mysteries with a different setting.
The setting itself would be a very interesting change of pace from the usual mystery novels, indeed…
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
And the setting so brilliantly evokes a culture markedly different from our own without any patronising.
It’s great when you find a series that really just works for you which seems to be the case for you with this one.
Oh yes! I have found this series a complete joy. Yay for Net galley as I would never have found it otherwise.
You’ve convinced me to add this series to my (someday) list. I don’t read enough cozy mysteries😁
When I need a break from SFF then cosy-ish mysteries are my go-to genre:))
I am so looking at this on Goodreads now. Have you ever read Vaseem Khan’s books? Also in India. The first one was The unexpected inheritance of Inspector Chopra. Loved it!
Thanks for sharing this, if you didn’t – I wouldn’t have known about it!
Hope you are having a good week!
Thank you Mareli. No – I haven’t read Vaseem Khan’s books. Thank you so much for your recommendation as I am on the look out for another excellent murder mystery with an Indian setting:)).
And yes – I am having a wonderful week away on a writing retreat back at Bexhill-on-Sea with my lovely sister in law. I hope you too are having a great week.
I’ve got one of these on reserve at the library. Fantastic review!
Thank you, Anne! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I do.