This is part of the Alphabet of Crime Fiction series. Big thanks to Kerrie for doing the leg work. You can show your appreciation by heading on over to Mysteries in Paradise and either signing up or cheering everyone on.
T is for Tarquin Hall
Tarquin Hall is a British writer and journalist who has spent a large part of his life covering stories all over the world, including the Asian subcontinent. According to Wikipedia, Hall is the author of seven books (though they list only six but mention that a seventh is in the works), but it is the last three (or four if you count the one that is ostensibly being written) of the seven that are relevant to this challenge – The Case of the Missing Servant, The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing and The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken. All three star Vish Puri, his punjabi detective and India’s Most Private Investigator (as Puri refers to himself).
Hall’s mysteries are not hard-boiled nor are they cozies. It is perhaps a mixture between an easy-going puzzler and a tounge-in-cheek look at Indian life. I find the books reminiscent of Alexander McCall Smith’s The No: 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Hall’s dialogues are also liberally dosed with Hinglish – a mix of Hindi and English (and Punjabi in this case), capturing the reality of how the educated Indian middle-class speak. This can make reading a little hard if you are not familiar with the subcontinent and with many of the words. Thankfully, his books come with a glossary.
I have only read one of the three books so far (The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing) but that has been enough to convince me that I should pick up the other two when I get the chance. They are a fun and easy read set in a different world from the usual British and American fare, and Hall does a good job of picking up on some the uniqueness of life in India in general and Delhi in particular. So if you liked The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency definitely give Tarquin Hall and Vish Puri a try. India’s most private investigator is sure to solve your conundrum jaldi jaldi (quick quick).