REVIEW: the Case Of The Missing Servant by Tarquinius Hall

Recently I realised that I have read all serious books, heavy historical fiction or violent crime novels. Looking for some light relief I thought about rereading some of Alexander McCall Smiths No1 Ladies Detective Agency, but then Amazon suggested I try Tarquin Hall’s murder mystery series which is about an Indian detective and promised to have a smilies quirky and comedic style. 

The central character Vish Puri is cool and decisive with moments of insight into other characters that are amusing. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the same depth or charm as other detectives and it is this depth that the book struggles with throughout. It feels as though the reader is constantly at a distance from the action and characters and so I struggled to become as engrossed with this novel as I usually do with crime fiction. 

For lovers of The No1 Ladies Detective Agency and Agatha Christie this would be a good next read but it just didn’t grip me as much as a good Poirot novel usually does. It was an interesting premise and I enjoyed the insights into Indian culture, but I didn’t feel as drawn into the action as I would usually like.

It is an entertain read and a good break if you are looking for something lighter. There are certainly funny moments and plenty of twists and interesting characters it just doesn’t quite have the same sparkle as Mma Ramotswe! 

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