Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken

The father of a famous Pakistani cricketer drops dead after eating butter chicken at a Delhi banquet. Private eye Vish Puri decides to take the case. It will be a welcome diversion from his current slate of cases, which include the theft of a record-breaking mustache. The case brings Puri across the Indian border into Pakistan, and into Delhi's criminal underworld. The mystery is tied deeply to India's history, to the 1948 partition with Pakistan.

I always enjoy these Vish Puri mysteries. Puri and his circle of family and associates are entertaining. The discussion of Indian and Pakistan was interesting, and I learned a great deal about the role of women in the partition. Puri's Mummy-ji is still trying to help him solve mysteries. In this case she proves to be instrumental to concluding the case. Hall has done an excellent job creating the Delhi atmosphere. Hall's Delhi is a vibrant, colorful, chaotic, and corrupt place. The author has captured the cadences of Delhi speech and established a delightful cast of characters. I can't wait for the next in the series.

Tarquin Hall, The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Simon and Schuster, 2012) ISBN: 1451613172 

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