The wonderful second outing for Delhi detective Vish Puri ('the Indian Hercule Poirot' Financial Times) and his team of skilled operatives.
Early one morning, on the lawns of a grand boulevard in central Delhi, a group of professionals are attending their therapeutic Laughing Club when a 20-foot apparition of the Goddess Kali apppears, and strikes one of their number dead.
The goddess disappears without trace, and soon news of the crime has all India agog. For the victim is celebrated sceptic and rationalist Dr Suresh Jha, enemy of all gurus and mystics, and he has been silenced in a manner calculated to unnerve even his most loyal supporters.
As the media go into a frenzy, it becomes clear that the case goes to the heart of the battle between superstition and rationality in modern India. But the fact remains that a murder has been committed. And as it becomes clear that powerful forces are at play, one man is perfectly placed to investigate: the portly detective Vish Puri.
In fact, the idea that he could resist getting involved in such a tantalizing murder is preposterous. There is as much chance of him going without his lunch.
“The novel is an entertaining yarn about the apparent murder of a well-known religious sceptic by an apparition of the Goddess Kali and a ripe comedy of Indian manners, brimming with well-observed detail.”
Mail on Sunday
“Vish Puri - "Most Private Investigator", according to his card - is large, constantly hungry, a perpetual victim of Delhi's traffic congestion, and a wonderfully engaging PI . . . the characters - including Puri's complicated family - are splendid, and it's a joy to read”
“A funny, entertaining novel [with a] wonderfully engaging Private Investigator . . the characters - including Vish Puri's complicated family - are splendid, and it's a joy to read.”
Marcel Berlins, The Times
“Sweet-natured and hilarious”
Financial Tiimes Summer Reads
“So brilliantly does Tarquin hall capture the sights, smells, sounds and foibles of modern India, not to mention the nuances of English-Indian speech, that it is hard to believe he is not himself Indian. He also serves up fabulous descriptions of the Indian cuisine much favoured by Puri, a sort of Indian Poirot whose lunch will always come before his crime-solving.”