Novels in the series –
The case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri 1)
The case of the Man Who Died Laughing (Vish Puri 2)
The case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri 3)
The case of the Love Commandoes (Vish Puri 4)
About the detective –
Vishwas Puri, more popular as the 51-year-old Vish Puri is the founder and managing director of Most Private Investigators Ltd. (that goes by the catchline ‘Confidentiality is my Watchword’). A detective based out of Defence colony, Delhi, this Punjabi loves food as much his curious cases. He is often found to devise ways to defy the family physician Dr. Mohan’s cautionary advice related to his high blood pressure and diabetes. His investigation methodology follows the age-old practices of observation and detection using disguise and undercover aliases. He has a unique and funny way of addressing his employees, relatives and close friends. He has a nickname for all like for instance his wife is called Rumpi, his driver, Handbrake; the lazy office-boy, Door Stop; his assistant – the one who takes time to flicker to life, Tubelight; the guy who was the first one to have a flush toilet at his home in his village, Flush and the Nepali woman employee, Facecream. The detective is also referred to as Chubby by his near ones though, for his employees, he prefers to be known as Boss only. A few more interesting characters in Hall’s books are the matriarch in Puri’s family, his mighty Mummyji; his secretary, Elizabeth Rani, and his archrival Hari Kumar.
The author has a very interesting way of crafting thrillers with a dash of humor. There are moments in the books when despite the seriousness of the circumstances, the reader can’t help but chuckle at the proceedings. However, there’s also an underlying social message in every book. The author, who first visited India in 1990 and is settled in Delhi now, has attempted to discover the country and its socio-economic complexities through the perspective of crime and mystery. In the first book of this series, the focus is on the nature of exploitation that tribals face from their upper-class employers. In the second book, the conflict between superstition and rationality that still clouds the mind of a human, despite his education, hits hard. In the third book based on a game of cricket, there’s an underlying current of trauma and vengeance in the history of India’s partition. In his latest book, the author brings forth the issues of caste divide and untouchability, relevant even today. His books strike a chord, creating suspense and thrill, while also giving a tinted view of the real-world problems without getting preachy.
The bookish connection –
The first-ever Vish Puri book that I read was ‘The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken’. It was a birthday gift from my best friend in 2013. I was so impressed by the narrative and old-world writing charm of a Detective thriller that I ended up buying the first two books in the series next. The fourth and the last book in this series released in 2014 and it turned out to be equally intriguing. I only hope that the author intends to keep this series going and we get to read more of the great detective Vish Puri in the future.
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