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The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken

Tarquin Hall

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Arrow

Published : 2013

Copyright : Sacred Cow Media Ltd 202

ISBN-10 : PB 0-09-956187-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-09-956187-3

Publisher's Write-Up

Vish Puri is as fond of butter chicken as the next Punjabi. And when there's plenty on offer at the Delhi Durbar hotel where he's attending an India Premier League cricket match dinner, he's the first to tuck in. Irfan Khan, father of Pakistani star cricketer Kamran Khan, can't resist either. But the creamy dish proves his undoing. After a few mouthfuls, he collapses on the floor, dead. Clearly this isn't a case of Delhi Belly.

But who amongst the Bollywood stars, politicians, bureaucrats and industrialists poisoned Khan is a mystery. And with the capital's police chief proving as incompetent as ever, it falls to Most Private Investigators to find out the truth.

Puri is soon able to link Khan to a bald bookie called Full Moon and all the clues point to the involvement of a gambling syndicate that controls the illegal billion dollar betting industry.

The answers seem to lie in Surat, the diamond cutting and polishing capital of the world (where Puri's chief undercover operative Tubelight meets his match) and across the border in Pakistan, Puri's nemesis, the one country where he has sworn never to set foot.

Or do they? A certain determined, grey-haired lady with a unique insight into the murder believes that the portly detective is barking up 'a wrong tree.'

Is Mummy-ji right?Is there more to the murder than meets the eye? And why, to make life even more complicated for Vish Puri, has someone tried to steal the longest moustache in the world - from right under the nose of its owner? Literally.

About the Author:
Tarquin Hall is a writer and journalist who has lived and worked in much of South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the US. Tarquin first went to India in the mid 1990s where he met his wife, journalist Anu Anand. They now live in Delhi with their two children. He is the author of several non-fiction works and two other Vish Puri stories, The Case of the Missing Servant and The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing.

'The Punjabi Poirot is dogged by calamities in this comic tale.'


'Outstanding third mystery Well drawn, colourful characters bolster a whodunit sure to appeal to those who enjoy a dash of humour with their crime.'

Publishers Weekly

'I love Hall's blend of inventive plot and Ealing-Comedy eccentricity.'

Saga magazine
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310713) Rating (9/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 9/10
This is the third Vish Puri book, but the first time that I have had the pleasure of meeting India’s Most Private Investigator. The book opens with his sabotaging the scales when his diet is not going as well as his wife would like, and the food and diet theme provides a rich vein of narrative throughout the book.

There are two cases at the centre of the story, one is to do with facial hair and the other is the murder of the father of a popular cricketer from Pakistan (poisoned by means of the aforementioned Butter Chicken). I had not realised prior to reading this how complicated the relationship between Pakistan and India has been over the years. The backdrop to the story is a fascinating piece of history, which is woven into the story with deft and subtle ability on the part of Mr Hall. There is no doubt that he is very familiar with this part of the world, and he draws well on that knowledge; although there were unfamiliar terms in the book I never felt that I was missing some in joke.

I loved Vish, as a character he is great, a bit Holmes, a bit Poirot, but more human, subject to flaws and an occasional dead end in his investigation. I think that I may well keep an eye out for the other books, and would heartily recommend them to people who may not enjoy the currently fashionable level of gruesomeness in modern detective stories.

A good old fashioned detective story in the tradition of Agatha Christie but with a modern slant, and given the recent escapades of one J K Rowling this novel could well be the next book you are looking for after finishing The Cuckoo’s Calling... well worth your time.
Chrissi (31st July 2013)

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