India’s Most Private Investigator uses stealth, cunning and above all discretion to turn the tables on a killer.
Although he holds his 1999 Super Sleuth award from the World Federation of Detectives almost as dear as the greasy pakoras and chicken frankies his wife Rumpi begs him to stop eating, Vish Puri would readily admit that the vast majority of his clients come to him for the mundane purpose of domestic spying. So when noted Jaipur attorney Ajay Kasliwal hires Most Private Investigations, Ltd. to locate the missing housemaid he’s suspected of killing, Puri is ecstatic at the chance for some real detection. Slipping his agent, a Nepalese beauty called Facecream, into the Kasliwal ménage to mingle with the servants, Puri has his driver, Handbrake, take him on a tour of the Pink City to see where a simple country girl from Jharkand might hide. Meanwhile, back in Delhi, Puri’s Mummy, strictly against his orders, stakes out an apartment block in Puri’s own Gurgaon district in an attempt to discover who had the audacity to fire bullets at her beloved Chubby on the very roof of his house. Relying on the covert and sometimes byzantine network of corruption that rules Indian bureaucracy, the two press their separate quests to insure that justice triumphs in the end.
What Cara Black does for Paris, Hall (Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End, 2005, etc.) achieves for India in this lively and quick-paced series debut.