Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tarquin Hall just became one of my favorite authors

Tarquin Hall, a British-American writer and journalist is now one of my favorite authors. He is not 'world-famous' nor has he received accolades and critical acclaim for any of his works, but he manages to glue the readers' eyeballs to his books. He is after all the creator of India's Most Private Investigator, Vish Puri (also known as the Indian Sherlock Holmes). Currently dividing his time between Delhi and London, he has traveled across U.S.,U.K.,India,Turkey,Kenya, Pakistan, middle-east and south Asia and has based his writings on these countries and is married to Indian-born BBC-reporter Anu Anand.
The first book I read was To The Elephant Graveyard, a true story about a mentally-ill rogue elephant who goes on a killing spree, trampling to death more than forty individuals in and around the Kaziranga National Park in the state of Assam, India. The elephant is originally a Kunki (a domestic elephant under a mahout) but becomes crazy after ill-treatment by a previous owner. The book describes how Tarquin Hall, travels from Guwahati with a professional shooter into the deep forests of Assam and tracks down the elephant who is later shot by the shooter, Dinesh Choudhary. Adventurous and thrilling, though the book is supposed to be a serious read, some depictions are so hilarious that they make you laugh for several minutes.
The second one was the Case of The Missing Servant, the first book among the Vish Puri Murder Mysteries. A young maid servant in the household of a well-known lawyer in Jaipur goes missing and he is blamed for her murder. Vish Puri, stereo-typically Punjabi and obese, residing in Delhi, takes up the case and travels as far as the Jadugoda mines of Jharkhand, to prove the lawyer's innocence. Both funny and mysterious, this book is a good read.


  1. I plan to read A case of Missing Servant soon! and I have a feeling Tarquin Hall would be my favourite too! How is that Tarquin Hall looks so young in your picture? (I may have mistaken him for an old guy!)
    That elephant graveyard sounds really good. There is a new book on crime fiction for Tarquin this year.

  2. He is not very young. Early forties! Read Case of the Missing Servant. It's extremely funny!

  3. I have just finished reading "The Man who died Laughing" and before that "The Case of the Missing Servant" and truly enjoyed them immensely! Tarquin Hall has become one of my favorite authors. I am waiting for the newest "The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken" to come out on paperback and will probably have to wait a while, since it still is newly published. Both books have been very engaging, with fascinating quirky characters that add humorous twists and turns to the plot of the stories. I don't know if I enjoy the books more for how the mysteries are solved, or for the assorted personalities of all the characters, or the insights to the ways of the people of India. I am completely transported to their world and can almost smell the different dishes that Vish Puri loves to eat. I have a yearning to go to a restaurant that serves food from India.