Title: The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken
Author: Tarquin Hall
Review: A cozy mystery in the classic sense. A bloodless murder takes place off camera (a poisoning) and our private detective, the best private detective in all of India, takes on the case. Of course the whole time he must battle the quirky cast of characters that make up his family and associates.
Not to say this book is all fun and games. The author digs into the very serious world of sports gambling and its relationship to organized crime. A very slight working knowledge of cricket is useful when reading this book as that is the sport at hand. It is interesting to see how something as one bowl (i.e. pitch) or at bat can be used to “throw a game” when it comes to the gambling but not effect the whole contest. It is a level of sophistication on the part of the criminals I had always assumed was present but didn’t understand how.
Furthermore it explores the tensions between India and Pakistan, including some of the more shameful history of its past wars. Unfortunately most of the world does not understand all that has gone on before between these two countries; the various skirmishes and wars. There is a lot of mistrust and dislike between the two. What I did like we how the author makes a broad statement about how a lot of our mistrust is misplaced. While travelling to Pakistan the lead character fully expects to be mistreated, if not outright kidnapped and harmed. Yet at every turn he is treated well. An example for a more western audience is the realization the average Iranian would be quite pleasant, if not outright jubilant if an American were to show up at their door.
The Butter Chicken delivers exactly what you want from this mystery series, a harassed detective digging into a twisty crime among a cast of colorful characters. A fun success I will enjoy revisiting with each ensuing case.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Quick Review: 4 stars out of 5
Why I Read It: I have read one of the previous books in this cozy mystery series.
Where I Obtained the Book: Sent to me by the publisher for review
Synopsis: Vish Puri is as fond of butter chicken as the next Punjabi. So when it’s served at the Delhi Durbar hotel at an India Premier League cricket match dinner, he’s the first to tuck in. Faheem 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...
Hitting the Road Jacq