A woman claims to have been murdered in her past life. Vish Puri’s mummy-ji asks him to help the lady and bring her murderer to justice. The lady claims to have been murdered during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in India. Many Sikhs were killed and Riya Kaur was in the missing persons’ list. More than 30 years later, Saanvi claims to be Riya Kaur.
To add to his woes, a disgruntled client accuses Vish of not digging enough into his son-in-law’s habits. He claims the son-in-law has a snoring problem – the snore’s so loud that it crosses the sound barrier too. Uff!
Vish Puri is torn between helping mummy-ji and Saanvi and proving that the son-in-law never had a snoring problem before marriage. Oh yeah, this happened during the demonetization drive in India. Overnight, all 500 and 1000 rupee notes were withdrawn. Long lines at the bank, Mister hairy toes (corrupt fella) and much more, Puri’s plate is full.
By god, isn’t this one of the best stories I have read this year or what!! Interesting character names, weirdos and even weirder stories, cartloads of jalebis and fun, what else can a reader ask for!!
Rajma chawal, aloo parathas and all the gastronomic delicacies left me drooling for more! Usage of Hindi words and slangs made this read even more enjoyable. (The translations are available at the end of the story)
Vish Puri and his beloved Ambassador brought back some old memories. One of my uncles owned an Ambassador when I was a kid. I found it difficult to pronounce Ambassador so I used to call it Ambassabor. Though the production’s stopped ages ago, it is still one of the best cars in India. Sturdy as a bull, comfortable and smooth. Well, it doesn’t have all the modern mishmash like heated seats and power steering but old is gold, remember. 😀
Tarquin Hall has written a magnificent story here. Past life regression seems to be a fad these days, not to mention, it results in a depletion of your bank account. Hall’s also depicted the demonetization picture clearly. Long lines at the banks were common during the drive.
The story is set in New Delhi. I haven’t been to Delhi but from all the news that I have read or watched, I know that pollution and traffic seem to a major issue there – and so it is in almost all the metropolitan cities! Puri struggling with traffic and pollution woes is clearly mentioned in the story.
Saanvi and Riya Kaur’s mystery was absolutely brilliant. Mummy-ji turned out to be an excellent detective. By god, Vish should recruit her as his side-kick. The quirky doos of weirdo characters make you laugh out loud. Characters with names like FaceCream, TubeLight and HandBrake makes you giggle.
The Case of the Reincarnated Client is a brilliant story with a tadka (tempering). (No Indian dish is complete without a tadka!) I recommend this story to one and all. Brilliantly concocted plot, wonderful and hilarious characters, ek dum top-class sleuthing by Vish Puri – what else does a mystery lover need?!!
Writing Style: 5/5
Character Development: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
Title: The Case of the Reincarnated Client (Vish Puri #5)
Author: Tarquin Hall
Publication Date: 4th Feb 2020 (expected)
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Many thanks to Rachel for the blog tour invite. Thanks to Severn House and NetGalley for the ARC.