The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator

The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing

The latest adventures of Indian detective Vish Puri continues the series that “immediately joins the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency as representing the best in international cozies” (Booklist, starred review).

Murder is no laughing matter.

Yet a prominent Indian scientist dies in a fit of giggles when a Hindu goddess appears from a mist and plunges a sword into his chest.

The only one laughing now is the main suspect, a powerful guru named Maharaj Swami, who seems to have done away with his most vocal critic.

Vish Puri, India’s Most Private Investigator, master of disguise and lover of all things fried and spicy, doesn’t believe the murder is a supernatural occurrence, and proving who really killed Dr. Suresh Jha will require all the detective’s earthly faculties. To get at the truth, he and his team of undercover operatives—Facecream, Tubelight, and Flush—travel from the slum where India’s hereditary magicians must be persuaded to reveal their secrets to the holy city of Haridwar on the Ganges.

How did the murder weapon miraculously crumble into ash? Will Maharaj Swami have the last laugh? And perhaps more important, why is Puri’s wife, Rumpi, chasing petty criminals with his Mummy-ji when she should be at home making his rotis?

Stopping only to indulge his ample Punjabi appetite, Puri uncovers a web of spirituality, science, and sin unique in the annals of crime.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439172384 | 
  • June 2011
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Posted on Off the Shelf

Posted by Etinosa Agbonlahor

I don’t remember why I picked up The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall. Perhaps it was the strange title (How exactly does one die laughing? Did he have a stroke in the middle of relaying a funny joke? Was he assassinated while...

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About the Author

Tarquin Hall
Tom Pietrasik New Delhi, India

Tarquin Hall

Tarquin Hall is a British author and journalist who has lived and worked throughout South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. He is the author of The Case of the Missing Servant, The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, and The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken, along with dozens of articles and three works of nonfiction, including the highly acclaimed Salaam Brick Lane, an account of a year spent living above a Bangladeshi sweatshop in London’s notorious East End. He lives in Delhi with his wife, Indian-born journalist Anu Anand, and their son.