The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken by Tarquin Hall

In these days of travel restrictions, why not be an armchair traveler? The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (2012) by Tarquin Hall will give you the color and culture of Delhi via a fun frolicking mystery. In this book, which is the third in a series, a Punjabi detective, the esteemed Vish Puri, chases down answers to one crime, while stumbling upon a few other related crimes along the way. Written by a British journalist, the crimes in this book are pulled from the headlines; a betting scandal in cricket, the 1947 partition of India, science vs. superstition and forbidden love among castes. The murders are real but the tales really do have a light touch. The crimes are solved by the detective, always hungry and always watching his weight, on his way to family gatherings that involve a huge array of Indian delicacies. The sights and smells of Indian markets, the crowded roadways, and the decadent luncheons at country clubs definitely show without telling a certain slice of Indian life.

For another take on this book, listen to this audio clip and view the attached photographs of Delhi. Try other mysteries set in India as well. These mysteries by Hall are cozy mysteries. Readers who enjoy any of the Alexander McCall Smith series are likely to enjoy these as well.