Tarquin Hall’s new “cozy”, is a great read for those interested in India, its people, and its customs. “Died Laughing” is Hall’s second mystery, and again features Vish Puri, a 50-something detective in Delhi who bills himself
as India’s “Most Private Investigator”. He’s often called on by public officials to look into crimes, as well as investigating for private clients. Puri also has a large family; wife, children, mother, and siblings as well as
a large cast of “operatives”, who often figure into Puri’s cases. In both books, so far, Puri’s mother, “Mummy” and his wife, “Rumpi” team up to solve a more home-grown crime among their friends. Vish, who wishes his wife and mother would just stop trying to do what he does, thankfully never learns about their crime-busting.
“Died Laughing” is a somewhat complicated story that involves magic, murder,
and fake Swamis. Operatives “Face Cream”, “Handbrake”, and “Tubelight” join Vish as he follows it all to a curious end.
Hall writes in detail about Indian society. Reading his books is almost a learning experience. His plots are almost incidental to character development. I’m looking forward to number three in his Vish Puri series.