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The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator (Vish Puri, #2)
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The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing: From the Files of Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator (Vish Puri #2)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  2,574 ratings  ·  415 reviews
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 l
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published (first published August 11th 2009)
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Tarquin Hall simply gets India. A British journalist who lives in Delhi and who's married to an Indian woman, he combines an insider's understanding of the country with an outsider's necessarily-surprised look at all of India's never ending quirkiness.

Food is the prime example, with Private Investigator Vish Puri constantly nibbling on all sorts of dishes, eaten while sitting down at restaurants or while playing chess at Puri's all-gentlemen club, bought on the go from greasy food stalls, or qu
Jon Cox
I have a definite fault that was plainly manifest when I read this book. I started reading, and was enjoying it quite a bit. I thought that the Mr. Hall's descriptions of the setting and his characterizations were interesting, specific, and very distinctive. After a few pages, I wondered aloud how accurate Mr. Hall's portrayals of India and the dialogue of Indians are. My wife wife looked at me, amazed and bemused. "He lived in India for years and is married to an Indian," she laughed, "Didn't y ...more
Kelly Knapp
Jul 26, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, travel buffs, Indian enthusiats
Recommended to Kelly by: Goodreads Firstreads giveaway
Tarquin Hall writes so clearly that I feel as if I can see Delhi and all of its glorious eccentricities. I found the food to be tantalizing and had to buy an Indian cookbook.

Tarquin's character development rivals Agatha Christie, and while many consider “Chubby” to be the Sherlock Holmes of India, I find him to be much closer to Poirot and his little grey cells.

When a vocal advocate for secularism is killed by the Hindu goddess, Kali, the local detective seeks help from Vish Puri, who dubs hims
The second Vish Puri book; I didn't even realize it was out until I saw someone with a copy and dashed out to find a copy. I liked the book, but thought the charm was a bit attenuated this time around.

The primary plot of the murder was decent and the secondary "kitty party" mystery were fine (Mummy-ji and Rumpi were a pleasure). But with three locales, and various people to follow, the book had a lot of ground to cover and, I think, tried to do it too quickly or tried to limit the overall book
Julie Davis
#81 - 2010.

I enjoyed the first in this series so much that I was delighted to find the second book had just come out. A few chapters in, there is the main mystery in which a professional skeptic who exposes fraudulent, famous gurus is apparently murdered by a manifestation of Kali, in full view of a group of friends. Then there is the sub-mystery which Vish Puri's Mummy is investigating and taking Vish's wife, Rumpi, along for the ride. I love the Punjabi characters and see that the author says
Хасан Жамус
Terrible book!. I thought it was interesting at first. A mystery of detective story with a humorous religious touch. The more I read the more mundane it became. There's nothing creative about the writing. The characters are boring and predictable. The jokes are infantile. And the way the crime was solved in the end was not convincing. I am giving it two stars because I have read worse.
Amusing, and stereotypical look at the Indian middle class through the eyes of Inspector Vish Puri. Probably most amusing if you've spent some time in India. This particular case involves a very nice skeptical look at the Indian phenomenon of Godmen - charlatans who claim to have high spiritual powers, the more adept of them able to swindle the gullible at all levels of society; the best of them making forays into the west to swindle New Agers looking for something old to believe in.

Tarquin Hal
Tarquin Hall--what a good find! I heard his name one morning on NPR and found one book in my local library. My book group has been reading several books about India, but I think I like this one in terms of authentic Indian flavor and detailing and humor. This book deals with the divide in India between believers and rationalists; was Dr. Suresh Jha, rationalist, actually killed by the goddess Kali, as eyewitnesses and even a video account would have us believe, or an illusion? It's a case of the ...more
Smita Beohar
If you have been following my book reviews then you would remember a book review of mine “The Case of the Missing Servant”. One of my favorite books of the last year, I was waiting for the next one in the series of Vish Puri, “Most Private Investigator”. Surprisingly I wasn’t aware of the release of this book and when I chanced upon it I grabbed it with both my hands! :D

This time again the author doesn’t disappoint us. This book is centered around the clash of so called Swami’s/ self styled guru
Jan 13, 2014 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Sherlock Holmes, Alexander McCall Smith, and those who like detectives in exotic locations
I can never resist good crime, thrillers, and detectives set in an(y) exotic location when the story is full of local flavors and scents, and has a good selection of interesting characters of both the good and the bad varieties.
This was the first Vish Puri for me, and an enjoyable armchair travel to India. A bit of old-fashioned Sherlock Holmes, a bit of Alexander McCall Smith, and a lot of Indian flavors. And with plenty of subtle humor (then again, could you expect a book with this title to b
Some crime writers made their career out of impossible crimes, but not even John Dickson Carr tackled a murder apparently committed by a Hindu goddess. Tarquin Hall's second outing for his modern day Indian detective Vish Puri does exactly that, however. And very entertaining the result is too.

The puzzle is challenging, but with enough clues for an acute reader to guess something of the solution. Be warned one section of the final explanation veers slightly toward science fiction but in a contex
The Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall is very difficult to rate. I really think it is a 3.5. This means there were parts of the book that I loved but other parts where I felt lost and wanted to skip ahead.

I loved the characters, Vishi Puri; the "Most Private Investigator" is my favorite character. He is that author's window into Indian culture and behavior today. We learn about Indian customs, parties, the delicious food, the clothes, the heat of the country, the population density. The lack
This book was a very enjoyable read, the 2nd in the Vish Puri mystery series by Tarquin Hall. Having read the first book, "The Case of the Missing Servant", I queued up this book from the library as soon as I could.

In this 2nd book, a scientist who makes a living by exposing famous gurus and "god men" for their deceit and manipulation of their followers is murdered in full daylight by an apparent manifestation of Kali. Who did it, and how they did it, or if they did it all becomes the basic bac
I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. I think maybe part of the reason I was chosen is that I enjoy the "Ladies' No.1 Detective Agency" series. Although the "Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator" series may be enjoyed by the same audience, the two series are very different. While Mma Ramotswe shares her gentle philosophy under a wide, white, Botswana sky, Vish Puri snaps at slow drivers amidst the noise, odors, and bustle of Delhi.

Author Tarquin Hall has helpfully put a glossary of Indian wor
Jun 21, 2010 Anne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy mystery readers
Shelves: mysteries, humor
Last year's 'The Case of the Missing Servant' was Tarquin Hall's very entertaining first installment in the mystery series featuring Vish Puri, Most Private Investigator. I was happy to see that 'The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing', the second in the series, was recently released and was not disappointed. In this case, Puri, the portly private detective in Delhi, investigates the mysterious death of a well-known debunker of religious chicanery who is stabbed by none other than a very lifelike ...more
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, written by Tarquin Hall, is a mystery novel that follows Vish Puri, India's most private detective, as he tries to solve the case of a high-profile murder of a respected scientist. The story follows Puri as he searches the streets of New Delhi for clues pertaining to the case. I enjoyed how the author integrates the culture of India so closely with the story, dropping Hindi words in the middle of a sentence. Overall, I enjoyed the book; I like Hall's style ...more
Ashwini Sharma
Delectable, but unduly longer than necessary.
I enjoyed this book even more than the first Vish Puri novel; possibly because my son has since been to Delhi and he told me that it's so typical of Delhi speech, culture and food.
Tarquin Hall has the rare gift of creating a Delhi accent in the reader's head; I suspect through grammar, sentence construction and expressions and thankfully not by writing phonetically (I really dislike reading that!).
If you like Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Lady Detective novels, you'll probably enjoy Tarquin Ha
Off The Shelf
Etinosa Agbonlahor reviewed The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing on

When Laughter Isn’t The Best Medicine: The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing 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 watching a particularly hilarious Youtube video?) More likely, I was dra
Disclaimer:I haven't finished the book yet, but Hall's insights to everyday life in modern day Delhi and Indian culture altogether is astonishing. How does he know enough to write such plausible dialogue among women at a baby shower? And the description of Inspector Puri's equivalent (well, somewhat valent) force of the "Baker Street irregulars" at work was highly entertaining. I laughed out loud at Tubelight's two operatives disguised as construction workers while on surveillance, who "struck t ...more
I just LOVE Most Private Investigator Vish Puri (Chubby)! Based in Dehli, India, he runs an agency, Most Private Investigator, and hires only a few operatives to help him. Most important is his secretary, Elizabeth Rani, who, of course, always knows her employer's moods and just what to say. Add to that various characters like Handbrake, Door Stop, Facecream, Tubelight, Flush, and others you have a crew guaranteed to make you laugh while they solve the crimes.

In addition, we have a side plot run
This book combined two of my favourite things - a mystery and a setting in India. Mysteries are my first love because I was hooked on Nancy Drew as a kid. I have no explanation for my love for India other than some of my favourite books were written by Indian authors. Perhaps it's the combination of an exotic locale with a lingering touch of the British empire.

Tarquin Hall is not Indian, but he has lived in India and is married to an Indian woman. The local dialect combined with colourful chara
At first I had to re-read some of the expressions to be sure I knew what was being said, but then the 'translation' became automatic, and I was able to sit back and enjoy the trip. Vish Puri has a wonderful sense of humor and intelligence, while not being perfect. And the other characters are realistic and believable. While at times seeming like a comforting, light read, there was more depth to the story than one might expect. I can't wait to read more in this series.
Kim Ibara
I am simply ecstatic that I have found Tarquin Hall's "Vish Puri" series. I love Vish Puri and the interesting cases he finds himself involved in, however for me the draw is more in the cross-section of Indian life that Hall manages to make come alive in his novels! He develops the other characters (such as Puri's mother, wife, and detective agency associates) with such warmth and detail that you are drawn into their "family" and become invested in each one of them. India itself is also a rich c ...more
As I finished up reading the Butter Chicken mystery in this series, I was super pleasantly surprised to find that my local library has this book and I picked it up immediately. It was only when I opened up the cover and read the author's bio that I realized that he was not actually Indian, but British. His manner of capturing the spirit and rich detail of Indian life is breezy and seems almost effortless and made me appreciate his writing all the more!

This book definitely lived up to my expectat
The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing by Tarquin Hall is a fun romp through a very strange case taken on by Vish Puri, Most Private Detective. When a laughing club experiences a strange appearance of what seems to be Kali and a group member dies, it is Vish Puri's job to get to the bottom of not only who killed the man, but to see whether the appearance was an illusion or not. Back at home, Puri's wife and mother are also on their own case, trying to find out who robbed their kitty party. Could ...more
Well I loved the first novel by TH and this was another hoot to read, although not quite as funny as the first (for me). I have the 3rd novel sitting there waiting for me on my table. There were a few touching points in this story that I really liked because these narrations were things that actually HAPPENED TO ME, so the author had endeared himself to me for sure. The glossary is useful as always and I'm glad to see that Mummy-ji is honing with her detecting skills. She has a lot of potential! ...more
Another excellent entry, with a skillful reader and another wacky story featuring the "Most Private Detective" Vish Puri and his hilariously-named staff (Facecream, Tubelight, Handbrake etc.) in Delhi, India. I very much look forward to the next release!
See "The Case of the Missing Servant". Love these books. I had the pleasure of listening to this one on an audiobook (while in the emergency room awaiting an appendectomy!) Lovely. Now my only problem is that I don't have any "Kitty Party" to go to.
This book is delightful! A nice mystery, filled with some excellent characters & containing my new favorite adage: "Let us cross that bridge should it rise up." An extra smiley face for all the delectable Indian food consumed within.
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Cozy Mysteries : If you like Alexander McCall Smith, you'll love Vish Puri 1 14 Jun 21, 2012 03:20PM  
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  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People
  • Excursion to Tindari (Inspector Montalbano, #5)
  • Ragtime in Simla (Joe Sandilands #2)
  • Crime Machine (John Cardinal and Lise Delorme Mystery, #5)
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  • Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura, #2)
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, dozens of articles, and three works of non-fiction, including the highly acclaimed Salaam Brick Lane, an account of a year spent above a Bangladeshi sweat shop in London’s notorious East End. He is married to Indian-born jo ...more
More about Tarquin Hall...

Other Books in the Series

Vish Puri (4 books)
  • The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri, #1)
  • The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri, #3)
  • The Case of the Love Commandos
The Case of the Missing Servant (Vish Puri, #1) The Case of the Deadly Butter Chicken (Vish Puri, #3) The Case of the Love Commandos Salaam Brick Lane: A Year in the New East End To The Elephant Graveyard

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