Book Review : The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing
A twenty-foot apparition of Goddess Kali appears amidst the Laughing Club on the lawns of central Delhi early one Tuesday morning and kills one of the members. The victim is Dr. Suresh Jha, a reputed Guru Buster, a dedicated soldier in the cause against superstition. Thorough rationalist and skeptic extremist, Dr. Jha’s murder at the hands of the Goddess shocks the country and has his most loyal supporters questioning the existence of Divine Providence. The Most Private Investigator Vish Puri is on the case.
Vish Puri’s investigation takes him all over Delhi and we drive in his Ambassador with him. The ride is pretty good considering you eat delicious food before every clue. Sidekicks, disguises, Vish Puri comes with the whole repertoire of a detective and a healthy appetite, to boot.
Mythology and skepticism fight it out throughout the book alongside the politics, babas, gurus, magicians, swindlers, con men and gullible parents. With sidekicks Elizabeth Rani, Facecream, Tubelight and Handbrake, Vish Puri follows lead after lead and goes from the Laughing Club members right into the underbelly of the magicians-turned-saadhus.
The adventures of Most Private Investigator Vish Puri are a very refreshing read. The murder, the mystery is all set up well and the conclusion though slightly anticlimactic, didn’t disappoint me. The book is spicy and saucy, written in twists and turns, like a murder mystery should be written with plenty of comments about the state of the country, the condition of the roads, the rickshaws, Indian cuisine at its tastiest and with plenty of Hindi aphorisms making their way into the dialogues.
This juicy book with its amusing family banter is mixed in with an armed robbery at Puri’s wife’s kitty party, a case Mummji (Puri’s mother) is determined to solve. Amusing and sufficient, this is a tasty, desi whodunnit that whodunnit lovers should get their hands on.
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