Tarquin Hall is a British journalist and writer based in London and Delhi. In addition to his Vish Puri mysteries he has also written three works of non-fiction, Mercenaries, Missionaries & Misfits, To the Elephant Graveyard and Salaam Brick Lane.
This biography was last updated on 05/07/2010.
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A conversation with Tarquin Hall, author of The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing and The Case of the Missing Servant
What inspired you to begin a mystery series featuring a Delhi-based, Punjabi private investigator?
I was sitting in Delhi with one of my wife's cousins whose parents were trying to find her a suitable partner for an arranged marriage and she started telling me about how she'd been investigated by a private detective. He had made enquiries about her at work. Was she a good girl? Did she have a boyfriend, smoke, drink? He even went so far as to ask one of her colleagues to bring her out into the street in front of the office on a pretence so that some prospective in-laws could drive past and get a look at her. Apparently, they weren't impressed and her parents had to keep looking. But I decided to find some Delhi detectives and interview them. Some of the city's more colorful and accomplished private investigators readily talked to me. I was amazed by the diversity of their cases and their methodology, which often requires undercover work. One of them told me how he had once infiltrated a nudist colony in Goa. During another case he had to take on the alias of a Xerox toner ...
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