Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant

Back to light reading I guess.  Somewhere I had read this was a wonderful book. But it turned out to be a very pedestrian mystery, and I am sorry but like reading Alexander McCall Smith some of the pleasure of being “immersed” in the dialogue and habits of another culture through the vehicle of a mystery/detective novel is lost when you are constantly wondering whether the non-local author is slipping into expat or just plain politically insensitive yucks (especially sharp in the scenes with the “grinning” Adavasis).  So the charm of the book quickly faded.  Would I have enjoyed it more if the author had been Indian?  One of those interesting questions; in the 21st century, the central notion of “authenticity” is all-pervasive in marketing and identity.  I’ve never been terribly bothered by that, so if I introspect I’d say it must have been the prose rather than the authenticity.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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One Response to Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Missing Servant

  1. Pingback: I really am at cutting edge… authenticity comfort zones… | Michael Kevane

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