Mystery Mondays | The Case of the Love Commandos by Tarquin Hall

Mystery Mondays

Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.

Tarquin Hall
Vish Puri #4
Ebook, 761 pages
Publication date:
October 29th 2013
McClelland & Stewart
Own Copy


The Love Commandos are dedicated to helping lovers from different castes marry for love in spite of India’s millennia-old caste prejudices. But when a would-be Romeo from the Untouchable caste is kidnapped, the Love Commandos turn to Vish Puri for help. Has his fiancée’s father made good on his promise and done away with him? Or is his disappearance the result of other forces at work? It falls to Vish Puri to find out. Unfortunately, he’s not having a good month. He can’t locate a haul of stolen jewelry. He’s been pickpocketed. And the only person who can get his wallet back is his interfering Mummy-ji.Things only get worse when he discovers that his archrival, Hari Kumar, is also trying to locate the abducted boy — as is a genetics research institute exploiting illiterate villagers.

As the story moves from the pilgrimage site of Vaishno Devi to the “Moonlight Garden” in the shadows of the Taj Mahal, the world’s greatest monument to love, we see India’s past and future collide in ways that will change Puri and his undercover operatives forever.


“Puri wasn’t one to jump the gun. His father had drummed it into him from an early age never to assume anything. Gather the facts and weigh up the possibilities before drawing conclusions, he’d always said—advice that had proven both invaluable and wise.”

This was one of my waiting on Wednesday picks in 2013, and when I finally got myself a copy I was really excited to read it. I love stories set in India and this being a mystery I was sure I would love it. The mystery in this book was a very interesting one that examined arranged marriages, and the role of the caste system in India which still is prevalent in many areas there. Also featured in this book is a real life organization called “The Love Commandos” which just like in the book helps couples from different castes who want to get married.

For the most part with the one exception of Chetan who I found annoying, I liked the numerous characters that appeared in this book. In particular I love Mummy-ji and Face cream both of whom were strong and clever characters in their own right who didn’t need to be saved by anyone. As for the main character, Puri I didn’t love him as much as I thought I would although I do admire how he comes to his conclusions and how he was able to admit it when he’s wrong about things. I did love that he showed some growth at the end when he was able to admit he was wrong in his prejudice.

The mystery which involved murder, kidnapping and a shadowy organization was well written and attention-grabbing especially near the end where things became more thrilling and action paced. However maybe it’s me but I felt like there were way too many subplots going on for one book. It wasn’t confusing or anything but it was a bit hard to keep up and took away from how enjoyable I found the book. Also there was much less humour than I had anticipated which was surprising. Still maybe it’s because my expectations were too high that I didn’t completely love this book although I did like it enough to want to pick up more books in this series. If you’re going to pick up this book, and you’re not familiar with the culture or language in India I should tell you that there is a glossary at the very end. As I was reading an eBook version of this book I didn’t notice it until after I was done the book and I could have really used a glossary for some of the terms. There are also some really mouth watering recipes at the back of the book that foodies should definitely check out. All in all if you want something different in mysteries and don’t mind a huge cast of characters and many subplots in one book you should definitely pick up this book.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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