Two initial observations - book covers, especially for some reason, I've noticed, when the books are Sub-Continent or Asian based, can't be trusted; and we need a new genre - something along the lines of Food Crime Porn. The latter for the sort of books that describe food that would make you care less about the surrounding crime wave - something THE CASE OF THE MISSING SERVANT specialises in. The earlier comment because something odd seems to be going on - Shamini Flint's books aren't strictly cosy but the covers are, whereas the covers for the paperbacks of this series don't exactly scream funny. I do love these titles though, particularly as they really suit the somewhat old-worldly environment of Vish Puri's India. Needless to say, THE CASE OF THE MISSING SERVANT is a little bit cosy, a little bit Sub-Continental Poirot, a little bit Food Crime, and big bit of good fun.
What's so much fun about these books is the larger than life character of Puri. Not just physically, Puri is a man who also dominates his world with a larger than life personality. Dedicated to his profession of Private Detective, he is not a man given to doubts about his own ability. He has a way about him when it comes to nicknames, managing his big team of operatives and dealing with the complications of a mother who thinks she's a bit of a detective in her own right.
The humour is dry, rather laid-back and feels very accurate, albeit stereotypical. There's a vague feeling of a longing for The Raj which might worry some readers, although to be fair, I thought there was more affection than ridicule. The plot is, however, very much standard Christie type fare, and whilst these books are definitely more on the cosy side than I'd normally look for, the humour and the food (oh the food) made THE CASE OF THE MISSING SERVANT a nice way to pass some time.