Friday, September 24, 2010

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall ****

With the liberation and independence of its colonies, the British Empire is a thing of the past. However the Empire still lives in the exploitation of former colonies by a contemporary club of British ex-pat authors. The newest member of the club is Tarquin Hall, author of The Case of the Missing Servant. He joins Alexander McCall Smith of the successful series on the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency: A Book for Today: Tea Time for the Traditionally Built by Alexander McCall Smith.

The similarity between these two series, the former in India and the latter in Botswana, are too numerous to tabulate. Most noticeable is the exploitation of the native cultures and customs of these two former victims of British dominance. The books are rife with generalizations and stereotypes put in the mouths of native protagonists.
Jadugoda was virtually indistinguishable from tens of thousands of other little roadside settlements to be found across the length and breadth of India.
Aside from the caricatures of local people and practices with the implied insults, both books are delightful light-weight detective novels, quick reads, and pleasantly upbeat. If you enjoyed No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, you'll enjoy this new series.

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