The caste system in India comes in for a beating in this latest installment of the Vish Puri series, as even Chubby has to rethink his previous thoughts on the subject. Obviously, if a boy and girl of different castes, one from a highborn group the other from the lowest of the low, fall in love and want to marry, it immediately brings to mind Romeo and Juliet. And Puri comes into play when his operative, moonlighting and acting with some Love Commandos (a group dedicated to helping such unfortunate lovers) to escape from the clutches of their families, helps Tulsi escape to meet with her love, Ram, who is safely, it is thought, stowed away in a safe house. Unfortunately, that is not the case, and the great detective and his agents are off to the rescue when it is discovered he was forcibly kidnapped.
Naturally, there are a couple of side stories, one, as usual, involving Puri’s mother, who becomes involved in the robbery of donations from a holy site; and also what appears to be a clandestine research facility taking advantage of natives by drawing blood for “research purposes.” As a consequence of these efforts, a complicated twist involves Ram.
The author, who lives in India, captures the people and sites quite well. And he portrays Puri in splendid fashion, especially his gastronomic endeavors. And to top it off, several family recipes are included at the end of the novel. While not quite as amusing as its forerunners, this book definitely warrants reading, and is recommended....Continua