I found this book very reminiscent of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency'' by Alexander McCall Smith. That novel features the traditionally built Mma Ramotswe who runs a detective agency in Botswana. It was published in 1998. "The Case of the Missing Servant" was published in 2009 and features the chubby Vish Puri, India's "Most Private Investigator". Puri also has a team of unusual characters who help him in his investigations. He is a man who understands human behavior and knows how to find out people's secrets.
Puri is hired to find a missing servant girl, Mary, when Mary's employer is accused of raping and murdering her. Puri solves this case as well as others using his undercover operatives. Tarquin Hall has written an excellent book using much humour, great descriptions of food, interesting characters (I loved Mummy-ji), and wonderful Indian atmosphere. Although I feel Tarquin Hall may have gotten his ideas from Alexander McCall Smith, I still really enjoyed the book and hope to read "The Man Who Died Laughing" next.