6 March 2021

Review: A MURDER AT MALABAR HILL, Sujata Massey

  • this edition on Kindle (Amazon)
  • ASIN : B07YTGHYT7 (Amazon)
  • Publisher : Allen & Unwin (January 7, 2020)
  • Publication date : January 7, 2020
  • Language : English
  • File size : 5731 KB
  • Print length : 390 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN : 0143428233
  • author website 
  • multiple award winning author

Synopsis (Amazon)

Introducing Miss Perveen Mistry, the star of an outstanding new crime series. This courageous, likeable and determined young lawyer-turned-sleuth will appeal to readers of Phryne Fisher and Precious Ramotswe in a stunning combination of crime and mystery set in 1920s Bombay.

Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen Mistry has joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr Omar Farid, a wealthy mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What future will they have?

Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X-could she even read the document? The Farid widows live in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. With her own tragic history close to her heart, Perveen worries that the women are vulnerable to injustice.

As Perveen comes closer to the truth, tensions escalate to murder, the widows fall under suspicion and Perveen must figure out what's really happening on Malabar Hill. 

My Take

It is always nice to start at the beginning of a new series, with a new sleuth, set in a different culture, especially when the author is as talented as Sujata Massey.

The story has a ring of authenticity about it, taking readers into a world we will know very little about. Perveen is a recently qualified solicitor, in fact the only female solicitor in Bombay, Parsi background, in British India. The story gives considerable background to her own failed marriage, which gives her some understanding of the position of the three widows in the household of Mr Omar Fareed, deceased. Perveen is determined that these women who are living in purdah, and their children, will not be duped out of their inheritances by an unscrupulous house manager. Things get complicated when he is murdered.

Highly recommended.

My rating: 4.6

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About this author:

  • Winner and Top Pick of the 2019 American Library Association Reading List for Mystery
  • Winner of the 2019 Mary Higgins Clark Award
  • Winner of the 2019 Lefty Award for Best Historical Novel
  • Winner of the the 2018 Agatha Award for Best Historical Novel
  • Finalist for the 2019 Shamus Award
  • Finalist for the 2019 Harper Lee Legal Fiction Prize

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