The Widows of Malabar Hill (Mystery of 1920s Bombay #1) (Hardcover)

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This one is already destined for my Best Books of 2018 list!  Set in 1917 and 1921 India, this is the first book in the a fictionalized series centered around Perveen Mistry- the first female lawyer in India.  The title refers to three widows who live in seclusion, meaning they have no contact with men.  Perveen first interviews the recent widows because she is concerned that they do not understand a legal request they have made of Mistry Law, however a dead body soon embroils Perveen into a much darker mystery.  Her past is explored as her life becomes fraught with peril in the present.  Loved the setting, loved the characters, and the tense, twisty plot!  We do have some signed copies left over from Sujata Massey's visit to the store (which sadly I missed!) if you'd like to order one. *****

— From Katie


1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award-winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India's first female attorney, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.

Perveen Mistry, the daughter of a respected Zoroastrian family, has just joined her father's law firm, becoming one of the first female lawyers in India. Armed with a legal education from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes women's legal rights especially important to her.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen examines the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X--meaning she probably couldn't even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah--in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to any men. Are they being taken advantage of by an unscrupulous guardian? Perveen tries to investigate, and realizes her instincts were correct when tensions escalate to murder. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are
in further danger.

About the Author

Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany, was raised mostly in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun before becoming a full-time novelist. Her novels have won the Agatha and Macavity awards and been finalists for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark prizes. Visit her website at

Product Details
ISBN: 9781616957780
ISBN-10: 1616957786
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: January 9th, 2018
Pages: 400
Language: English
Series: Mystery of 1920s Bombay