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A Murder on Malabar Hill, released February 2018
Author: Sujata Massey

Publisher: Penguin Publishers
ISBN: 978-0143428237
Pages: 408
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Bombay, 1921. Intrepid and intelligent, young Perveen Mistry joins her father's prestigious law firm to become one of India's first female lawyers. Her tumultuous past also makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women's rights.
When Mistry Law is appointed to execute the will of Omar Farid, a wealthy mill owner, Perveen's suspicions are aroused by a curious provision which could disinherit Farid's three widows and leave them vulnerable. Are the Farid widows--who live in strict seclusion, never leaving the women's quarters or speaking to men--being duped by an unscrupulous guardian?
Perveen decides to investigate, but when tensions escalate to murder, it becomes clear that her own life is in mortal peril and she will need to use everything in her power to outwit a dangerous crimina

Review

'Perveen Mistry is a rarity: a female solicitor in a bastion of masculinity! An astonishing heroine-fearless, intelligent and determined-she makes a memorable debut in Sujata Massey's A Murder on Malabar Hill. A gripping whodunnit, full of excitement and heart, the novel also delightfully evokes Bombay in the 1920s-and celebrates the Parsi community that continues to enrich their beloved city.' (BAPSI SIDHWA, bestselling author of Ice-Candy-Man)

'A marvellously plotted, richly detailed series' (WASHINGTON POST)

'A murder mystery that is also a comment on the woman question . . . Massey's expertise lies in the way she brings alive a bygone era . . . Perveen Mistry is a memorable and interesting character whom one hopes to meet again soon when she has yet another mystery to solve.' (THE HINDU)

'Sujata Massey draws from Indian legal history to create a feisty Parsi lawyer Perveen Mistry, and sets her in a well-researched and compelling plot to create a mesmerizing mystery set in 1920s' Bombay . . . It is the skilful evocation of an era of political and social churning that sets this far above a mere "whodunnit"' (HINDUSTAN TIMES)

'History, mystery and a sprinkling of feminism, wrapped effectively in legal casing, and weaved into a delicious whodunnit-Sujata Massey's A Murder on Malabar Hill is a page-turner . . . Perveen Mistry is about to become the desi Miss Marple.' (THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE)

A Murder on Malabar Hill is written in the mould of the classic locked-room sleuth . . . Aided by her razor-sharp deductive skills and quick thinking, [Perveen] overcomes every obstacle-from the sneering condescension of men, British officials or Indian law-keepers, to the blight of a youthful marriage that continues to haunt her. Woven into this matrix of crime and justice is a social history of women's rights. From the pittance inherited by widows to the problems posed by traditions like the purdah in police investigations, Massey's novel combines keen detailing of historical fiction with the breezy pace of a whodunnit. (MINT)

'Sujata Massey has created a wonderful character in Perveen Mistry . . . Sujata Massey masterfully does two things: she informs her readers of the cultural milieu and constraints for women in India back when feminism wasn't even a buzzword . . . And in getting you to train your glance on a world that she has painstakingly researched, Massey-marvel of all marvels---tells an engaging story . . . In Perveen Mistry, Massey has created a heroine for all ages . . . Delightful read. Highly recommended.' (DECCAN HERALD)

'A Murder on Malabar Hill is [an] aggregate [of] traditional mystery, domestic fiction, historical novel, and even legal thriller . . . The crime plot holds up, with a clever, if possibly too subtle, twist at the end. But it is historically grounded moments that give the novel its rich appeal . . . Perveen is the kind of plucky, determined, practical, wounded, ahead-of-her-time protagonist an avid clique of mystery readers adore. She is destined to find a home with fans of like-minded female investigators such as Mary Russell and Maisie Dobbs, whose creators, like Massey, deftly anchor their solid plots in the realities, and challenges, of their times.' (LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS)

'In addition to getting an unusual perspective on women's rights and relationships, readers are treated to a full view of historical downtown Bombay-the shops and offices, the docks and old fort, and the huge variety of conveyances, characters, and religions-in an unforgettable olio that provides the perfect backdrop to the plot and subplots. Each of the many characters is uniquely described, flaws and all, which is the key to understanding their surprising roles in the well-constructed puzzle.' (BOOKLIST)

'Sujata Massey's thriller is a feminist novel about a young Parsi lawyer in 1920s' Bombay creatively working around restrictive laws to help female clients.' (ASIAN AGE)