Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Massey

The Widows of Malabar Hill
by Sujata Massey

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2018
Publisher: Soho Press
Genre: Mystery, Historical, India
Hardback: 385
Rating: 5

Perveen Mistry series:
The Widows of Malabar Hill
A Murder on Malabar Hill

First sentence(s):
On the morning Perveen saw the stranger, they’d almost collided.

Bombay, 1921: 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 her especially devoted to championing and protecting women's rights.

Mistry Law is handling the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen goes through the papers, she notices something strange: all three have signed over their inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forefeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious.

The Farid widows live in purdah: 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 about the will were correct when tensions escalate to murder. It's her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that nobody is in further danger.

My two-bits:

Got a sense of Parsi culture especially the situation with women who are secluded and not. Also, a look at some of laws in India of the times as the protagonist is a lawyer.

Flickers of feminism are present.


* part of Books, Inc. Foreign Intrigue Book Club (here)


  1. Oh good! Glad you enjoyed it. I've got this one on the stack for some time. :)

  2. I can't wait to read the next book!


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