The Widows of Malabar Hill

By Sujata Massey,

Book cover of The Widows of Malabar Hill

Book description

1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay's only 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…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Widows of Malabar Hill as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book takes place from 1916-1921 in Bombay and Calcutta, following the protagonist in an alternating timeline. The story that is set in the past is my favorite part of the book, when you get to see how the protagonist, a young Parsi woman, became who she is. I loved watching her first fall in love, then grapple with gender roles and expectations until the past timeline eventually catches up with the present-day mystery. The setting itself is fascinating and unusual, and the protagonist’s journey is particularly compelling.

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