100 books like The Widows of Malabar Hill

By Sujata Massey,

Here are 100 books that The Widows of Malabar Hill fans have personally recommended if you like The Widows of Malabar Hill. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Guns of Navarone

Puja Guha Author Of Sirens of Memory

From my list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents had the travel bug and passed it on to me ten-fold—I’ve been to over 60 countries and counting. Each place has its own charm, hidden nooks and crannies that are completely unique. Even more so, the cultures I’ve been able to experience have shown me that while stereotypes can have a grain of truth, they never give you the whole picture of a place or people. I’ve tried to build this into my writing with settings and characters that showcase this. I love and appreciate it so much when I see it in books that I read. 

Puja's book list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes

Puja Guha Why did Puja love this book?

In this book, Maclean created one of the most unique and incredible settings I’ve seen, along with an interesting group of characters. It’s a World War II thriller set on a fictional island in the Aegean Sea, Navarone—a combination of some of the Greek islands, where the German army has set up a pair of major cannons to control the nearby waters. The neighboring island houses a prisoner-of-war camp with at least two hundred Allied prisoners. 

To free the prisoners, the Allies assemble a team to neutralize the guns at Navarone. The team includes a New Zealand mountaineer, an American bomb and radio expert, an expert Greek combatant, and two British soldiers, each with distinct personalities, along with two locals who help them. 

The setting of Navarone has as much variety as the team, spanning cliffs, mountains, the harbor, and a series of caves. The mix of the two makes…

By Alistair MacLean,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Guns of Navarone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

KEITH MALLORY, A MOUNTAIN CLIMBER FROM NEW ZEALAND, MUST INFILTRATE THE AEGEAN ISLAND OF NAVARONE, AND DESTROY THE GUNS ON THE GERMAN FORTRESS THERE, IN ORDER TO SAVE THE LIVES OF 1,200 BRITISH SOLDIERS. HE GETS A TEAM TOGETHER, BOARDS A SMALL CRAFT, AND HEADS TO NAVARONE. ON THE WAY THERE, HIS SMALL SHIP IS NEARLY DESTROYED IN A STORM, AND HE THEN MUST CLIMB A 400 FOOT SHEER CLIFF IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STORM. IN THE PROCESS, THEY LOSE ALL THEIR FOOD, AND ONE OF THEIR TEAM MEMBERS BREAKS HIS LEG. THE NEXT SECTION OF THE BOOK DESCRIBES…


Book cover of The Blood of Olympus

Puja Guha Author Of Sirens of Memory

From my list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents had the travel bug and passed it on to me ten-fold—I’ve been to over 60 countries and counting. Each place has its own charm, hidden nooks and crannies that are completely unique. Even more so, the cultures I’ve been able to experience have shown me that while stereotypes can have a grain of truth, they never give you the whole picture of a place or people. I’ve tried to build this into my writing with settings and characters that showcase this. I love and appreciate it so much when I see it in books that I read. 

Puja's book list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes

Puja Guha Why did Puja love this book?

The best way to describe this book and the entire Heroes of Olympus series is fun. The world in which it takes place is fascinating, with the Greek and Roman gods. I love the characters, and this book in particular because we get to see the perspectives of two extra characters on top of the original seven ‘chosen’ heroes. Riordan builds each character into a full person, and while I don’t usually read much YA, I absolutely love this series. The female characters are particularly amazing – totally different from each other, and a real combination of strong and vulnerable. The dialogue and plot are funny and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, despite the high stakes.

On top of that, I love what Riordan does with the setting. The book travels from Greece to New York and I recognize many of the different places where it takes place…

By Rick Riordan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Blood of Olympus as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 10, 11, 12, and 13.

What is this book about?

The Blood of Olympus is the fifth book in the bestselling Heroes of Olympus series - set in the high-octane world of Percy Jackson.

Though the Greek and Roman crew members of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen - all of them - and they're stronger than ever.

They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood -the blood of Olympus - in order to wake. The…


Book cover of Sirocco

Puja Guha Author Of Sirens of Memory

From my list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes.

Why am I passionate about this?

My parents had the travel bug and passed it on to me ten-fold—I’ve been to over 60 countries and counting. Each place has its own charm, hidden nooks and crannies that are completely unique. Even more so, the cultures I’ve been able to experience have shown me that while stereotypes can have a grain of truth, they never give you the whole picture of a place or people. I’ve tried to build this into my writing with settings and characters that showcase this. I love and appreciate it so much when I see it in books that I read. 

Puja's book list on that don't use cookie-cutter stereotypes

Puja Guha Why did Puja love this book?

This book combines a terrorism thriller with a mystery, as Brett, the protagonist, learns of his brother’s death. As he learns more about the murder/suicide, it connects to Sirocco, a terrorist organization planning a bio-terror plot in the US. The pacing and interweaving of the terrorist plot with Brett’s investigation are really well done, keeping you interested in both parts of the plot and guessing up till the end. I especially loved the twist the author put in—I’m usually pretty good at seeing those, but in this case, it really caught me by surprise.

By D.L. Wilson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sirocco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

D.L. Wilson's SIROCCO delves into the very real danger of bioterrorism.

Sirocco, a secret organization within the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, threatens to unleash a bioweapon at the heart of the United States unless Congress funds a new Palestinian government and convinces Israel to cede strategic occupied land.

Brett Reynolds, an attorney representing the pharmaceutical lobby, is summoned to Washington for an urgent meeting by Homeland Security to investigate the threat.

With a bio-terror looming that could devastate the U.S., Brett learns of his brother's death in a bizarre murder/suicide. He discovers connections between his brother and Sirocco's terrorist plot. His…


Book cover of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

Nev March Author Of The Spanish Diplomat's Secret

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author History lover Scriptwriter Reader Nature lover

Nev's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

An entertaining mystery on a 1894 trans-Atlantic steamship with an varied array of suspects, and a detective who must solve his case in six days to prevent international conflict.

Retired from the British Indian army, Captain Jim is taking his wife Diana to Liverpool from New York, when their pleasant cruise turns deadly. Just hours after meeting him, a foreign diplomat is brutally murdered onboard their ship. Captain Jim must find the killer before they dock in six days, or there could be war! Aboard the beleaguered luxury liner are a thousand suspects, but no witnesses to the locked-cabin crime.

Fortunately, his wife Diana knows her way around first-class accommodations and Gilded Age society. But something has been troubling her, too, something she won’t tell him. Together, using tricks gleaned from their favorite fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, Captain Jim, and Diana must learn why one man’s life came to a murderous end.

By Nev March,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Spanish Diplomat's Secret as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In The Spanish Diplomat's Secret, award-winning author Nev March explores the vivid nineteenth-century world of the transatlantic voyage, one passenger’s secret at a time.

Captain Jim Agnihotri and his wife Lady Diana Framji are embarking to England in the summer of 1894. Jim is hopeful the cruise will help Diana open up to him. Something is troubling her, and Jim is concerned.

On their first evening, Jim meets an intriguing Spaniard, a fellow soldier with whom he finds an instant kinship. But within twenty-four hours, Don Juan Nepomuceno is murdered, his body discovered shortly after he asks rather urgently to…


Book cover of Jet

Alan McDermott Author Of Run and Hide

From my list on thrillers that kept me reading all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was at school, reading was a chore. We were given books that held no interest and told to dissect the author’s words to find a deeper meaning. It put me off reading for years. It wasn’t until I came across a thriller that I discovered my love of books, and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s nothing like mounting tension to get you flipping the pages, and I try to do that in my books. 

Alan's book list on thrillers that kept me reading all night

Alan McDermott Why did Alan love this book?

A cracking action thriller. A friend recommended this to me, saying my pulse would rise within the first few pages. He wasn’t wrong. It shot up and barely came down. Jet is an Israeli agent who wants out, but it’s never that easy. Such a good first book that the author wrote about 20 more in the series. Guess who read them all!

By Russell Blake,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Code name: Jet Twenty-eight-year-old Jet was once the Mossad's most lethal operative before faking her own death and burying that identity forever. But the past doesn't give up on its secrets easily. When her new life on a tranquil island is shattered by a brutal attack, Jet must return to a clandestine existence of savagery and deception to save herself and those she loves. A gritty, unflinching roller-coaster of high-stakes twists and shocking turns, JET features a new breed of protagonist that breaks the mold. Fans of Lisbeth Salander, SALT, and the Bourne trilogy will find themselves carried along at…


Book cover of A Murder at Malabar Hill

Amanda Hampson Author Of The Tea Ladies

From my list on cosy crime to snuggle up with on a dark and stormy night.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have always loved ‘whodunit’ mysteries and the crime genre. When I was in my early teens, I read a couple of dozen Agatha Christie books and was hooked from then on. I was determined to tackle this genre for my 7th novel and (as with several previous novels) wanted to incorporate historic elements into the story because of my fascination for social history. My objective was to immerse the reader in the mid-sixties and then layer in the murder mystery element. The books I’ve recommended are all very different but offer a good grounding in the genre.

Amanda's book list on cosy crime to snuggle up with on a dark and stormy night

Amanda Hampson Why did Amanda love this book?

A Murder at Malabar Hill is a murder mystery that offers a fascinating insight into Indian culture in the 1920s.

The story takes place in Bombay, where the character of Perveen Mistry is the city's first female lawyer. The cultural and social challenges she faces as a woman in a male-dominated profession are woven into the story, as well as the complexities of India's caste system.

Through Perveen's interactions with her clients, we learn about the intricacies of Islamic and Hindu marriage laws, the importance of family honour, and the difficulties faced by women in traditional Indian society. I found this book fascinating, and with the wonderful descriptions of food, clothing, and architecture, felt transported to the streets of Bombay.

By Sujata Massey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Murder at Malabar Hill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

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

'Marvelously plotted, richly detailed . . . This is a first-rate performance inaugurating a most promising series.' The Washington Post

'Perveen Mistry has all the pluck you want in a sleuthing lawyer, as well as a not-so-surprising - but decidedly welcome -…


Book cover of The Satapur Moonstone

Melissa Yi Author Of Code Blues

From my list on smart women who kick ass.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love to read and write about strong women. I don't necessarily mean gunning down aliens while wearing tight pants. Those books can be good too, but let's be honest, tight pants encourage yeast infections. I prefer books where women handle anything from murder to wayward cats with intelligence and compassion, while wearing whatever they want. The women, I mean. Cats already figured out to skip the pants.

Melissa's book list on smart women who kick ass

Melissa Yi Why did Melissa love this book?

What if you wanted to practice law in India in 1922?

Women weren't allowed in court, but Perveen Mistry becomes a solicitor instead, working behind the scenes on wills and estate files. Perveen's gender becomes an asset when she can speak to women in purdah, a practice where women seclude themselves from men in some Muslim or Hindu communities.

I liked the first book, The Widows of Malabar Hill, but truly enjoyed The Satapur Moonstone, where Perveen heads out to the Sahyadri mountains to help a royal family after the maharaja has died and the crown prince is too young to rule.

In addition to the mystery, and learning about the history of India, I could hear the buzz of mosquitoes, the tree frogs peeping, and the hooting of owls, as well as imagine the tigers and leopards in the jungle.

By Sujata Massey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Satapur Moonstone as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Vivid and clever...love her to bits.' Kerry Greenwood, bestselling author of the Miss Phryne Fisher series

The delightfully clever Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first female lawyer, returns in an adventure of treacherous intrigues and suspicious deaths.

India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Sahyadri Mountains southeast of Bombay, where the kingdom of Satapur is tucked away. A curse has fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja and his teenage son are both dead. The kingdom is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and the maharaja's widow.…


Book cover of The Bombay Prince

Nev March Author Of Murder in Old Bombay

From my list on India blending history with gripping mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived the first 24 years of my life in Mumbai and traveled to many parts of India. I’ve had close friends of every community and religion and been fascinated by the incredible diversity. By studying historical crimes and how they were reported and investigated, I learned a great deal about the norms of Indian culture. Reading (and writing) historical mysteries allowed me to dive into past eras and immerse myself in the tumultuous events that have shaped our world today. While I’m obsessed with the turn of the 20th century, mysteries in later years also delight me. Enjoy this selection of mysteries set in India that reveal the inner workings of its diverse culture.

Nev's book list on India blending history with gripping mysteries

Nev March Why did Nev love this book?

A young woman is found dead only a few yards behind the stands where hundreds of students gathered to watch the Prince of Wales’ parade on his 1922 visit to Bombay. When lawyer Pervin Mistry realizes it’s the same woman who consulted her only days ago, she’s driven by guilt and determined to help the Parsi family through the awful process of the coroner's inquiry.

I started this book with a whole host of questions, which grew more dire as the number of suspects rose. Finely etched characters abound. Pervin is torn between a natural patriotism and desire to see justice and her own family’s interests. As she learns more, she realizes that the young female student has a sort of dangerous honesty (a term the author Sujata Massey used when I interviewed her) which complicates matters and shows the difficulty of being a dutiful daughter while staying true to…

By Sujata Massey,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Bombay Prince as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bombay’s first female lawyer, Perveen Mistry, is compelled to bring justice to the family of a murdered female Parsi student just as Bombay’s streets erupt in riots to protest British colonial rule. Sujata Massey is back with this third installment to the Agatha and Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning series set in 1920s Bombay.

November 1921. Edward VIII, Prince of Wales and future ruler of India, is arriving in Bombay to begin a fourmonth tour. The Indian subcontinent is chafing under British rule, and Bombay solicitor Perveen Mistry isn’t surprised when local unrest over the royal arrival spirals into riots. But…


Book cover of Only the Good Die Young

Anurag Anand Author Of To Hell and Back: Not all Tragedies are Orchestrated by Fate

From my list on Indian crime fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Anurag Anand is a keen observer of humankind. He believes that the diversity of human emotions, motivations, and actions offer him a rich palette of tones to paint his stories with. He is the author of thirteen books across genres like self-help, historical fiction, crime thrillers, and contemporary fiction. Anurag’s works have been lauded for their realism, simplicity, and sharp characterization by readers across the spectrum. Of course, he is an avid reader and likes to remain abreast with the developments in the Indian writing space. He is a familiar face (and voice) in literature festivals, television debates and other related forums across the country.  

Anurag's book list on Indian crime fiction

Anurag Anand Why did Anurag love this book?

There are times when we think that we have successfully buried something in our past and it suddenly resurfaces and shocks us. But what if this ‘thing’ wreaks havoc with our lives and turns it topsy turvy? Only the Good Die Young is a taut and gripping sequel to Akash Verma’s thriller, You Never Know. The book unravels beautifully, quite like a web series playing out between the craftily stitched words.

By Akash Verma,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Only the Good Die Young as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sometimes when you're desperate to leave the past behind, the past is eager to catch up!
Anuradha leaves Gurgaon when Dhruv chooses his family over her. She thinks that chapter of her life has
ended, and starts afresh in Mumbai. But strangely, it seems her past is trying to catch up. Dhruv suddenly
comes back into her life. Even as they try to figure out their relationship, horrible things start happening
to people they know. Together, Anuradha and Dhruv need to find out who it is that cannot bear to see them together. Who is carrying out these shocking crimes?…


Book cover of Bombay Monsoon

D.J. Adamson Author Of Admit to Mayhem

From my list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father estranged himself from his sister because she was an alcoholic. I never met my aunt. However, when looking for a strong character for my Lilian Dove Mystery Series, I decided this aunt was a good mentoring character. Fictionally, I gave my aunt sobriety, but her recovery is not so much from drinking as it is recovering from the past to take on life anew. The mysteries Lillian Dove becomes involved her help her see how to do this. And first, she needs to learn to admit life is full of mayhem. Small-town Iowa amateur sleuth who ends up owning a liquor store.

D.J.'s book list on mystery and thriller you’ll read the entire weekend

D.J. Adamson Why did D.J. love this book?

Bombay Monsoon, first book in the new Emergency Series, delivers Ziskin’s talent for blending literary techniques and believable characters while taking the reader on an intense ride.

Journalist Danny Jacobs, young and anxious to make his mark, hasn’t been in Bombay long when he is caught up into intrigue, romance, and danger. Set in India during 1975 when India was shaken with political unrest after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergence, Zisken weaves cultural adjustment along with crime and romance.

The book written by Zisken is an impressive page-turner, thanks to his meticulous attention to detail and insightful knowledge of India.

By James W. Ziskin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bombay Monsoon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The last thing Danny wants to see published is his obituary

The year is 1975. Danny Jacobs is an ambitious, young American journalist who's just arrived in Bombay for a new assignment. He's soon caught up in the chaos of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's domestic "Emergency."

Willy Smets is Danny's enigmatic expat neighbor. He's a charming man, but with suspicious connections. As a monsoon drenches Bombay, Danny falls hard for Sushmita, Smets's beguiling and clever lover-and the infatuation is mutual.

"The Emergency," a virtual coup by the prime minister, is only the first twist in the high-stakes drama of Danny's…


Book cover of Breathless in Bombay

Thrity Umrigar Author Of Honor

From my list on set in Bombay.

Why am I passionate about this?

I lived in Bombay until I was 21. During my teenage years I had a love-hate relationship with the city, mostly noticing its poverty, the pollution, and the crowds. But as a writer, I have come to love the city for its resilience, its sweet toughness, its heartbreaking beauty. I love reading books by other writers that are set in this endlessly fascinating metropolis of 22 million, each with their own story to tell, stories that float in the air in front of us, ready to be plucked and set on paper. 

Thrity's book list on set in Bombay

Thrity Umrigar Why did Thrity love this book?

This collection of short stories by another Parsi writer paints an affection and compassionate picture of the metropolis, as seen from the eyes of its motley crew of residents—a laundryman, a writer, a cab driver. Shroff’s generosity and love for his city come through in every story.

This book, with its powerful evocation of the city and its description of the minutia of everyday life, left me nostalgic and breathless for Bombay.

By Murzban F. Shroff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Breathless in Bombay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Shortlisted for the 2009 Commomwealth Writers' Prize

Shroff's vibrant narratives in this concept collection of 14 stories set in contemporary Bombay feature a range of beautifully drawn characters in fascinating situations: from the laundrywallas' water shortage problems, to the doomed love affair of a schizophrenic painter and his Bollywood girlfriend, to the wandering thoughts of a massagewalla at Chowpatty Beach, to the heart-warming relationship of a carriage driver and his beloved horse. Each of these stories is richly crafted and arranged against the grand chaotic backdrop of life that is Bombay. Shroff's love for his hometown shines through, but so…


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