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Publisher's Summary

Bombay, New Year's Eve, 1949

As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade, Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House, home to the city's most unwanted unit of police officers. Six months after joining the force she remains India's first female police detective, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift.

And so, when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot, the country's most sensational case falls into her lap.

As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world's largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more political by the second. Navigating a country and society in turmoil, Persis, smart, stubborn and untested in the crucible of male hostility that surrounds her, must find a way to solve the murder - whatever the cost.

©2020 Vaseem Khan Limited (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

What listeners say about Midnight at Malabar House

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Very solid and informative

Aside from quite solid plot with a good number of red herrings and a cute romantic line, it gives insides in Indian life in mid-20 century.

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A time capsule if there was one

Very well written, can't wait for the next in the series. Love all the characters and how they were developed. Very striking about the Indian past, very well researched. The performance was also well on point.

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Mixed feelings here

I liked the setting, which did evoke memories of my visits to Bombay. The secondary characters were well done - especially Archie! The mystery angle plotting also worked well; the author does have a popular series under his belt for experience. So, what's the issue? I wasn't all that fond of Persis herself. To me, her handling of sexism, and imperialism, came off as downright rude. However, I did like the ending of the story, which opens up the possibility that she mellows a bit. Audio narration was okay, but not the greatest fit. The reader sounded clearly British (to me), rather than South Asian. If she reads more of the series, it's not a deal-breaker; if they want to try a different person, I'm up for that as well.

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Feminist Fiction from a Male Author

I’ve read and enjoyed Vaseem Kahn’s previous novels. This newest story about a female in the Indian Police Force seemed forced. It was difficult to follow the historical background which I usually enjoy learning more about from this author. There were too many characters with only a small storyline. I just didn’t connect with Mr. Kahn’s feminine protagonist. I finished the story but was grateful when it was over.

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  • Elaine
  • 10-21-20

Engaging mystery, Persis is a joy !

I loved this tale. Persis is a character whom I look forward to meeting again hopefully. The plot is detailed and thorough and setting took me to her world. I thought the narrator was excellent...with one minor grumble. I found the Scottish accent on one of the characters a bit difficult to hear.. maybe because I am Scottish!!! Loved this audio book.

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  • Val
  • 10-06-20

Midnight At Malabar House

A good plot, with lots of historical background and some interesting characters but rather underminded with the pedestrian narration.

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  • Highland Hedgewitch
  • 09-10-20

An Agatha Christie Style Ride

What a joy of a book. The story kept me guessing with plenty of twists and turns to keep up with. The struggles of India, of the poor, of women, were quite something, i had no idea. So as well as entertaining it was an education too. The story was read to perfection, and i shall miss the characters like parting with old friends.

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  • anne
  • 09-02-20

Another delightful thriller

Vaseem Khan writes the most entertaining thrillers and mystery novels. This one I consider one of his best. Alongside an intriguing story with India’s first woman detective as the main character, we are given some enlightening history of a dreadful time in India’s history.... partition. Although the subject and references are appalling, this is not a depressing book. On the contrary it highlights the resilience of the Indian character and has a gentle, old fashioned, “Agatha Christie” type of denouement which will knock your socks off!