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Publisher's Summary

Introducing an extraordinary female lawyer-sleuth in a new historical series set in 1920s Bombay!

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 law degree from Oxford, Perveen also has a tragic personal history that makes her especially devoted to championing and protecting women's legal rights.

Mistry Law has been appointed to execute the will of Mr. Omar Farid, a wealthy Muslim mill owner who has left three widows behind. But as Perveen is going through the paperwork, she notices something strange: all three of the wives have signed over their full inheritance to a charity. What will they live on if they forfeit what their husband left them? Perveen is suspicious, especially since one of the widows has signed her form with an X - meaning she probably couldn't even read the document. The Farid widows live in full purdah - in 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. Now it is her responsibility to figure out what really happened on Malabar Hill, and to ensure that no innocent women or children are in further danger.

Inspired in part by a real woman who made history by becoming India's first female lawyer, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth, Perveen Mistry.

©2018 Sujata Massey (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding Historical Mystery

Any additional comments?

I'm a fan of Sujata Massey; I read all of her mysteries set in Japan. I was excited to see that she had started a new series (I hope it's a series) set in India in the 1920's. The story is excellent and a wonderful look at the many cultures of India during the time the British ruled.
I especially enjoyed reading about the place of women; the main character, Purveen, is the only woman lawyer in Bombay. This is so much more than a mystery, but wonderfully written look at a social and cultural time well before independence. The reader added a lot to this story, so glad I listened. I am always torn between listening and reading--love both. It's a plus when a reader adds so much to the story. This is a great listen, highly recommended.

67 of 69 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved this!

I have read the Rei Shimura mysteries by Sujata Massey so I was curious about this new series. What a delight this was! It was a little tricky for me at first to grasp the laws of Perveen's time. But once I allowed myself to just enjoy the story, I was enraptured by 1920's Bombay. It was so interesting to hear Perveen's struggles with marriage and her fight for justice. Another very addictive series!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

I wish this had a different reader

Would you be willing to try another one of Soneela Nankani’s performances?

No. I think this is probably a beautiful novel, but it's been read like a children's story, full of unnecessary and inexplicable rises at the end of sentences and breathy explosions. I also don't understand why the narrative (non-dialog) portion is in an American accent. This is India in the 1920s. America doesn't enter into it. The British accents, while more appropriate, don't sound genuine. I wish this had been performed in a grownup voice. The main character sounds a bit ridiculous, like a kid, and it really distracts from the story. I'm several chapters in, and I just don't think I'll finish. I'll read it myself, and count this as an unfortunate purchase.

122 of 132 people found this review helpful

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Complex mystery presents issues of culture, family, and law

Sujata Massey, whose earlier mysteries set in Japan are a lighthearted delight, has outdone herself in this new novel (it transcends genre) set in India between 1917 and 1921. The relationships among members of various religious and ethnic groups are deftly drawn with tolerance and understanding. Women's issues are in the foreground. The protagonist in the first woman solicitor practicing in Bombay (in her father's firm and with his very necessary support), and most of the heroes and victims

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting but hard to follow.

This was an interesting story but the audible version is hard to follow when only hearing names and places. It gets a little confusing.

32 of 36 people found this review helpful

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What a glimpse of Pre-Independence Indian life

A glimpse of life in India thru the eyes of a woman. Excellent read finished it in just a few days could not put it down.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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A bit predictable

And almost puritanical—I wondered if this was not a YA novel? Still, the descriptions of time, place, and cultures was very interesting.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Customs in 1914-1921 India

Like living in India was the experience of this wonderful book. All the astounding and very unique customs of the Farsis during that period were complex, to say the least. I loved the beautiful descriptions of the architecture, transportation (Grey Ghost for a car), and for me especially the descriptions of the saris ( green satin embroidered all over with gold thread covered with French lace). Very visually stimulating. Some horrific parts, as to be expected for the period.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Engaging and clever

Well-written, the novel incorporates history and social issues with a complex plot. Though it can seem predictable it is a pleasure to listen to.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Mesmerizing!

The story has so many twists and turns that you are compelled to keep listening. It’s a fascinating slice of life in India in the early 1900s. And Ms. Nankani was the perfect narrator.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful