The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1) by Sujata Massey

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1)

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 ...

Details The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1)

TitleThe Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1)
Release DateJan 9th, 2018
PublisherSoho Press
GenreMystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Cultural, India, Fiction, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

Reviews The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry, #1)

  • Tammy
    This is a very well done old-fashioned historical novel and my first experience with Massey. Perveen is the only female practicing lawyer in 1921 Bombay. She is unable to argue cases in court due to the strictures of the time and instead works as a solicitor for her father’s practice. At its heart, this is a murder mystery and a good one. There is a bit of a dual timeline but it doesn’t occur every other chapter so the novel flows more smooth...
  • Sarah
    “As the only female lawyer in Bombay, you hold a power that nobody else has,” a British government official tells Perveen Mistry in this first of a refreshingly original mystery series – and he’s right. It’s 1921, and Perveen is a solicitor in her father’s law firm. Even though she can’t appear in court, her position and gender mean she’s the only individual with the means to look into a potential instance of deception and fraud.A...
  • Cathy Cole
    Having been a fan of Sujata Massey's award-winning Rei Shimura mystery series, I was thrilled to hear about this first Perveen Mistry mystery set in 1920s Bombay, India. There are two interwoven timelines in The Widows of Malabar Hill. One is present-day Bombay in 1921 which shows us Perveen working hard to become an integral part of her father's law firm. The second timeline takes us back to 1916 so we can learn what happened to Perveen to make ...
  • Lynn
    Sujata Massey was a new author for me. I enjoyed The Widows of Malabar Hill very much. The location is Bombay, India in 1921 to flashbacks to Calcutta 1916-1917. Perveen Mistry is the first female lawyer in India. She was educated in Oxford but can not represent clients in court. She works in her father law office.Her father is representing the estate of Omar Farid who is a wealthy Muslim mill owner. He has left three widows who are living in pur...
    A few minutes ago (it's 11:20 AM EST as I write this), I had the satisfaction of finishing reading "THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL." It's centered around India's first woman lawyer, Perveen Mistry, who had received her legal training at Oxford. The time is February 1921 and she has returned to her home in Bombay, where she has a job working in her father's law firm. Perveen has been given the responsibility of executing the will of Omar Farid, a weal...
  • Theresa
    4.5 starsThis book took me completely by surprise, so much so that I read it in a single day. What a pleasure.The book follows Perveen Mistry, a woman in her early twenties who happens to be the first female lawyer in 1920s India. She works together with her father at his law firm and in this book takes on the settling of his estate after a client's death. He had three wives, who oddly enough have all agreed to donate their inheritance to charity...
  • Kathy
    Several years ago, when I read The Sleeping Dictionary by Sujata Massey, I discovered an India of beauty, historical importance, depth, tragedy, redemption, and diversity. That book, set over a period of seventeen years, 1930 to 1947 mostly in Calcutta, stunned me with its impact on my reading life, as India became a source of interest and intrigue to me. It’s quite difficult for me to choose just one favorite book or even ten favorite books, b...
  • Barb in Maryland
    3.5 stars for the first in s new series by the author. I really liked the mystery, the setting(1921 Bombay), our heroine--just about everything in the main storyline. Young lawyer Perveen is a delight; I enjoyed watching her deal with her wily fox of a father. I am happy to see her good friend Alice again (introduced in the prequel novella 'Outnumbered at Oxford'). The mystery was clever--process of elimination gave me the killer, but not the 'wh...
  • Jane
    Enthralling murder mystery about an Indian Parsi woman lawyer in 1920s Bombay, Perveen Mistry [surname a pun??], and her efforts to catch the murderer of the steward of a Muslim household in which there are three wives in purdah of the [now deceased] owner, a wealthy man, and fair distribution of their inheritances. With the aid of Perveen's English friend from university days, Alice, she discovers the means by which the perpetrator did the crime...
  • Julie
    I really enjoyed this book! The mystery was pretty good, but the historical setting and the descriptions of the people and the customs are what really made this book enjoyable for me. The main character Perveen, is a Parsi woman living in Bombay in 1921, who is working toward being one of the first female lawyers in India. Although her gender puts her at a disadvantage in a law school filled with men and in situations where she has to negotiate, ...
  • Sue Em
    Amazing book. Perveen Mistry is the first female solicitor in 1921 Bombay. While she cannot plead cases before the bar, she aids clients of her family's law firm. Assisting her father in an inheritance case, she discovers a murdered man at the house of the three widows. As the women follow the tradition of purdah--not having contact with men, Perveen's gender becomes an asset in unravelling the mystery. The cultural details educate and inform the...
  • Leslie
    Perveen Mistry, first female lawyer in Bombay in 1921, takes on a case that leads to investigation into murder. Being female is in many ways a negative in this time and in this place--except for the doors that it opens for Perveen in this particular instance. A novel that combines culture, religion, mystery, history and women's rights, this is a strong first in a new series that features a compelling heroine in a lovely family.
  • Tripfiction
    A mystery of 1920s BOMBAYThis is the first novel I have read by Sujata Massey and she is a prolific writer who has set her novels in many wonderful places – Japan, USA, India…. Her experience of the locations clearly comes through in her masterful writing skills.The central character of Perveen Mistry was inspired by India’s earliest women lawyers who struck out to study and qualify at a time when women were heavily censored in what they co...
  • Jeanette
    This is a difficult review/ reaction to compose. Because I wanted to give this one more than a 3 star. Perveen Mistry is a terrific character. She's multi faceted and interesting in both a self-identity and expressive style sense. She's logical, and very smart. And up against severe and diverse restriction, tradition, culture, tribal based and religious finely drawn strictures. All of those.And it also taught me quite a bit within this length of ...
  • Aman Mittal
    Set in Bombay, India, 1921, A Murder on Malabar Hills is mystery fiction with touches of historical fiction and is written by Sujata Massey. The book follows a female solicitor who has joined her father's law firm and happens to be the first female lawyer in India.During that time, women were not allowed to appear in court under British law. One of the touches of history this book provides. Young Perveen Mistry is appointed to execute the will of...
  • Caitlin
    "In a corner of the office, a tall Godrej cabinet was Perveen's alone. It held umbrellas, extra clothing, and the Bombay Samachar article touting her as Bombay's first woman solicitor. She'd wanted to frame the news story and hang it on the downstairs wall along with Jamshedji Mistry's many accolades. Her father had thought it too much to throw in the faces of clients who needed a gentle introduction to the prospect of female representation."The ...
  • Andrea Larson
    Sometimes I end up reading books that are unexpectedly timely. Case in point: The Widows of Malabar Hill. I picked it up for the mystery, the exotic setting and the historical time period (India 1916-21), but I ended up really appreciating its relevance to current women's issues. Watching the Golden Globes on Sunday night, I was reminded of the strong, intelligent main character, Perveen Mistry. She is based on the real-life Cornelia...
  • Ivonne Rovira
    Sujata Massey has created an irresistible heroine in Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female solicitor. It’s 1921, and Perveen balances her modern ideas with the too traditional ideas of colonial India. Massey never crosses over into anachronism; Perveen remains an observant, if not too strict, Parsee, but she’s a determined young woman and a champion for other women in a society where they almost never get a break. Perveen goes to interview ...
  • Audrey
    Sujata Massey is back with a new heroine, new location and a new time period. Perveen Mistry is a feminist solicitor in 1920s India. She is the woman to be a solicitor and is assigned to a case that only she is qualified for: to interview the three widows of the firm's client, to ascertain their wishes. Massey effortlessly weaves in the current mystery with Perveen's past and her growth in finding her voices well as the cultural norms of the time...
  • Theresa
    Very enjoyable start of a new series, a legal thriller set in 1920s Bombay featuring Bombay' first female lawyer. Perveen Mistry, Esq. , a Parsi, is settling an estate of a polygamist Muslim textile mill owner on his 3 widows and their children, when murder happens. Perveen's own story, its tragedies and triumphs, is told in flashbacks, providing further cultural revelations. In some ways this parallel story slows the narrative, and the troubles ...
  • Jamie Canaves
    Feminist Historical Mystery for the Win!Oh, I so loved this one. Perveen is a solicitor working with her father in Bombay in the early 1920s. Her father has a case involving a will where the three widows have signed a piece of paper, but Perveen thinks there is something off with the signatures. She wants to speak to the widows. And so Perveen finds herself caught in the mystery of what is actually happening in the house the widows and their chil...
  • Mainlinebooker
    When you can learn from a book as well as be entertained, it is a novel that deserves attention. Sujata Massey has accomplished this in what I hope will be the first in a series set in Bombay and Calcutta India. Peppered with Indian words(don't worry, there is a glossary) and woven around Parsi (Zoroastrian) beliefs, I felt submerged into a world that I knew somewhat about but was fascinated how this religion's beliefs engulfed womens' lives. Per...
  • Pavitra (For The Love of Fictional Worlds)
    Disclaimer: An ARC was provided via Penguin India . The Thoughts, opinions & feelings expressed in the review are however my own. This was a intense and delightful vintage mystery novel – I use the word “vintage” purposefully for the author Sujata Massey does a freaking ah-mazing job of working her reader’s imagination of a time in our country’s past that tends to be intense and interesting for history buffs, like moi! Perveen ...
  • Yoana
    A purely fantastic summer read that has mystery, romance, drama, friendship and strife. Set in 1920s Bombay (and briefly in Calcutta), it follows the life story and current work of Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first woman lawyer. While she's investigating a suspicious case wherein three Muslim widows have declared they want to give up all of their inheritance in favour of the family charity fund, Perveen gets more than she's bargained for, including ...
  • Sarah
    4.5 stars, this was excellent! Highly recommended if you like historical mysteries. The Widows of Malabar Hill was different than other historical mystery series I've read--many of those are lighthearted and humorous, while this is a rather serious book. It started slowly--for the first quarter or so of the book, I really wasn't sure how much I was enjoying it, but then it picked up and I was completely engaged in the story.Perveen Mistry is an O...
  • Linda
    Full disclosure...I am a long-time fan of Sujata Massey. However, I believe even a reader not familiar with her previous books will agree that she has begun this new series with a home run. Set in early-1900s Bombay, the story revolves around a unique main character. Perveen Mistry is a young Parsi woman who has managed to become the first female solicitor in Bombay with Oxford credentials, no less. Ms. Massey does an excellent job introducing he...
  • Belle
    What an awesome start to a series!For readers of The Dry and Aaron Falk, this book is a good selection.This story opens on the first female attorney in Bombay in the 1920s, Miss Perveen Mistry. I compare it to The Dry because it also starts the series with a backstory. I thought that was unusual in The Dry. I did like the treatment of the backstory in The Widows much better.The story alternates between 1921 and 1915. In 1921 we learn about Pervee...
  • Alicia
    2018-01-16 think this book is the start of a new series—or anyway, I hope it is, because I enjoyed it a lot. It’s set in 1920s Bombay, and centers on a young woman who is Bombay's first female lawyer (working for her awesome supportive lawyer father). Her gender comes in handy when some discrepancies pop up concerning a Muslim estate whose three widows live in purda (seclusion)—and then there’s a murder. Thi...
  • Marzie
    I received a Digital Review Copy from Edelweiss+ and a paper ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.4.5 StarsI thoroughly enjoyed The Widows of Malabar Hill, less for its mystery aspect than for the fascinating insights into the Parsi culture of early 20th Century Bombay/Mumbai. A mystery about the fate of three Muslim widows is the central mystery but the personal history of lawyer/de facto detective Perveen Mistry was more of a...