The reader in me loves the writers who can transport me back into the time. And very recently Sujata Massey managed to that with me via her latest book, A Murder on Malabar Hill.
The story of A Murder on Malabar is set in the year 1921 of Bombay, the city of dreams and wealth. Young and intelligent Parveen Mistry joins her father’s prestigious law firm to become India’s first female lawyer. The only problem with the plan, the society has never seen or would like to see a woman lawyer in coming days. Even in the college where Parveen goes, she is constantly bullied and tormented by her male classmates until one day she quits. On the same day, a man walks into her life who promises love and life full of care, but in the end, it turns out to be an abusive marriage full of last century rites to be completed by a Parsi woman, like living in separate quarters during the menstrual cycle.
But Parveen picks herself up again to make something out of her life. After she joined her father’s firm, she comes across a case which is very twisted in nature. When Mistry Law is appointed to execute the will of a wealthy mill owner Omar Farid, Parveen’s suspicions are aroused by a curious arrangement which may disinherit the Omar Farid’s three widows and leave them vulnerable. Parveen has concerns that the women are being duped by a guardian who doesn’t have their best interest.
She decides to investigate but things turn ugly when a murder happens and she feels that she might be the next victim. Will she be able to uncover the truth and save the ladies of the house? And that too at a time when her past is back to haunt her?
I absolutely loved this book! From the first page until the end, I was completely hooked. The twists and turns are mouthwatering and the best part is I wasn’t able to guess the killer till the end, so that’s a win-win for me when I read thrillers. I liked the whole setup of A Murder in Malabar Hill, the way story starts with Parveen’s hardships in her law classroom, from her rocky marriage to her rising as a power figure. The only glitch I felt in the entire book was the length, it could’ve definitely been short. But yes, A Murder on Malabar Hill is a book that you should definitely pick up!