'A Murder at Malabar Hill, with its deft prose and well-wrought characters, is a splendid first installment in what promises to be a memorable series.' The Wall Street Journal
'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 - proclivity for poking her nose into the business of others. The pages do indeed fly.' The Globe and Mail
Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India's first female attorney, A Murder at Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.
1920s Bombay: 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 women's legal rights especially important to her.
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 examines 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? 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 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.