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The Widows of Malabar Hill

por Sujata Massey

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Perveen Mistry (1)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1,1497017,326 (3.77)94
"Introducing an extraordinary female lawyer-sleuth in a new historical series set in 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 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."--… (mais)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 70 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
Solid first of a series mystery. Enjoyed the back and forth timelines and the explorations of women’s issues. The lead character often seems somewhat weak, making poor decisions. Hard to say if author is just being realistic about how we all are in our 20’s ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
I loved the Rei Shimura series by Massey and it was nice to drop into a book written by a familiar author.

I enjoyed the slowish pace and the immersion in this completely unfamiliar culture and time period and learning so many new things while also trying to solve a mystery. This novel takes on the systemic misogyny of life 100 years ago among deeply religious people and I love the empowerment of our main character (and her friend) despite those obstacles. Perveen is based on actual pioneering women lawyers in India during this time so it’s not all completely out of left field.

Anyway, I was a fan of this book and I’ll continue reading the series. ( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
I really enjoyed the book for many reasons. I learned so much about India in 1916-1920. And about the culture and different peoples and religions in India. I
learned about women and their rights in this time period also. Then the characters were very interesting and my favorite is Perveen Mistry; she is an extraordinary woman with high moral standards and great intelligence. I liked all the details - description of the clothing, architecture, etc. The plot was intriguing with lots of twists and turns which kept my attention throughout.

I want to read the next one in the series. ( )
  LuLibro | Jan 22, 2024 |
The Widows of Malabar Hill is a mystery that takes place in 1920s Bombay, India, but it's not just that. As solicitor Perveen Mistry strives to prove herself in the law, she aims to do all she can to make sure that the three widows on Malabar Hill have everything they need in the event of their husband's recent death. While there, she meets Razia, Sakina, and Mumtaz and learns of several facts that make her suspicious. This work also makes her think of her haunting past with the elusive Cyrus Sodawalla and women's society in general, at the time.

Massey switches between the narratives of Cyrus and the widows in a way that, I think, slows down the story. Right when the mystery would get interesting, the author switches to the other plot line. Personally, I found it invasive and frustrating. Eventually, I came to appreciate where Perveen had come from (and it reinforced my impression of her as not the most intuitive person in the world), and I thought it added additional color and depth to the story. That said, I still think it was unnecessary.

As a result of a third of the book being spent on Perveen's past, the mystery is thin. I had predicted who the culprit was early on, and I was honestly surprised Perveen hadn't at least suspected it. There were several instances where I thought she would pick up on some of the clues, but she didn't. Additionally, she was very bad at keeping an open mind, (which her Pappa reprimanded her for more than once), and it was probably why she didn't pick up on some of the odd answers and other little details that peppered the mystery. Additionally, the separate storylines prevented readers from really getting to know the widows and other side characters in the story. Several of them came off as very one-dimensional. I would've really liked to learn more about them, and I think it would've helped make the story and the mystery richer.

Not only was the mystery not very mysterious, Perveen's past was also pretty predictable. Since you meet Perveen at a later time period than when these troubles take place, there's no sense of urgency or suspense because you know it will obviously turn out well for her. She's a lawyer with an Oxford education! Clearly, her past with Cyrus isn't going to be that traumazting, and after a couple chapters, it was pretty obvious that it wasn't going to have any bearing on the main mystery, which made me care even less about it. Honestly, I felt the inclusion of the Cyrus storyline distracting as well as a clear, commercial ploy. It deals more directly with the pitfalls of the patriarchy, and it felt a bit pandering. Historical fiction is statistically read more by women than by men, and I felt like this plotline was added in an attempt to "elevate" the book from regular genre mystery to something more profitable. I have no doubt that the issues it discussed were both real and damaging to many women's lives... I just don't think it was well-integrated into this story. I think it would have been far more impactful if these issues were brought up in connection with the three widows, who all had very different upbringings and different views on what should become of their daughters.

As I read more, I got used to the writing style. Perveen's past did a better job of setting the scene of 1920s Bombay, and there were some aspects of the mystery that kept me guessing till the end. Ultimately, I see why a lot of people like it. If you like a spunky heroine who isn't a perfect Nancy Drew and a 'down with the patriarchy' spin on your novels, then you will love this book and Massey's writing. I recognize these merits, which is why I gave this book 3 stars, but it just missed the mark for me. ( )
  readerbug2 | Nov 16, 2023 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 70 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
The Widows of Malabar Hill is wholly satisfying..Perveen, daughter of an established Zoroastrian family in Bombay, works alongside her father, Jamshedji Mistry, a progressive man whose lifelong dream has been to have his daughter work with him at the family law firm. Why he wants this for her is one of the most heartwarming aspects of the novel, and is slowly revealed along with many other details that make this family one I plan to follow through as many storylines as possible.... Her tale is one that is just as absorbing as the murder mystery and has a quiet power all its own. Each thread is carefully paced; Massey clearly knows just what she's doing, which is giving readers both a captivating whodunit and a lasting base for more books featuring this same cast of characters. Massey is also making a case for gender equality, religious tolerance and racial harmony and it's a lovely thing that she does so with such understated persistence..And, happily, although the denouement is wholly satisfying, there is much left unsaid, particularly about some of the supporting cast members
 

» Adicionar outros autores

Nome do autorPapelTipo de autorObra?Estado
Massey, Sujataautor principaltodas as ediçõesconfirmado
Agro, JanineDesignerautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Davidson, AndrewArtista da capaautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Nankani, SoneelaNarradorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado
Schwartzberg, PhilipInterior mapsautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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For Karin and Bharat Parekh,
who introduced me to Bombay
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On the morning Perveen saw the stranger, they’d almost collided.
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"Introducing an extraordinary female lawyer-sleuth in a new historical series set in 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 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."--

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