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The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry…
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The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel) (edição 2019)

por Sujata Massey (Autor)

Séries: Perveen Mistry (2)

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2541582,584 (3.81)20
"India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Satara mountains southeast of Bombay, where the kingdom of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic accident. The kingdom is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and the maharaja's widow. The royal ladies are in dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's council is required--but the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but knows she is breaking a rule by traveling alone as a woman into the remote countryside. And she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse?"--… (mais)
Membro:MsArmbrust
Título:The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel)
Autores:Sujata Massey (Autor)
Informação:Soho Crime (2019), 360 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
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The Satapur Moonstone por Sujata Massey

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Perveen Mistry is commissioned to visit the small kingdom of Satapur to talk to its two maharanis about what needs to be done about the education of its young maharajah. His father and older brother have both died in the past year, and the kingdom currently comes under the agency of the British Raj. The local agent has been unable to talk to the maharanis because they observe strict purdah and his visits have been rejected.

They will not have the same objection to Perveen Mistry because she is female and she is a lawyer. Perveen's father, head of their legal firm in Bombay, thinks the journey to Satapur will be dangerous, and he is not keen for her to take the task on. Perveen on the other hand sees the commission as a great opportunity to branch out on her own. She is to travel to the British circuit house to meet the local agent by palanquin, and then go on to the Satapur palace to meet with the maharanis.

I was impressed by the evident research undertaken by the author, and feeling of authenticity and depth of historical background to the story. The characters are well fleshed out, and it is apparent that Perveen is not going to find her task an easy one. Here is India 100 years ago, Gandhiji is a young man and is admired by Perveen, and independence is a long way off.

Well worth reading. ( )
  smik | Sep 23, 2021 |
The book club members who read this book out of our Sujata Massey collection loved the story and the historical background. The members felt the characters were all very intriguing as was the mystery. The overall score was 8/10. ( )
  Tofey | Aug 30, 2021 |
This is probably more of a 3.5 rather than 3 and I’m again lamenting the fact that GR doesn’t have half star ratings.

I’ve been very excited to read the sequel to the very fascinating new series starter The Widows of Malabar Hill, but I had to wait this long to receive the copy from the library. This one turned to be an engaging read as well, but maybe not at par with the first.

The pacing of this novel is slow and steady as I expected it to be. The main change is that this one takes place completely out of Bombay, in a small princely state in the Sahyadri mountains. There were a lot of excellent descriptions about the landscape, the flora and fauna, weather changes and the different methods of travel within this princely state, and I felt totally mesmerized by it all. I could almost feel that I was traveling right alongside Perveen and it made for a very atmospheric read. We also get to know quite a bit about the Indian Civil Service, how the British and the princely states coexisted and how the administration meddled in Royal matters, particularly in the case of succession. We also get some interesting observations on caste system and discrimination that exists across religions, and insight into the plight of Anglo-Indians. There is also the mystery part, which I thought was written quite well. The author gave us enough misdirection that I couldn’t guess the culprit almost till the end.

The highlight of the first book for me was Perveen. While we got to know more of her personal history along with her current efforts to work as a solicitor in the previous installment, so much of that personal touch was missing here. Her being chosen to talk to the queens due to purdah is pretty repetitive but the events that follow definitely felt more ominous. She is also much more in danger this time around and she felt the fear, but she also took her responsibilities seriously and acted with a lot of unexpected calm in distressing situations, which was pretty impressive. My only bone to pick is that we don’t see a lot of character development for her, except a few instances when we see her longing for some sort of companionship and wanting to get out of the clutches of her marriage. Colin, the political agent was nice guy but he was a bit too laidback and didn’t seem to be taking his job very seriously. However, he didn’t seem to be suffering from the usual misogynistic ideas of the time and treated her with a lot of respect, which I really liked. None of the other characters left too much of an impression on me, except perhaps choti rani Mirabai who had to fight both deep personal losses and antagonistic family members to ensure the safety of her children and better administration of her state.

Overall, this was a moderately engaging read with a great sense of place, but seemed to suffer a bit from the second book syndrome. I still like the main character a lot and can’t wait to see more of her professional pursuits in future books. If you would like to read interesting mystery novels set in pre-independence India featuring a Parsi female lawyer who has to fight for her right to practice law, you should definitely give this series a try. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
1128 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
As the only female solicitor in India, Purveen Mistry is uniquely placed to arbitrate a dispute between the mother and grandmother of the Satapur crown prince in The Satapur Moonstone, the second book in Sujata Massey’s engaging historical mystery series.

Temporarily acting as an agent of the British Raj, Purveen is tasked with traveling to the remote Satara mountains, southeast of Bombay, to make recommendations for the maharaja-to-be’s educational future. Purveen hopes to broker peace between the Dowager Maharani who insists that her grandson is to be educated within the palace as his brother and father were before him, and the prince’s mother who wants him to be educated in England, but the situation becomes more complicated when Maharani Mirabai confides she is concerned for her son’s safety.

Purveen has a knack for finding herself in the middle of intrigue, and in The Satapur Moonstone she quickly comes to agree that the life of the crown prince is at risk from someone in the palace. The mystery itself works well, and while it does build to an intense conclusion where Purveen finds her own life is at risk, I felt the pacing was off, with a very slow start.

Purveen is definitely out of her comfort zone - in the middle of the jungle, in the company of the local agent, Colin Sandringham, and among the acrimonious atmosphere of the palace - though she generally proves to be as dutiful and capable as ever, and I did think that perhaps at times she made some decisions that weren’t really in character. I found her unexpected connection with Colin to be quite intriguing and I’ll be interested to see if Massey builds on that in subsequent books.

As in A Murder at Malabar Hill, I found the social, political and cultural details of life in 1920’s India fascinating. The setting is a major strength of the novel, with the Satapur palace, made up of old and new and divided between the Maharini’s, reflecting the struggle of India between tradition and modernity, under British rule.

I enjoyed The Satapur Moonstone as much as I did Massey’s first book. Purveen is an appealing character, and the unique period and culture enrich the well-crafted storytelling. I hope the series continues ( )
  shelleyraec | May 7, 2020 |
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"India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Satara mountains southeast of Bombay, where the kingdom of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic accident. The kingdom is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and the maharaja's widow. The royal ladies are in dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's council is required--but the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but knows she is breaking a rule by traveling alone as a woman into the remote countryside. And she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse?"--

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