Genres: Mystery, Historical Fiction
The Widows of Malabar Hill is a mystery set in India, and our protagonist is Perveen Mistry, a lawyer in Bombay who works with her father as a solicitor. After coming back from Oxford, she is the first female solicitor, which puts her in a position to deal with some of her father’s clients – a group of widows who wish to leave all their inheritance from their late husband to a charity, leaving them in a very bad financial situation. When Perveen talks to them to make sure they understand what they’re giving up, many mysteries and tensions start showing.
This is such a cool book. I loved Perveen as a character, she is so full of humanity, strength and so intelligent! I loved how sensitive she was to other people’s issues and how well she dealt with all the prejudice against her as a woman lawyer. We get quite a few chapters dealing with Perveen’s personal story, which I was a bit ughhh about in the beginning, but I really, really liked those chapters. There isn’t too much violence (if anyone is worried), no more than other cozy mysteries do. A lot of times when I read a book set in India, there is so much suffering and pain and hatred of women that it makes it difficult to read – but this one isn’t. It’s definitely a cozy read.
It was very interesting also to see India in the 20s, as a place of growth and change but also so deeply traditional. I learned a bit more about the different religions, cultures and traditions in India – and in such a seamless way. I truly impressed by this book! I loved the simple but pleasant writing, the tensions between the characters and the complexity of their situations. I highly recommend this book!