History Book Festival group to discuss ‘Widows of Malabar Hill’ Jan. 16

January 10, 2019

The Lewes Public Library will host its monthly History Book Festival Discussion Group from 2 to 3 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 16, in its medium meeting room. The group will discuss “The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey. Author Sujata Massey will join the discussion via Skype. Members of the public are invited to attend the free event. The History Book Festival stocks a limited number of the books to be discussed, which are available for checkout at the library’s circulation desk.

This mystery is set in 1920s India with multilingual, Oxford-educated Perveen Mistry, Bombay's first and only female lawyer, investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. Mistry has a passion for the law and for helping people, but she also has a dark secret in her past that makes her uniquely suited to her career - an abusive marriage that ended in violent tragedy. As a member of India's Zoroastrian minority, she can never divorce or remarry - but she can devote her life to helping other women in trouble. The melting pot of Bombay in the 1920s, with its changing politics along with religious and cultural diversity, provides a fascinating backdrop which sparkles with rich setting details and is redolent with the fragrances of Parsi cooking. The book will delight fans of Jacqueline Winspear's Maisie Dobbs books and Masterpiece Mystery fans.

Massey is the author of 13 novels, two novellas and numerous short stories. Her work is published in 17 countries. Her novels have won the Agatha and Macavity awards, and been finalists for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark prizes. Massey writes a modern mystery series set in Japan starring the young female amateur sleuth Rei Shimura, and suspense and mystery fiction set in late British colonial India featuring different heroines.

The discussion group meets the third Wednesday of each month to discuss books featured at the 2018 History Book Festival and new books that will be featured at the third annual History Book Festival Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27 and 28, in Lewes. As before, the authors’ presentations will bring the past alive, give attendees new perspectives on the past and present, and leave them enriched and inspired.

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