The mistress of Bhatia house

Book title – The mistress of Bhatia house

Publisher – Penguin   Pages –  432 pages    Language – English

Genre – drama

Authors –  Sujata Massey

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About the author –   The author was born in England to a father from India and a mother from Germany. Her books are published in approximately 20 countries. She is best known for her Perveen Mistry series about a young woman lawyer solving crimes in 1920s Bombay. Ms Massey has also written a light-hearted 11-book mystery series set in modern Tokyo that begins with THE SALARYMAN’S WIFE. Books in both series have received literary awards including the Agatha, Macavity, Lefty and Mary Higgins Clark prizes.

About the book – I received a copy of this book from Penguin India for review and even though I did not read the Perveen Mistry volume in the sequence in which the author recommends it, the book left me charmed with the astute portrayal of life in old Bombay in the Parsi community.

The book is about a wrongful conviction and outlines how the privileged class have always subjugated and trod upon the poor working class for their own personal benefit. In such a scenario, Perveen Mistry, a lawyer, emerges as the messiah who investigates the case and brings justice to the accused by bringing out the suppressed truth. In doing so, Sujata Massey gives us a dizzying glimpse of the old city and life of Bombay which harboured societal bias, misogynistic attitudes, gender/social prejudice, and adopted a narrow-minded view towards progress. Ms Massey adeptly showcases the corrupt society for what it is and points an unwavering finger at the dynamics of power that played out in that era.

The language of the book is top-notch and immerses the reader in the lives of the Parsi community who were the mainstay of old Bombay. Ms Massey gives us a detailed sketch of the family dynamics of that era via the deep characterization that she exhibits in the book. But even though there is a mystery to be solved in the book, it is not a fast-paced, racy thriller. This book is more about emotions and gently chipping-away at the exterior of a façade in order to reveal the true interior.


About Sonal Singh

I believe that life is a repertoire of anecdotes. The various situations that we encounter, the many incidents of every day, the people we meet, our conversations with them; all make life a melange of tales. And, that is what I attempt to capture through my writing. My cooking is no different! It reflects my love for travel and my love for innovation. The kitchen is my happy place. So, even though by vocation I am a recruiter (, by passion I am a writer, home chef and a hodophile.

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