The follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel The Widows of Malabar Hill, 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 hunting accident. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s only female lawyer.
Once again Massey does a superb job of combining a fascinating snapshot into 1920s British-ruled India with a top-notch mystery. She has created a strong, appealing heroine who is forging her own path in a rapidly changing world ... Highly recommended for fans of other intrepid women sleuths such as Elizabeth Peters’s Amelia Peabody and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily.
... skillfully evokes the cultural, political, and social atmospheres of small-state India during the time period in question. The food, the clothing, and the rugged beauty of the Sahyadri mountain region jump out from every page in vivid detail ... The story flows, maintaining a steady pace that keeps the reader fully engaged. Perveen is a wonderful protagonist, flawed and endearing, and we care about what happens to her as each page turns. The secondary characters, including the British agent Sandringham and his employee Rama, are round and well drawn ... Simply put, The Satapur Moonstone is a flawless gem. Historical mysteries don’t get any better than this. Sujata Massey takes us into a world that fascinates and entices, and she gives us a protagonist whose company is warm and welcoming. We can only hope, with appropriate fervor, that there’s more to come in the near future in this well crafted series.
This engaging story offers plenty on Parsi culture, how India’s royalty and British rule clashed and collaborated before Independence, and how purdah (the seclusion of women) was practiced in everyday life. While there are some less-exciting sections that occasionally slow the narrative, this second in the series will certainly please readers looking for an engaging new female lead.