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The Mistress of Bhatia House (A Perveen Mistry Novel)

av Sujata Massey

Serier: Perveen Mistry (4)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1268216,605 (3.51)11
Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:Bombay??s only female solicitor, Perveen Mistry, grapples with class divisions, sexism, and complex family dynamics as she seeks justice for a mistreated young woman in this thrilling fourth installment in Sujata Massey??s award-winning series.
/> India, 1922: Perveen Mistry is the only female lawyer in Bombay, a city where child mortality is high, birth control is unavailable and very few women have ever seen a doctor.
Perveen is attending a lavish fundraiser for a new women??s hospital specializing in maternal health issues when she witnesses an accident. The grandson of an influential Gujarati businessman catches fire??but a servant, his young ayah, Sunanda, rushes to save him, selflessly putting herself in harm??s way. Later, Perveen learns that Sunanda, who??s still ailing from her burns, has been arrested on trumped-up charges made by a man who doesn??t seem to exist.  
Perveen cannot stand by while Sunanda languishes in jail with no hope of justice. She takes Sunanda as a client, even inviting her to live at the Mistry home in Bombay??s Dadar Parsi colony. But the joint family household is already full of tension. Perveen??s father worries about their law firm taking so much personal responsibility for a client, and her brother and sister-in-law are struggling to cope with their new baby. Perveen herself is going through personal turmoil as she navigates a taboo relationship with a handsome former civil service officer. 
When the hospital??s chief donor dies suddenly, Miriam Penkar, a Jewish-Indian obstetrician, and Sunanda become suspects. Perveen??s original case spirals into a complex investigation taking her into the Gujarati strongholds of Kalbadevi and Ghatkopar, and up the coast to Juhu Beach, where a decadent nawab lives with his Australian trophy wife. Then a second fire erupts, and Perveen realizes how much is at stake. Has someone powerful framed Sunanda to cover up another crime? Will Perveen be able to prove Sunanda??s innocence… (mer)
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» Se även 11 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 8 (nästa | visa alla)
This was the 4th in the series, of which I have read the other three and was looking forward to continuing the story of Perveen Mistry, the only female lawyer in Bombay in the 1920s.

I like Perveen, and author Sujata Massey expertly recreates 1920s India with its customs, culture, food, and other period details as well as Perveen’s personal struggles to practice law while being limited by the ingrained restrictions imposed by racism, sexism, and India’s caste system.

This novel focuses on the topic of birth control (or the lack of it) in Perveen’s city of Bombay and Massey has done a stellar amount of historical research, as usual. There is a mystery, a large cast of characters, and some questions as to who is guilty and who is innocent. Perveen is also going through personal turmoil as she navigates a taboo relationship with a handsome former civil service officer. And there is a glossary of terms (food, slang, greetings, etc.) to provide cultural accuracy and clarity.

So with all of this why did I only read 100 out of 414 pages? I hated to put down the book out of loyalty to Perveen and hoped it would get better, but felt like I was wasting my time. And honestly, I had trouble staying awake. It wasn’t the enjoyable read I expected after having read the first three books. Too many characters, a “preachy” topic of birth control, the plot dragged, and Perveen wasn’t the same clever assertive woman from the earlier books.

I will try number 5 when it comes out, hoping this was just a fluke. In the meantime, there are plenty of other books in my TBR pile! ( )
  PhyllisReads | Mar 19, 2024 |
TW/CW: Murder, death, sexual assault, corrupt police, sexism, poisoning and injury of a child

RATING: 3.5/5

REVIEW: Firstly, I didn’t realize when I checked this book out from the library that it was the 4th in a series. It is more or less standalone, although it clearly references things that happened before the action of this book. It’s not too confusing, though.

The Mistress of Bhatia House is a mystery novel that takes place in India in the 1920’s. It stars Perveen Mistry, a young woman who is also the first woman solicitor in Bombay. She especially likes to represent female clients in the hope that their cases can further women’s rights in India.

While not ignoring the many roadblocks Perveen must face to practice her profession, it also shows her to be an intelligent and capable young woman, although more than a little stubborn and the kind of person who likes to get her way.

While I really liked the set up of this book, it didn’t quite deliver as I’d hoped. I can’t put a finger on what it was, but the pacing seemed really off to me – it was an exciting case but things just dragged…a lot. There were also a lot of plots – including the one about her brother’s wife – that were not resolved and just left hanging.

I didn’t hate this book, I actually rather enjoyed it – but it’s far from perfect. Maybe if I read the other books in the series it will make a bit more sense. I’d recommend this as an interesting – if a bit slow – book to fans of mysteries and historical fiction. ( )
  Anniik | Dec 26, 2023 |
This is not the best book in the series. The mystery to be solved was not apparent in the first few chapters. It wasn't revealed until a third into the story. While this would normally upset me, the setting descriptions and character dialogue were interesting enough to keep me glued to the pages. Two thirds into the story I became bored. Conflict between Perveen and other characters, seemingly unrelated to the plot, was prominent and it wasn't as interesting as the beginning pages. Sunanda’s innocence or guilt was not fleshed out well as the author concentrated on using her in a cover-up of another crime. As for the mistress herself, her role was not discussed much. Given that the title of the book was about the mistress, I expected more.

I am disappointed with The Mistress of Bhatia House. Let's hope the next installment of the series will be better. ( )
  Violette62 | Oct 10, 2023 |
This is a fantastic historical mystery set in 1920s India. Perveen Mistry moves among many classes Bombay and likes to see women get their shot at things like good healthcare and work. As a female solicitor, she is fortunate to work alongside her father, but can't speak or try cases in court like a barrister. She oversteps in a courtroom when a young ayah (nanny) is charged with willfully ending a pregnancy--a nanny she just met who saved a young boy from burning to death at a fundraiser for a women's hospital. In addition, her sister-in-law Gulnaz has given birth and the aftereffects of pregnancy and what sounds like post-partum depression are addressed as they would be handled in the 20s. All of these things come together to show the power the English still yield at this time period. ( )
  ethel55 | Aug 26, 2023 |
I thought the mystery was a little bit contrived, not quite up to the quality of its three predecessors; but we got a stronger picture of Perveen as a character and personality this time around. ( )
  CurrerBell | Jul 17, 2023 |
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Fiction. Mystery. Historical Fiction. HTML:Bombay??s only female solicitor, Perveen Mistry, grapples with class divisions, sexism, and complex family dynamics as she seeks justice for a mistreated young woman in this thrilling fourth installment in Sujata Massey??s award-winning series.
India, 1922: Perveen Mistry is the only female lawyer in Bombay, a city where child mortality is high, birth control is unavailable and very few women have ever seen a doctor.
Perveen is attending a lavish fundraiser for a new women??s hospital specializing in maternal health issues when she witnesses an accident. The grandson of an influential Gujarati businessman catches fire??but a servant, his young ayah, Sunanda, rushes to save him, selflessly putting herself in harm??s way. Later, Perveen learns that Sunanda, who??s still ailing from her burns, has been arrested on trumped-up charges made by a man who doesn??t seem to exist.  
Perveen cannot stand by while Sunanda languishes in jail with no hope of justice. She takes Sunanda as a client, even inviting her to live at the Mistry home in Bombay??s Dadar Parsi colony. But the joint family household is already full of tension. Perveen??s father worries about their law firm taking so much personal responsibility for a client, and her brother and sister-in-law are struggling to cope with their new baby. Perveen herself is going through personal turmoil as she navigates a taboo relationship with a handsome former civil service officer. 
When the hospital??s chief donor dies suddenly, Miriam Penkar, a Jewish-Indian obstetrician, and Sunanda become suspects. Perveen??s original case spirals into a complex investigation taking her into the Gujarati strongholds of Kalbadevi and Ghatkopar, and up the coast to Juhu Beach, where a decadent nawab lives with his Australian trophy wife. Then a second fire erupts, and Perveen realizes how much is at stake. Has someone powerful framed Sunanda to cover up another crime? Will Perveen be able to prove Sunanda??s innocence

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