Vaseem Khan: Midnight at Malabar House



Arrogant believing she was smarter than her colleagues she was Persis was determined to solve the crime ven if it meant disregarding orders by superior officers Persis is confronted with a murder case with many suspects all with a motive to want Sir James dead This is a police procedural that shows the strenuous work and tedium of police investigations Persis displays intuition intelligence inductive reasoning as well as the determination to put the clues together and come up with a plausible theory The solution is Agatha Christie influenced She gets all the suspects together in a room and outlines her investigation and conclusions step by step suggesting which people who are innocent and cleverly identifying the guilty party and the motive She has proven the worth of women in a man s profession The manner the police hierarchy deals with the solution of the crime was unusual but plausible for that place and time I would read the next book in the series now that Persis has gained respect for her abilities but I still miss Baby Ganesh I would like to thank Netgalley and Hodder Stoughton for an advance copy of Midnight at Malabar House the first novel to feature Inspector Persis Wadda set in Bombay in 1950The phone rings and Inspector Wadda is asked to go to Laburnum House as Sir I liked the setting which did Experiential Learning evoke memories of my visits to Bombay The secondary characters were well donespecially Archie The mystery angle plotting also worked well the author does have a popular series under his belt for Die Neurobiologie des Glücks experienceSo what s the issue I wasn t all that fond of Persis herself To me her handling of sexism and imperialism came off as downright rude However I did like thending of the story which opens up the possibility that she mellows a bitAudio narration was okay but not the greatest fit The reader sounded clearly British to me rather than South Asian If she reads of the series it s not a deal breaker if they want to try a different person I m up for that as well What a great start to a new series I njoyed not only the strong heroine Inspector Persis Wadia and the fascinating 1950 Mumbai setting but also the rich history and interesting sociopolitical aspects of the story My only uibble was that I found the story was a little too long I look forward to my next visit with Inspector Persis Wadia Vaseem Khan s Midnight at Malabar House comes at a time when three writers are already delving into 20th century India through murder mystery novels Each writer s work stands out in one way or the other but Vaseem s new novel is starkly different from those three because unlike them it is set in Independent IndiaBeginning on the last day of 1949 the novel follows India s first woman police detective Persis Wadia an Inspector in the Bombay Police as she goes about solving a high profile murder while grappling with the aftermath of the Raj her worries about her ageing father and the fact that she s a woman in what is still very much a man s world a fact she isn t allowed to forget for very longVaseem tries but doesn t uite manage to bring a sense of Bombay to the page It is the most in your face city in India Always has been There is a tremendous amount of character to Bombay And Vaseem does the digging to give the reader the facts and figures Somehow it doesn t really form an image the way other novels about or set in the city do It feels like someone just describing Bombay rather than trying to bring a sense of the city a feel of it to the page And this is strange because he managed to capture the beating heart of Bombay and its middle class suburbs uite well in his book The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra though I couldn t finish that book He does doff his hat to one of the city s most significant political leaders through a character in the novel though part of Wadia s team is a subordinate named George Fernandes a touch I a fan of such references really njoyedWadia is your typical gumshoe but in uniform Yes her desire to uncover the truth stems from a purer motivation than most other detectives but that s what makes her interesting She makes you root for her because she is the kind of aspirational hero any society would be glad of but no society is actually willing to back when push comes to shove She has her drawbacks too but Vaseem is careful in not letting them take over in a manner such that the whole character turns into a masala copThe mystery at hand is also a compelling one A New Philosophy of History even though the denouement does see the plot go a fair bit off track Vaseemxplores keenly a young India free from the clutches of her captors and yet still somewhat unsure of the country she is which is what makes the precise time period of the book taking place in the run up to the day India became a Republic so interestingThe writing itself is functional though there are places I felt it could have been so much better There are anachronisms too ones which will hopefully be corrected by the time the novel hits stands on the 20th of August I loathed the summation of the case towards the Abortion, Choice, and Contemporary Fiction end of the novel it really almost ruined the wholexperience of it but on the flip side I appreciated the actual climax one that sticks to the genre of novels Midnight at Malabar House so clearly belongs toAll in all an njoyable book if one puts aside any xpectations and also is willing to be a little patient I was able to view a copy of the book pre release thanks to NetGalley and the publishers Hodder Stoughton in xchange for a reviewMore at Varun Oak Bhakay s Writer s Bloc. Tland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch finds herself investigating a case that is becoming political by the second Navigating a country and society in turmoil Persis smart stubborn and untested in the crucible of male hostility that surrounds her must find a way to solve the murder whatever the cost.

Vaseem Khan begins a new crime fiction series a stunning blend of actual Indian history in one of its most turbulent of times with fiction It is set in a Bombay and India on the cusp of becoming the largest democratic republic in the world but a nation plagued and divided by religion fractured amidst the terrors and horrors of Partition with separation along the Radcliffe line costing millions of lives and triggering the huge movement of people Muslims forced to gravitate towards Pakistan and Sikhs and Hindus to India Amidst this background the female Parsee Inspector Persis Wadia is based at Malabar House where misfits and those who have come to the nd of their professional careers are placed She is on duty when she gets a call from the aide Madan Lal from Laburnam House the home of the important British diplomat Sir James Herriot dressed as Mephistopheles is discovered trouserless and murdered at his New Year s Eve PartyPersis the first woman police officer in India finds herself plunged into a high profile case that is to test her to her limits hampered by political interference colleagues and a public that refuses to accept that a woman can do her job with some actively wanting to bring her down facing situations where her orders are ignored Herriot is far from the good man he is portrayed as and the suspects come from the circles of the rich and privileged in Bombay and the few remaining British hardly any of whom are willing to be co operative Helped by British criminalist Archimedes Archie Blackfinch Persis has to battle with her superiors including her boss the Superintendent of Police Roshan Seth untangle the lies and deception to uncover corruption secrets murder and Big Little Man engage in a high stakes gamble to reveal the truth at thendKhan creates a terrific protagonist in Persis idealistic awkward in her relations with others such as Archie inexperienced and having to learn on her feet and confront the reality that the truth is often far from what is sought by those in powerful political positions At home she lives with her bookshop owning father still grieving the loss of his wife Sanaz unwilling yet to divulge the circumstances surrounding her death to Persis Aunt Nussie is insistent in her plans to get Persis married and producing children but marriage will mean having to leave the police and Persis hasn t worked so hard to get to where she is to let go of her ambitions and ideals so lightly This is a brilliant read so informative on British colonial history in India and Partition The Man from Beijing exemplified in the characters such as Robert Campbell steeped in the British mythology of their rule believing in their superiority and that they knew what was best forveryone Creating Lasting Value else unable to conceive of any other world order Looking forward with great anticipation to the next in the series Highly recommended Many thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for an ARC That is the true legacy of Partition The way it has coloured the perceptions of two peoples who weressentially one the way it continues to serve as a means by which political interests on both sides of the border can Understanding Markets and Strategy employ hatred and prejudice as a means of deflecting criticism of their regimes One can only hope that the wounds of history are healed in the fullness of time Only then might the ghosts of Partition the millions of dead and missing find peace Vaseem KhanOh my gosh I love how this man writes He could write brochures and I would read them because they d be the best brochures out there So when I saw that he has a new series out after being wildly disappointed that it wasn t a new Inspector Chopra book as I ADORE that series and have learned so much about India by reading them I decided to reuest the ARC and was thrilled to receive it And boy was I NOT disappointed THIS is going to be a great series I can just feel it The setting is Bombay 3 years after Partition and on the cusp of official Independence for India Persis Wadia is the first female police officer and to be frank she has a huge chip on her shoulder She is young andager to prove her mettle in a world that thinks that she doesn t belong and cannot do her job than once in this book she hears YOU do not belong here from both her colleagues and from the people she has to interview while investigating the murder its a bitter pill Add that people are willing to lie at any cost and to cover Montana Dreams each other s tracks and her job gets harder withach day Aided by a British Forensic Scientist Archie Blackfinch who she isn t sure if she Immerwelt - Der Pakt even LIKES she sets off to solve the murder that lands in her lap on New Years Eve no matter what And WHAT a story it is And right before the reveal I realized who it was and was shocked I never saw it coming It was very satisfying and very well done A note here if you are unfamiliar with India s history I would highly suggest reading up on the Colonialism of India by Britain and then reading up on Partition and what happened during that time and what it meant for India and its people Because if you go in with little to no knowledge you will be spending a LOT of time looking things up because both of those topics are vital to the story I have read uite a few books about India set in India or Pakistan and I still learned stuff I didn t know So I would suggest reading somethingven if it is to give yourself a refresher course via Google or Wikipedia I highly recommend this book and I am so looking forward for this series to continue Thank you to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for providing this ARC in xchange for. Bombay New Year's Eve 1949 As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House home to the city's most unwanted unit of police officers Six months after joining the force she remains India's first female police detective mistru.

An honest review I njoy the author s Baby Ganesh series although it s lost a bit of its luster for me Seriously how many books can you write starring a baby Picture Theory elephant So I was delighted to find this new series by Khan andven happier to discover that Midnight at Malabar House is a gem of a book The author s knowledge of Indian history is impressive and he seamlessly weaves that history into an Ancestral Voices entertaining story Injoyed his protagonist IMO male writers have trouble nailing some of the angst felt by professional women particularly those in break out roles and supporting characters The pacing kept me interested although I skimmed a bit during long prose sections These passages were telling not showing but I know And Bid Him Sing enough Indian history that they might be revelatory to someonelseIf you re looking for an interesting piece of fiction set in Bombay this might be just the ticketRecommended I loved reading this book Not just for the mystery which i was able to solve before the climax but also the overall impression that the book created As an Indian i loved the historical details that fitted the story so well the descriptions I love Vaseem Khan s Baby Ganesh mystery series set in Mumbai and I was Aristotle Detective (Aristotle eager to see what he could do with a historical mysteryspecially one involving the first female police officer in India Midnight at Malabar House introduces a character and a time period that I have to know about The horrors of the 1947 Partition loom large in this book as they should considering the time in which it is set The Partition was so momentous that its aftershocks are still being felt today and the author talks about this a bit at the Bones, Clones, and Biomes end of the book The mystery here is deeply satisfying but it is the character of Persis Wadia that holds center stage and refuses to turn loose She is paired with Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch a relationship that should continue to prove increasingly interesting as the series progresses Persis s wheelchair bound father Sam owns a well known bookshop in Bombay and this is where Persis has grown up now withver frustrating visits from her Auntie Nussie who s determined to get Persis married off and away from all this police nonsenseThe main thing that makes Persis such a fascinating character is her ironclad sense of morality her belief in the new India and her youth She has the pig headed righteousness of youth convinced that she s always right convinced that her way is the moral and only way She doesn t have a frivolous molecule in her body and she certainly didn t inherit a humor gene Persis could be an obnoxious character but she s not Her na vet means that it never occurs to her that the reason why those powerful government men are content to let her head the investigation is because they are convinced that she s incapable of solving it She s a mere woman after all As she flings herself at one obstacle after another we see that some of those sharp Bringing the Empire Home edges of hers are going to be worn down with timeI am looking forward to watching Persis Wadia mature as a human and as a police officer and I look forward to Vaseem Khan s next book in the series with a great deal of anticipation For those of you who are familiar with Sujatta Massey sxcellent Perveen Mistry historical series give Midnight at Malabar House a try I think you re going to like itReview copy courtesy of the publisher and Net Galley 35 stars This book is listed on many sites incorrectly as part of the Baby Ganesh Agency series This is an ntirely new series by Vaseem Khan It features India s first female police detective Persis Wadia Midnight at Malabar House is a serious police procedural a complicated mystery with many suspects and set in a turbulent time after the nd of British rule and the horrors and atrocities related to Partition It is devoid of the charm and humour of the Inspector Chopra and the Baby Ganesh books Malabar House is the location of the district police force It has served as a dead Building the Cold War end transfer for police officers unwantedlsewhere for a variety of reasons This could be due to mistakes incompetence bad behaviour or simply not fitting in with commanding officers Persis is a young Parsee woman who is the target of hostility from chauvinistic male officers who try to undermine her Her commanding officers set up obstacles in her path to success The people she needs to uestion feel a woman has no place in the police force and often ignore her or show a lack of respect There is much historical background here The results are still having great Canadian Art, Volume 1 (A-F) effects on the characters and the developments in the case Slaughter and displacement of millions of people deadly atrocities between HinduSikh and Moslem population clashes with the British army and the loss of land and livelihood still resonate Adding to the disruptions in the religious cultural social andconomic fabric is a very complex mystery involving the murder of English diplomat Sir James Herriot during a lavish party attended by rich and powerful members of the Bombay society Finding the killer among these influential people could have political repercussions and could impact badly on the police department This very prominent case is given to Persis setting her up for failure I admit I couldn t warm up to her character She is stubborn a nonconformist outspoken tactless often rude and seething with anger which she usually manages to control She was driven with the need to prove that a woman could succeed as well as a man This was admirable but I thought came across as. Sted sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shiftAnd so when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot the country's most sensational case falls into her lapAs 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world's largest republic Persis accompanied by Sco.

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Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India the Baby Ganesh Agency series and the Malabar House historical crime novels His first book The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra was a Times bestseller now translated into 15 languages and introduced Inspector Chopra of the Mumbai police and his sidekick a one year old baby elephant The second in the series won a Shamus A