cover image The Bombay Prince

The Bombay Prince

Sujata Massey. Soho Crime, $27.95 (360p) ISBN 978-1-64129-105-7

Agatha winner Massey’s exceptional third mystery featuring Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female solicitor (after 2019’s The Satapur Moonstone), finds the city’s residents preparing for the visit of Britain’s Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, in 1921. Before the royal’s arrival, Freny Cuttingmaster, a student at Woodburn College, seeks Mistry’s guidance. Freny represents a group of students who wish to skip a parade scheduled for the prince, which their head of school says is mandatory. Mistry can only advise Freny that she and the others should feign illness to avoid punishment for not attending. After the parade, which was disrupted by protesters inspired by lawyer Mohandas Gandhi’s advocacy for Indian independence, a woman’s corpse is found at the college. The victim died, apparently of a head wound, on the 30-year anniversary of the unexplained deaths of two female students at the University of Bombay, who fell from a clock tower, suffering similar injuries. Massey has never been better at pairing her redoubtable and impressive lead with a challenging murder to unravel. Abir Mukherjee fans will be pleased. Agent: Vicky Bijur, Vicky Bijur Literary. (June)