The Widows of Malabar Hill

The Widows of Malabar Hill (Perveen Mistry Mystery #1) by Sujata Massey

Thoughts Before Reading:

So I read book two first, and NEEDED to read the first book.

Plot Synopsis:

Perveen Mistry is the only female Indian lawyer. She works for her father and has just been given her first big case. Her father has represented Muslim mill owner Farid for years, and with his death some documents about his three wives’ inheritance comes across Perveen’s desk. All the women are practicing Purdah, and can only be around men related to them and women.

Muslim inheritance law is a little different from other law, so Perveen refreshes her knowledge of it, but something about the paperwork seems off. All the women want to give up their inheritance to the wakf-which is troubling but does happen-but even more so what bothers her is that one woman who is illiterate and on a previous document signed an “X”, while on this one wrote out her name.

Razia is the first wife, an arranged marriage. Sakina came next-beautiful and chosen for love/lust-and the only one to have a son. Mumtaz was the last wife, married right before Farid died. Mumtaz was met on one of the trips to the pleasure district, a musician, and the literate wife.

She goes to meet the women and is even more troubled. Their man who takes care of the estate, and them (a cousin of Sakin) is Mr. Mukri who seems to be taking liberties with his controlling of the finances and isolating the women. He is very abusive in his manner and treats Perveen like garbage.

The situation with the three wives is also extremely distressing. The second wife acts like the first wife, none know how much money they have, the third wife is treated horribly, and all think they have only one option-to put their money in the wakf. None know what Mukri spends their money on or what he plans to do with their inheritance.

Hmm…

Amina is the eldest daughter, born to the first wife and she is adorable and precocious. She’s always listening, sneaking around, and watching everything. She tries to warn Perveen about something but Perveen excuses Amina so she can speak to Mumtaz alone.

They get interrupted by Mr. Mukri who yells at Perveen and threatens her, bringing back old memories of her ex-husband. When Mukri gets distracted she leaves, but realizes she forgot her briefcase of important papers. She can’t leave it there, as it is highly confidential, so she sneaks in though the women’s entrance and finds Mr. Mukri DEAD.

As the widows are still observing purdah, the only one who can question them is Perveen. She needs to find out who the killer is before they strike again.

Thoughts After Reading:

This book was amazing. A fantastic read that I could not put down.

Not only do we have this great mystery, but also a view of Hindu, Zoroastrianism, and Muslim law-all very distinct in their law and customs.

Perveen also has her best friend move from England, Alice, and we see a view of the Indian and English relationship in 1921 India. This too was really interesting as you can see that some like the British Colonialism, some have just learned how to live with it, and others are talking about removing it.

We also get a look into Perveen’s history with her husband, and boy it was a sad one and one heck of a doozy. Poor Perveen.

I definitely recommend this!

For more lawyer mysteries, go to My Husband’s Wife

For more mysteries, go to Motive v. Opportunity

On a sad note, given the context of this book I wanted to add this:

Are you being abused?

It’s abuse when someone who should care about you does or says things that hurt you or make you feel afraid, helpless or worthless. Here are only a few examples:

  • Slapping, hitting, punching, choking, grabbing, shoving, kicking you or your kids, your pets
  • Threatening you, your kids, friends, family or pets
  • Hitting, kicking, slamming walls, doors, furniture, possessions
  • Forcing you to have sex
  • Calling you names, swearing at you, yelling
  • Controlling all the money, even money you earn
  • Blaming you or your kids for everything
  • Putting you down, making you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough
  • Treating you like a servant or slave
  • Controlling where you go, what you do, what you wear
  • Controlling who you see, who you talk to
  • Humiliating you in front of other people
  • Refusing to let you leave the relationship

If you are in danger call 911, a local hotline, or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and TTY 1-800-787-3224.

 

Virgin Appletini

"Times Square's New Years Eve Ball - 1978 Technicians eye the new improved New Years ball. This version, which had halogen lamps for higher visibility, replaced a six-foot ball that had ordinary light bulbs. The lowering of the ball, which takes one minute, is down a 77-foot flagpole on top of One Times Square. (Photo by Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times Photo Archives)"

“Times Square’s New Years Eve Ball – 1978 (Photo by Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times Photo Archives)”

So today is New Year’s Eve, and as I can’t resist doing a holiday post, especially since I have the perfect recipe, I decided that I’m going to post today, and tomorrow as usual.

So for many today is a night to drink away and I thought what better than to include one tasty drink recipe. Now as I can’t stand the taste of alcohol, mine is a virgin drink.

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Thoughts Before Making:

I first made this drink back in 2012. My friends and I had decided to have an Oscar Party, and I claimed The Artist. As the film takes place in the 1920s, I thought what better way to do research than reread one of my favorite books?

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As I read it, I noticed they don’t really mention food all that much, it is mostly drinks. So I went back and looked into what was the most famous drink in that time, and what came out was the Martini. As none of us were 21, it of course had to be a virgin one.

I scoured the internet and found one I liked. It comes from Martenelli’s, the apple cider company.

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Makes 1 drink.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Martinelli’s Sparkling Apple Cider
  • 1/2 oz Granny Smith Apple Chopped
  • 2 oz Lemon-Lime Soda
  • 2 Dashes Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cups of Crushed Ice
  • Apple Slices
  • Martini glasses

Directions:

  1. Put cider, apple, soda, and cinnamon in a blender.
  2. Add ice.
  3. Blend.
  4. Pour into martini glasses
  5. Garnish with apple wedge and serve.

vector-clip-art-of-a-border-of-blue-coffee-cups-on-white-by-prawny-629cupsglassesdrinks

Appletini

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Thoughts After Making:

So as you can see I sadly did not have a martini glass. When I make the recipe again I promise to reshoot.

The drink was amazing! I just loved and had to make it again later. You know, writing this really makes me want one right now.

vector-clip-art-of-a-border-of-blue-coffee-cups-on-white-by-prawny-629cupsglassesdrinks

For more holiday recipes, go to Gorgonzola Cream Cheese Log

For more Oscar Party recipes, go to Gingerbread Men Cookie

For more recipes, go to Sand Tarts