After five novels and two novellas in the Baby Ganesh Agency series, I am excited to reveal that my new book is a historical crime novel set in 1950 in India. It’s called MIDNIGHT AT MALABAR HOUSE and introduces Inspector Persis Wadia of the Bombay Police, India’s first female police detective. The period is incredibly intriguing. It’s just after Indian Independence, the horrors of Partition and the assassination of Gandhi. Social and political turmoil is rife in the country. Yet Bombay remains cosmopolitan, with thousands of foreigners still in the city.
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, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift.
And 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 lap.
As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world’s largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more 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.