Sujata Massey: The Mistress of Bhatia House in conversation with Cara Black


July 18, 2023



We are incredibly excited to host Sujata Massey, the bestselling author of The Widows of Malabar Hill to celebrate her latest book The Mistress of Bhatia House. She'll be in conversation with Cara Black, author of 20 Aimee Leduc mysteries and a new series featuring Kate Rees, an American markswoman. The Mistress of Bhatia House is Sujata Massey's fourth mystery following Perveen Mistry, an Oxford-educated lawyer who represents clients caught up in the complexities and cruelties of life under British rule in 1922 Bombay.


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 without endangering her own family?


SUJATA MASSEY was born in England to parents from India and Germany, grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lives in Baltimore, Maryland. She was a features reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun before becoming a full-time novelist. The first Perveen Mistry novel, The Widows of Malabar Hill, was an international bestseller and won the Agatha, Macavity, and Mary Higgins Clark Awards. Visit her website at







CARA BLACK is the author of twenty books in the New York Times bestselling Aimée Leduc series and the national bestseller Three Hours in Paris. She has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, and her books have been translated into German, Norwegian, Japanese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Hebrew. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and visits Paris frequently.

Event date: 
Tuesday, July 18, 2023 - 7:00pm
The Mistress of Bhatia House (A Perveen Mistry Novel #4) By Sujata Massey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641293297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - July 11th, 2023

The Bombay Prince (A Perveen Mistry Novel #3) By Sujata Massey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641293501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - May 17th, 2022

The Satapur Moonstone (A Perveen Mistry Novel) By Sujata Massey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781641291316
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - March 10th, 2020

The Widows of Malabar Hill (A Perveen Mistry Novel #1) By Sujata Massey Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616959760
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soho Crime - November 20th, 2018