book cover of Midnight at Malabar House
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Midnight at Malabar House

(2020)
(The first book in the Malabar House series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
2022 Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year (shortlist)
2021 CWA Historical Dagger

*** WINNER OF THE CWA SAPERE BOOKS HISTORICAL DAGGER 2021 ***

'The leading character is the deftly drawn Persis Wadia, the country's first female detective. She's a wonderful creation and this is a hugely enjoyable book' ANN CLEEVES

'This is historical crime fiction at its best - a compelling mix of social insight and complex plotting with a thoroughly engaging heroine. A highly promising new series'Mail on Sunday

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.

Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"The leading character is the deftly drawn Persis Wadia, the country's first female detective. She's a wonderful creation and this is a hugely enjoyable book." - Ann Cleeves

"A compelling mystery set in a fascinating period in India's tumultuous history. Inspector Persis Wadia, the India's first female detective, is gutsy, stubborn and ideally suited to navigate both the complexities of a murder in Bombay's high society and the politics of a police force that want to see her fail. A stunning start to brand new series from one of the UK's finest writers." - M W Craven

"Midnight at Malabar House is an exciting departure for Vaseem Khan, a history-mystery with a marvellous new detective duo. The blend of classic tropes - including a maverick cop, a mysterious cipher, and a victim who gave plenty of people reasons to commit murder - and a wonderfully evoked setting in post-Partition India makes for a highly entertaining and informative read." - Martin Edwards

"Vaseem Khan's new book is an absolute treat from start to finish. A satisfying murder mystery and a fascinating evocation of India just after Partition, it also introduces the clever, endearing (and somewhat stubborn) Detective Persis Wadia to the world. I'm already looking forward to her next case." - Antonia Hodgson

"Outstanding. I've always been a fan of Vaseem Khan but this latest offering is something special and something new. Vaseem is totally at the height of his powers with this novel which combines a flair for history, time and place with a genius for mystery. A novel for our times." - Imran Mahmood

"Midnight at Malabar House is a first-rate murder mystery set in a post-partition India. In Persis Wadia, India's first female police detective, and Archie Blackfinch, a Scotland Yard forensics expert, Vaseem Khan has created a partnership that should hopefully run and run. Clever, thrilling, this is a novel to be savoured." - William Ryan


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