January 10th, 2020


My tweets

  • Thu, 12:33: RT @LaResnick: I'm very sad to announce that my dad died very early today, January 10, 2020, a little after midnight. He was diagnosed in…
  • Thu, 12:56: The woman saving Georgia’s lost cheeses https://t.co/PJoPmerBUt Story of the day.
  • Thu, 18:09: Two Being Human novels: Chasers, by Mark Michalowski and Bad Blood, by James Goss https://t.co/wGSueSdfT7
  • Thu, 19:04: RT @cstross: My first hard disk, a 10Mb device, cost £370 in 1986. My most recent is an SSD, a 2Tb device (200,000 times the capacity), th…
  • Thu, 22:46: Just in case anyone thought that the “let’s move forward together” narrative is unproblematic... https://t.co/rcTDOpMTRJ
  • Thu, 22:52: RT @plantingforbees: Stormont: Draft powersharing agreement tabled to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland | UK News | Sky News…
  • Fri, 06:54: RT @SophieLong01: Not even thirty days between Tory majority and a deal at Stormont. Lesson to be learnt.
  • Fri, 08:13: RT @PhilipPullman: Of course Meghan Markle is attacked by the British press because she's black, and of course Prince Harry is right to def…
  • Fri, 08:35: RT @mickfealty: Good to see @DUPleader selling this deal. We need to put this culture war to bed, and the best unionism can do is stop taki…
  • Fri, 10:45: RT @afranciswrites: I want to address the false narrative that authors refused to work with Suzan Tisdale only because they feared backlash…

The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey

Second paragraph of third chapter:
"Splendid!" Perveen clapped. Alice was just the remedy she needed for her dark mood.
First in a series of mystery novels set in 1920s Bombay, featuring a Parsi woman lawyer as the protagonist. I wasn't hugely impressed. The actual murder doesn't happen until almost half way into the book, and I was thoroughly unconvinced by both the investigation and the resolution. Our heroine is able to triumph partly due to rather improbable violations of procedure by the police. There's also an intrusive backstory about her brief marriage to a chap from Calcutta. (And at the end we are told that the murderer is being let off with a pretty light sentence, which is incomprehensible.)

The author has clearly done her research into Bombay of the period, and wears it very heavily. There's an awful lot of Hind-splaining to the reader - the phrase "as you know, Perveen" comes perilously close to being used more than once, and Mistry seems to be unaware that Urdu and Hindi are so close to each other than some linguists consider them the same language (and the divergence between them was even less in the 1920s than it is now).

So I finished it, but don't recommend it particularly. If you want to, you can get it here.

This was my top unread book by a writer of colour. Probably will go for The Idea of Justice, by Amartya Sen, next, but there are alternatives to hand as well.