This charming novel is the righteous winner of the Minotaur/MWA First Crime novel prize. Set in 1892 Bombay during the British Raj, this novel focuses on Captain Jim Agnihotri, who has left the military after a long stint in the hospital. The book has an excellent opening line: “I turned thirty in hospital…with little to read but newspapers.”
In said newspapers, Captain Jim reads the story of two Parsee women who plunged to their deaths from a University clock tower. One was a young bride, one, her younger sister in law. When Jim reads a plea in letter form in the newspaper from the young widower, he is sure that the details of the crime don’t add up. The husband pleads that this was not a suicide but the recently concluded trial leaves this stain and uncertainty on the family.