Thursday, July 08, 2021

The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan

 
First Line: The dog watched her as she toiled up the steps.
 
When one of the world's great treasures-- a six-hundred-year-old copy of Dante's Divine Comedy-- as well as the manuscripts curator goes missing, the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society calls in Inspector Persis Wadia. What she finds is a trail of cryptic clues that lead right to the first body.

As the death toll mounts, it becomes obvious that someone will do anything to possess the missing manuscript, and that someone doesn't care how many people die until this goal is reached.

~
 
After enjoying the first book in this series, Midnight at Malabar House, I couldn't wait to get my hands on The Dying Day. All but one part of the mystery kept me guessing, and I really can't go into what part it is or my reasoning behind how I knew because it would be giving too much away. One thing is certain: this book has a little something for all mystery lovers. Clues, codes, and ciphers for traditional mystery lovers as well as a harder edge and post-war darkness. All good stuff.

Khan assembles an interesting cast of characters which include the missing man, John Healy, various people who want the Divine Comedy manuscript for their own reasons, the president of the Asiatic Society, Neve Forrester, Archie Blackfinch, an English forensic scientist who is attracted to Persis, and Zubin Dalal, the charming man from her past. 

But The Dying Day is very much Persis Wadia's show. As Bombay's first female inspector, she is always having to prove herself, and it comes as a complete shock to her that organizations for women's rights think she is a role model. Give a speech? Are they nuts? We get to see her persistence as well as her ability to decipher codes. Her dedication as well as her temper. And we get to glimpse inside that walled-off heart of hers.

The Dying Day is a wonderful look at 1950s Bombay (Mumbai) and Persis Wadia is more than capable of holding my attention through (hopefully) many more books in this series.

The Dying Day by Vaseem Khan
eISBN: 9781529341072
Hodder & Stoughton © 2021
eBook, 400 pages
 
Historical Mystery, #2 Persis Wadia mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Net Galley

15 comments:

  1. I'm really glad you're enjoying this series, Cathy. Khan is very talented, and skilled at evoking time and place. Even better that the story itself is engaging, and that it has solid characters. Little wonder you said it's got something every mystery lover.

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    1. It's even got a quote from my review of Midnight at Malabar House as a blurb inside the book. I'm still always shocked when I see this.

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  2. Sounds good. (sigh) I like to read about India, especially when the protagonists are women. And the historical books always teach us something in a country of so many cultures and with a strong independence movement.

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  3. I really loved this book. The history of post Independence, then the Inspector herself fighting against all the odds and the case - so unusual in Mumbhai. All beautifully put together.

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  4. Another series I have to try! I still haven't read Suhata Massey's Bombay Prince, and now you are tempting me with another Bombay mystery with a plot centered on The Divine Comedy!

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  5. Well, it's a big birthday for me next week. I think I owe myself some new books, and this one may eell be in the running.

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    1. Happy Birthday in advance-- and treat yourself!

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  6. Just curious, Cathy, as to whether or not this series is "realistic" about the Indian culture of those days or if it's more something written through today's eyes and sensitivities.

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    1. I think it's realistic. Persis isn't just fighting against gender bias. There's a lot shown about the effects of colonialism, how Gandhi and then Nehru were trying to guide India into independence, etc.

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  7. I will treat myself if I can straighten out the Amazon account.

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    1. That doesn't sound good. Hope everything works out.

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  8. Oy is my comment. Hope to work it out today as I have a list of books and chocolate treats to get.

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Thank you for taking the time to make a comment. I really appreciate it!