Sujata Massey is an American novelist. She was born in 1964 in England to an Indian father and a German mother. Her family relocated to the USA when Sujata was five.

After graduating from John Hopkins University, she worked for the Baltimore Evening Sun. In 1991, she moved to Japan, where she worked as an English teacher. She returned to the USA after two years. In 1997, she published her first book, The Salaryman’s Wife, kick-starting her writing career. The book eventually evolved into an eleven-book series.

Massey specializes in the mystery and historical fiction genres. Her protagonists are always women. Massey’s first Perveen Mistry mystery novel, The Widows of Malabar Hills, was published in 2019. She is also the recipient of numerous prizes and accolades.


The Bombay Prince is the third book in the Perveen Mistry series. The mystery novel is set in the backdrop of the visit of the Prince of Wales to India in 1921.

A young Parsi college student, Freny Cuttingmaster, seeks legal advice from Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female lawyer. A few days later, during the procession of the Prince of Wales, Cuttingmaster mysteriously falls from her college balcony and dies. No one knows whether it was an accident, a suicide, or a murder. The ensuing riots only add to the chaos.

Perveen vows to bring justice to the deceased Freny and her devastated family. Using her investigative skills, Perveen sets out to solve the mystery. She not only has to navigate a growing list of suspects, but also fight the social prejudices that haunt a working woman. All hell breaks loose when her family’s reputation is threatened.


True to its genre, The Bombay Prince is a perfect murder mystery with a perfect plot line and well-designed characters.

The author has carefully crafted Perveen Mistry’s character. In this third book, Mistry is now an established criminal lawyer. Her character is fairly intriguing. Her story is equally relevant to the plot, building the suspense for the following book.

Massey has done a commendable job describing the charm of pre-Independence Bombay. This portrayal is bound to take many a reader down the memory lane. The author’s exquisite use of heritage buildings in certain scenes makes the story relatable. Massey has also provided some breathtaking insights into Parsi customs, culture and ceremonies. She has successfully captured the mood of different sections of the Indian society upon the visit of the Prince of Wales.

All in all, The Bombay Prince has all the elements of a riveting mystery novel.


On a few instances, the narration refers to some events that took place over the previous books. This can easily confuse readers who are new to the series.


Perveen’s day had been the opposite of lucky. A tragedy had occurred. But this chance meeting would give her a moment to think of something else.

Perveen had grown up with servants of many religions, but they were all Indians. Having Europeans and British catering to her felt odd. She could not help wondering, did a European resent being in service to an India?


Ameya Score:

Ameya would wholeheartedly recommend not just The Bombay Prince, but also all the other books in this gripping series. This book, in particular, has all the qualities to merit a place in every reader’s all-time favorite list.

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Anusuya book review writer

A proverbial bookworm, Anusuya is always hungry for new stories and adventures.