The Dying Day

Written by Vaseem Khan
Review by Ann Northfield

Bombay around 1950. A famous scholar has gone missing leaving behind fiendish riddles and clues as to the whereabouts of himself and an extremely valuable manuscript which has also disappeared. The answer may stretch back to the recent war and connect to the long shadow of Nazism. Not only that, but a white woman has been found murdered, her Aunt Nussie is desperate for Persis to quit the force and get married, she has undefined feelings for a certain Englishman, some people disapprove her of being in the role in the first place, and others want her to be some kind of inspirational figurehead making speeches. Persis just wants to get on with the job.

The first novel in the series is Midnight at Malabar House, and I have already ordered it. This is a multi-layered, well-written historical novel which can also be read as a standalone. The references to colonialism and the struggle for independence are of topical interest and serve to bring the era to life effectively. The riddles are ingenious, the mystery is well-plotted, and the characters are well-drawn and interesting. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and will be getting the next when it arrives. Highly recommended.