Review: The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey

Title: The Satapur Moonstone {Purveen Mistry #2}

Author: Sujata Massey

Published: April 28th 2020, Allen & Unwin

Status: Read May 2020, courtesy Allen & Unwin

++++++

My Thoughts:

As the only female solicitor in India, Purveen Mistry is uniquely placed to arbitrate a dispute between the mother and grandmother of the Satapur crown prince in The Satapur Moonstone, the second book in Sujata Massey’s engaging historical mystery series.

Temporarily acting as an agent of the British Raj, Purveen is tasked with traveling to the remote Satara mountains, southeast of Bombay, to make recommendations for the maharaja-to-be’s educational future. Purveen hopes to broker peace between the Dowager Maharani who insists that her grandson is to be educated within the palace as his brother and father were before him, and the prince’s mother who wants him to be educated in England, but the situation becomes more complicated when Maharani Mirabai confides she is concerned for her son’s safety.

Purveen has a knack for finding herself in the middle of intrigue, and in The Satapur Moonstone she quickly comes to agree that the life of the crown prince is at risk from someone in the palace. The mystery itself works well, and while it does build to an intense conclusion where Purveen finds her own life is at risk, I felt the pacing was off, with a very slow start.

Purveen is definitely out of her comfort zone – in the middle of the jungle, in the company of the local agent, Colin Sandringham, and among the acrimonious atmosphere of the palace – though she generally proves to be as dutiful and capable as ever, and I did think that perhaps at times she made some decisions that weren’t really in character. I found her unexpected connection with Colin to be quite intriguing and I’ll be interested to see if Massey builds on that in subsequent books.

As in A Murder at Malabar Hill, I found the social, political and cultural details of life in 1920’s India fascinating. The setting is a major strength of the novel, with the Satapur palace, made up of old and new and divided between the Maharini’s, reflecting the struggle of India between tradition and modernity, under British rule.

I enjoyed The Satapur Moonstone as much as I did Massey’s first book. Purveen is an appealing character, and the unique period and culture enrich the well-crafted storytelling. I hope the series continues.

++++++

Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$29.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Indiebound

 

Also reviewed at Book’d Out by Sujata Massey

 

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Davida Chazan
    May 08, 2020 @ 16:41:47

    Sounds like you’ve found a series you can really enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Mystica
    May 08, 2020 @ 17:58:17

    This sounds a really intriguing read. I hope I can track it down someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. CindyGale
    May 08, 2020 @ 20:31:50

    I am glad that you enjoyed this and have found a series to read!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  4. Beth F
    May 09, 2020 @ 00:05:28

    Oh…. I forgot about this series. I need to make a note to try it. Sounds really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  5. Helen Murdoch
    May 09, 2020 @ 12:57:59

    I like the idea of a mystery set in India. I realize that my thrillers and mysteries are all set in the US or the UK.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  6. 1girl2manybooks
    May 10, 2020 @ 11:31:05

    I started this one the other day but then got distracted by another book! I really enjoyed the first one, so I’ll be picking it up again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out
  8. Laura Pond
    May 12, 2020 @ 22:53:20

    I love the setting of this series too. However, I didn’t enjoy this book as much as you did.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  9. Tracey (Carpe Librum)
    May 13, 2020 @ 00:02:37

    I have this one and the first one on my (unsolicited) TBR stack but I’m worried the 1920s setting in India isn’t for me. Do you think I’d like it? Great review by the way.

    Like

    Reply

  10. Cathy
    May 15, 2020 @ 06:23:00

    I’ve really been enjoying this series and look forward to the next book. Massey has been to my favorite local bookshop, and she’s very interesting to listen to.

    India seems to be coming into its own as a setting for mysteries. Tarquin Hall’s Vish Puri series is wonderful as is Vaseem Khan’s Baby Ganesh Agency mysteries. Then there’s Abir Mukherjee’s historical series in Calcutta, and I recently learned Vaseem Khan has a new historical series set in Mumbai that features a female police officer.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

I want to know what you think! Your comments are appreciated.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s