Women of Mystery: Sujata Massey

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WOMEN OF MYSTERY: A Compendium of Authors

SUJATA MASSEY

            As an author, I have only recently begun to read is the multiple award-winning Sujata Massey. Born in England of European and Indian ancestry, she grew up in the United States. After college and a several years in journalism, she moved to Japan to teach English and like any long residency in a different culture, the experience influenced her significantly. 

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            Ms. Massey began her fiction career with a bang with the creation of Rei Shimura, a bicultural woman. Although many reviewers use the term bi-racial in describing her, I avoid using the term ‘race’ as an anthropologist who recognizes race as a social construct, not a biological reality. The cultural divide, however, is a real one, and Rei straddles it as an amateur sleuth—always a fun mystery trope—by upending expected stereotypes as she ferrets out the motive and murderer. The Salaryman’s Wife was the first of eleven books before she transitioned to the India themed mysteries with which I am came to find her. 

            In the Widows of Malabar Hill, Massey again examines the intricacies of culture, religion and gender this time in 1900s Bombay with the protagonist Perveen, a female attorney trying to make sense of wealthy man’s will. Satapur Moonstone  is the second in the series and Bombay Prince is due to be released in early June. 

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