'The leading character is the deftly drawn Persis Wadia, the country's first female detective. She's a wonderful creation and this is a hugely enjoyable book' Ann Cleeves
'This is historical crime fiction at its best - a compelling mix of social insight and complex plotting with a thoroughly engaging heroine. A highly promising new series' Mail on Sunday
Bombay, New Year's Eve, 1949
As India celebrates the arrival of a momentous new decade, Inspector Persis Wadia stands vigil in the basement of Malabar House, home to the city's most unwanted unit of police officers. Six months after joining the force she remains India's first female police detective, mistrusted, sidelined and now consigned to the midnight shift.
And so, when the phone rings to report the murder of prominent English diplomat Sir James Herriot, the country's most sensational case falls into her lap.
As 1950 dawns and India prepares to become the world's largest republic, Persis, accompanied by Scotland Yard criminalist Archie Blackfinch, finds herself investigating a case that is becoming more political by the second. Navigating a country and society in turmoil, Persis, smart, stubborn and untested in the crucible of male hostility that surrounds her, must find a way to solve the murder - whatever the cost.
Midnight at Malabar House is a first-rate murder mystery set in a post-partition India. In Persis Wadia, India's first female police detective, and Archie Blackfinch, a Scotland Yard forensics expert, Vaseem Khan has created a partnership that should hopefully run and run. Clever, thrilling, this is a novel to be savoured ― William Ryan
Midnight at Malabar House is an exciting departure for Vaseem Khan, a history-mystery with a marvellous new detective duo. The blend of classic tropes - including a maverick cop, a mysterious cipher, and a victim who gave plenty of people reasons to commit murder - and a wonderfully evoked setting in post-Partition India makes for a highly entertaining and informative read ― Martin Edwards
Outstanding. I've always been a fan of Vaseem Khan but this latest offering is something special and something new. Vaseem is totally at the height of his powers with this novel which combines a flair for history, time and place with a genius for mystery. A novel for our times ― Imran Mahmood
A compelling mystery set in a fascinating period in India's tumultuous history. Inspector Persis Wadia, the India's first female detective, is gutsy, stubborn and ideally suited to navigate both the complexities of a murder in Bombay's high society and the politics of a police force that want to see her fail. A stunning start to brand new series from one of the UK's finest writers ― M.W. Craven
Vaseem Khan's new book is an absolute treat from start to finish. A satisfying murder mystery and a fascinating evocation of India just after Partition, it also introduces the clever, endearing (and somewhat stubborn) Detective Persis Wadia to the world. I'm already looking forward to her next case ― Antonia Hodgson
The stabbing of an English gentleman at a New Year's Eve party in the early hours of 1950 sounds like a Golden Age murder mystery, and Murder at Malabar House has all the suspects, twists and red herrings that we'd expect. But this is India, just after partition, and the leading character is the deftly drawn Persis Wadia, the country's first female detective. She's a wonderful creation and this is a hugely enjoyable book ― Ann Cleeves
There are plentiful fascinating characters ― Sunday Times Crime Club
This is historical crime fiction at its best - a compelling mix of social insight and complex plotting with a thoroughly engaging heroine. A highly promising new series ― Mail on Sunday
A beautifully complex plot and an Agatha Christie-ish denouement make for a thoroughly satisfying read, and a burning desire to see what's next for Persis ― Observer
This is historical crime fiction at its sharpest, set on the brink of independence and during a dramatic period of the subcontinent's history ― The Sunday Times
A cracking mystery set in a fascinating historical era ― Elly Griffiths
Stylish, thrilling and masterfully told ― Chris Whitaker
Khan's distinctive new protagonist is clearly here to stay ― Financial Times
A gripping tale ― CrimeSquad.com
Delightful, joyous ― Shots Magazine
It is a beautifully written exploration of Wadia's struggle to be accepted as a detective in a male-dominated culture, while navigating a country in turmoil. A thrilling murder mystery, it also wonderfully evokes a turbulent period of India's history ― Daily Express
It is the absolute answer to any doom or gloom we might be feeling. ― The Bookseller Paperback Preview
The first in an exciting new historical crime series from the bestselling author of the Baby Ganesh Agency books.
About the Author
Vaseem Khan is the author of two crime series set in India: the Baby Ganesh Agency series, and the Malabar House historical crime novels. His first book, The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra, was a Times bestseller and has been translated into 15 languages.
In 2018, he was awarded the Eastern Eye Arts, Culture and Theatre Award for Literature. Vaseem was born in Newham, but spent a decade working in India as a management consultant.