A priceless manuscript. A missing scholar. A trail of riddles.
For over a century, one of the world's great treasures, a six-hundred-year-old copy of Dante’s The Divine Comedy, has been safely housed at Bombay’s Asiatic Society. But when it vanishes, together with the man charged with its care, British scholar and war hero, John Healy, the case lands on Inspector Persis Wadia’s desk.
Uncovering a series of complex riddles written in verse, Persis – together with English forensic scientist Archie Blackfinch – is soon on the trail. But then they discover the first body.
As the death toll mounts it becomes evident that someone else is also pursuing this priceless artefact and will stop at nothing to possess it…
Harking back to an era of darkness, this second thriller in the Malabar House series pits Persis, once again, against her peers, a changing India, and an evil of limitless intent.
Gripping, immersive, and full of Vaseem Khan’s trademark wit, this is historical fiction at its finest. Book one in this series, Midnight at Malabar House, was shortlisted for the CWA Sapere Books Historical Dagger and is an international ebook bestseller.
Praise from readers
“A fantastic book. Khan’s writing really does appeal to the reader’s senses and invokes the sights, sounds, and smells of post-war, post-independence, post-partition India and I love that aspect of the novels. It really is a page turner! I cannot wait for the third instalment.”
“I never wanted to put the book down. I think it’s a tour de force that gets everything right.”
“Ingenious, delightful and elegant mystery from the very talented pen of Vaseem Khan. Steeped in rich historical detail, wonderfully drawn characters, an intricate and cleverly compiled plot and much wry humour this is simply a joy. It really doesn’t get much better.”
“5 stars! A clever treasure hunt with a trail of clues set in witty riddles and puzzles.”
“Between the tough detective at the core of the store, the streets of Bombay in which it played out, and the numerous unanticipated turns and twists of the plot, this made for a great blend of historical fiction and mystery.”
“Stolen priceless manuscripts! Missing scholars! Riddles! Murder! Nazis! It’s all happening for Persis Wadia, India’s only woman police detective inspector… I really enjoyed this.”
“I was totally engrossed in this novel from start to finish! A deliciously good literary treasure hunt and mystery.”
“The Da Vinci Code meets post-Independence India. I’d be surprised if I read a better book this year.” — M. W. Craven
“This is a crime novel for everyone; for those who love traditional mysteries there are clues, codes and ciphers, but it also had a harder edge and a post-war darkness. Brilliant.” — Ann Cleeves