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Summary

India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Satara mountains southeast of Bombay, where the kingdom of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic accident. 

The kingdom is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and the maharaja's widow. The royal ladies are in dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's council is required - but the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. 

Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but knows she is breaking a rule by traveling alone as a woman into the remote countryside. And she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse?

©2019 Sujata Massey (P)2019 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Satapur Moonstone

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Historical Crime

The second in the Perveen Mistry series, a female Indian Solicitor practicing in 1920s Bombay.

Perveen is engaged by the Government to travel to a royal palace to understand the educational plans of the current and dowager Maharani’s for their young Maharaja. However, Perveen slowly gets pulled into the mystery of what may have happened to the Maharaja’s father and elder brother, both who have died in the previous 12 months.

Chocked full of great cultural and historical information, this is a hugely enjoyable read. Perveen is the only continuing character, which is a little bit of a shame for a series but she is a great lead. This is at the cosier end of my readying spectrum but I would heartedly recommend.

I listened to the audiobook and the narration was cracking.

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Narrator was such a disappointment

I loved Widows of Malabar Hill so thought I'd dive right into this one. I was not a huge fan of the narrator of the first book, having an American accent was a bit jarring, but at least she did believable voices and accents for the characters. The narrator for this book just holds the same monotonous tone throughout, which is just so sad when the book describes the different voices and accents and then none of it is there in the narration. I really hope there is a switch to someone more lively for the next book in the series.

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  • John S.
  • 16-11-19

Want to give it four stars

but that's just too generous ...

First of all, I don't believe the book stands alone. It really is necessary to read the first book to get a background on the main character's story. My memory for detail isn't the greatest with plots, but I seem to recollect that her husband was dying in the previous book, but in this one they are separated with no end in sight to the marriage? Not real keen on the purdah angle again. Frankly, as a male reader in 2019, the practice strikes me as mildly offensive. Book divided into three parts, so here's what to expect ...

First third has Perveen at the government lodge, introducing some of the players, especially the bachelor district officer (hint, hint). This section is almost 100% historical fiction, you'd have to try hard to get trace amounts of "mystery" from it. Second third has her at the palace with the women. Mostly historical fiction as well, although there's an incident partway through that Purveen realizes isn't "these things happen" but something far more serious. The "mystery" sort of begins here, though really kicks in at the end when she literally flees the place. Final third is entirely the mystery angle, one of the few times I've correctly guessed the villain in advance. Frankly, it felt tacked on to me, but I was fairly exhausted by that point.

Perveen is interesting, and I liked the district officer if he's to feature in future, so I'd read the next one. However, it needs more mystery and less setup than this one.

Audio narration was well done.

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  • Sunny Days
  • 23-05-19

PJ Mystery struggles to be smart enough

The plot is pretty good and the descriptions of landscape, Indian royals, and the complications of British rule add to the plot nicely. But in this book Perveen struggles and fails to follow very clear clues, making numerous mistakes and is apparently unable to act with ingenuity through court intrigue. The story is entertaining, but the serious mystery reader will often be disappointed.

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  • V. H. Shaw
  • 13-11-20

An unusual mystery

First of all, I love Sneha Mathan's reading. Her voice is mellow and soothing and it is a pleasure to listen to her tell the story. In fact I decided right after to listen to the Widows of Malabar Hill also by Sujata Massey, but the reader was awful and I had to return the book.

About the story, I love how Ms. Massey creates three dimensional characters that bring the story to life. A story that was a refreshingly different mystery. Palace intrigue where women are either secluded in a harem or - as in this case - widows and their attendants isolated by purdah, is always a hotbed of lies, gossip, murder (poison a favorite), envy, hatred, jealousy.....
Ms Massey also introduces us to a culture with different customs, diet, ways of dressing, servants, etc. But in the end, they are not that different from us. Take away the differences, and you have human beings with the same desires, needs, ambitions.
A wonderful book.

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  • Sharon Fowler
  • 23-07-19

A lush and wonderful book...

What a lush and wonderful book from Ms. Massey - with a perfect reading by Ms. Mathan. Heartfelt thanks, Ms. Massey, for creating and bringing these two richly drawn and engaging protagonists together - and in such an environment! And thank you so much for bringing them into my audio space, Ms. Mathan. I hope to be able to join Perveen Mistry, Esq. and Colin Sandringham for many more adventures. (The very hardest part is waiting for the next installment!) Thank you both so much! And happy writing, in the meantime ...

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  • T
  • 23-05-19

intelligent, compassionate characters

Thoroughly enjoy the series, waiting for book three. The characters are people that you care about. The issues are all too human. The narrator has a range and a tone that helps draw the listener into the story. This has become one of my favorite series.

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  • estela zaffaroni
  • 19-08-20

Excellent

The performance can make or break an audible. Sneha Mathan was absolutely superb! She really brought the characters to live.

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  • SP
  • 12-06-19

I can't wait for the next book in the series!

This was entertaining. I truly look forward to book three in the series. Perveen and her progressive views as she unravels mystery after mystery in British occupied India is wonderful.

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  • E Lorenzen
  • 13-09-21

This was a wonderful story.

The story is very interesting. I really enjoyed the good job of the narrator.

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  • Katherine
  • 01-09-21

Very interesting mystery!

I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this mystery and seeing it through the lens of the pre independent Indian culture. I actually learned a lot while trying to solve a murder! I recommend this book!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-21

Fascinating story beautifully narrated

Ms Massey has written another brilliant tale of
intrigue and Indian culture. Thoroughly enjoyed the narration