Sujata Massey

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Sujata Massey
Sujata Massey 1274864.jpg
Born 1964
Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality British and American
Education Johns Hopkins University (BA)
Genre Mystery

Sujata Massey is a British-American mystery writer and historical fiction novelist best known for her Rei Shimura mystery series. Her debut novel, The Salaryman's Wife, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 1997.[1] In 2000, her novel The Flower Master, won the Macavity Award for Best Mystery Novel.[2]


Massey was born in 1964 in Sussex, England who emigrated with her family to the United States at the age of 5. She grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota and Baltimore, Maryland,[3] where she attended Johns Hopkins University, graduating in 1986.


Massey worked as a features reporter at the Baltimore Evening Sun.[4] However, she is best known for her series featuring Rei Shimura, a Californian born to a Japanese father and an American mother. Many of her novels are set in Japan and in Washington, D.C. In 2014, Massey published a new Rei Shimura book set in post-tsunami Japan entitled The Kizuna Coast.

In 2013, Massey debuted a new historical suspense series called The Daughters of Bengal. The first book in the series is The Sleeping Dictionary and is set in British India between 1930 and 1947. In this novel, a 10-year-old peasant girl, Pom, orphaned by a cyclone, undertakes an odyssey through colonial Bengal in order to survive. With literacy skills, social intelligence and charm, she moves from servitude at a girls' boarding school in Midnapore to a pleasure house in Kharagpur, eventually reaching Calcutta where she becomes involved in the Indian freedom movement during World War II. Other novels in the Daughters of Bengal historical fiction series will feature Pom's descendants in newly independent India.

Massey continues to explore early 20th century India with The Perveen Mistry Investigations, a new mystery series set in historical 1920s Bombay. The debut title, The Widows of Malabar Hill, was published by Soho Crime in January 2018.[5][6][7][8] It centers on the crime-solving experiences of Bombay's first female lawyer, Perveen Mistry — a character partially based on the real life trailblazer Cornelia Sorabji.[9]

The Perveen Mistry Investigations[edit]

The Rei Shimura novels[edit]

  • The Salaryman's Wife (1997)
  • Zen Attitude (1998)
  • The Flower Master (1999)
  • The Floating Girl (2000)
  • The Bride's Kimono (2001)
  • The Samurai's Daughter (2003)
  • The Pearl Diver (2004)
  • The Typhoon Lover New York: Harper, 2005. ISBN 9780060765125, OCLC 637348032
  • Girl in a Box (2006)
  • Shimura Trouble London: Severn House, 2008. ISBN 9781847510549, OCLC 809416203
  • The Kizuna Coast (December 2014)

The Daughters of Bengal Series[edit]


  1. ^ "AGATHA AWARDS BEST FIRST NOVELS | Cozy Mystery List". Retrieved 2018-05-12. 
  2. ^ "Macavity Awards". Wikipedia. 2018-05-11. 
  3. ^ "Bio :: Sujata Massey". Retrieved 2018-05-12. 
  4. ^ page 159, Great Women Mystery Writers, 2nd Ed. by Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, 2007, publ. Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33428-5
  5. ^ Woods, Paula L. "'The Widows of Malabar Hill' is a thrilling mystery set in a changing India, a century ago". Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Sujata Massey's Sister Widows". Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  7. ^ "'Widows of Malabar Hill' kicks off former Minnesotan's new mystery series set in India". Twin Cities. 2018-01-07. Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  8. ^ "Review: Sujata Massey's The Widows of Malabar Hill is wholly satisfying". Retrieved 2018-01-31. 
  9. ^ "A Parsi lawyer's tale". 2018-03-25. Retrieved 2018-05-12.  External link in |work= (help)

External links[edit]