For many years now, the Spy has been eager to support Kathy Harig, the owner of Mystery Loves Company in Oxford. Located in the town’s old community bank, Mystery Loves Company is one of those very few independent booksellers that has been kept alive by an intensely loyal customer base for over three decades. And those book buyers are drawn to this very remote store by their love of both the mystery genre but also due to their respect and affection for Kathy’s remarkable curatorial commitment to good writers.
Kathy has been sending our way some of the best and most talented writers working today. That includes the likes of Laura Lippman and Christopher Tilghman, who agreed to Spy interviews when they found themselves visiting Oxford for book readings. And those conversations have become some of our most enjoyable conversations on books, writing, and the art of telling tall tales.
That tradition continues with our chat with author Sujata Massey before her signing event this coming Saturday. The critically-acclaimed writer, who has won international praise from the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, will be in town to launch her latest mystery entitled, The Bombay Prince.
Born in England to parents from India and Germany, Sujata nonetheless has had a very American upbringing, including growing up in Minnesota, attending Goucher College and Johns Hopkins, and finally finding an early career as a journalist with the Baltimore Evening Sun before her deep dive into writing mysteries.
The Evening Sun connection has turned out to be an interesting one since it dawned on us that many of the best mystery writers working today, including Lippman, David Simon, and Dan Fesperman, all worked together at the Sun at the same time before launching their careers. Go figure.
We asked Sujita about this common thread when we did a Zoom interview with her earlier this week. We also chatted about her latest series and heroine, Perveen Mistry, set British-ruled Bombay during the early 1920s. As the country’s first woman lawyer, Perveen finds herself in the middle of India’s epic march towards independence in a city renowned for ethnic divisions. And in her latest installment, Massey’s protagonist must solve a murder while the Empire’s Prince Edward makes a historic visit to Bombay in 1921.
The Spy talked about Sujitha’s unique journey as a mystery writer, the development of her Perveen Mistry character, and her planned visit to Mystery Loves Company on August 14th.
This video is approximately four minutes in length. For more information about Mystery Loves Company please go here.