ABOUT THIS BOOK
PUBLICATION DATE: March 4, 2021
The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer: Arthur Conan Doyle, George Edalji and the Case of the Foreigner in the English Village
By (author) Shrabani Basu
‘Compulsive reading. As readable as any Sherlock Holmes story, this is punctiliously researched history. The bizarre story of Conan Doyle as detective and champion of justice has all the hallmarks of Shrabani Basu’s genius – her eye for the telling detail, her gentle wit combined with the killer instinct of a great journalist’ A.N. Wilson
In the village of Great Wyrley near Birmingham, someone is mutilating horses. Someone is also sending threatening letters to the vicarage, where the vicar, Shahpur Edalji, is a Parsi convert to Christianity and the first Indian to have a parish in England. His son George – quiet, socially awkward and the only boy at school with distinctly Indian features – grows up into a successful barrister, till he is improbably linked to and then prosecuted for the above crimes in a case that left many convinced that justice hadn’t been served.
When he is released early, his conviction still hangs over him. Having lost faith in the police and the legal system, George Edalji turns to the one man he believes can clear his name – the one whose novels he spent his time reading in prison, the creator of the world’s greatest detective. When he writes to Arthur Conan Doyle asking him to meet, Conan Doyle agrees.
From the author of Victoria and Abdul comes an eye-opening look at race and an unexpected friendship in the early days of the twentieth century, and the perils of being foreign in a country built on empire.
Shrabani Basu is a journalist and author. Her books include Victoria & Abdul: The True Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant, now a major motion picture, and For King and Another Country: Indian Soldiers on the Western Front, 1914-18. In 2010, she set up the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust and campaigned for a memorial for the WWII heroine, which was unveiled by Princess Anne in London in November 2012.