The Mystery of the Parsee Lawyer
by Shrabani Basu
Arthur Conan Doyle, George Edalji and the Case of the Foreigner in the English Village
‘Basu’s account of how Arthur Conan Doyle set about trying to get a pardon for Edalji is in itself a fine piece of detective work.’ The Times ‘Compulsive reading.’ A.N. Wilson ‘Nails the nastiness of a peculiarly English scandal.’ The Spectator ‘A potent mix of racial injustice, Sherlockian mystery and Shrabani’s signature storytelling.’ Lucy Worsley 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 leaves many convinced that justice hasn’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.