On 12 January 1925, twenty-five-year-old Abdul Kader Bawla, one of the richest men in colonial Bombay and a corporator in the Bombay Municipal Corporation, was murdered on Malabar Hill while out for an evening drive with his mistress, Mumtaz Begum. The objective of the attack was to abduct Mumtaz, who was saved by the appearance of four British army officers who fended off the attackers with nothing more than a golf club.
Investigations by the Bombay police revealed a link between the crime and the princely state of Indore. The subsequent controversy led to the abdication of Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar III, the ruler of Indore, to avoid an inquiry. A century later, the sensational murder case continues to be a milestone in the history of the Mumbai police. With a narrative built around a beautiful courtesan, a wealthy heir, a spurned king, an upright police officer and a sensational murder, this book is a masterful chronicle of early twentieth-century colonial India.