Whatever happened to . . . Sujata Massey?

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ... ?

April 26, 2008|By [ Frederick N. Rasmussen]

Her five Rei Shimura mystery novels have brought her plenty of awards, including a highly esteemed Agatha for best first novel - The Salaryman's Wife - in 1998; an Edgar nomination for best paperback original for Zen Attitude, published in 1998; a 2000 Macavity Award for best novel, The Flower Master; and an Agatha nomination for best novel for The Bride's Kimono in 2000.

"Shimura Trouble just came out, and it'll probably be the last book in the Rei Shimura series," Massey said in an interview from her home the other day. "It's time to do something else and put the character on a honeymoon."

Massey, whose father was Indian and her mother German, has become less interested in Japan and its culture; she has lately been "getting in touch with India and its culture," she said.

To expand her cultural interest in India, Massey enrolled at the University of Minnesota, where she is studying Hindi.

Massey who writes two to three hours every day, is hard at work writing The Sleeping Dictionary.

"The title comes from the British colonial period, when the Brits called the women they were sleeping with `sleeping dictionaries.' It's a historical suspense novel set during the British Rajah [rule], and I don't want to say much more about it at this point," Massey said.

Massey, who left The Evening Sun in 1991, is planning a research trip to India this fall. "I wanted to learn Hindi so I could create accurate dialogue," she said.

Two children and a puppy "keep me very busy," she said.

"I miss Baltimore, its culture and my friends there," she said.

She and her old newspaper colleague, Laura Lippman, are friendly competitors when it comes to the mystery genre.

"I see Laura, and she's stayed with me a few times this year," Massey said.

Massey will be signing copies of Shimura Trouble at Mystery Loves Company, 1730 Fleet St., from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"The rest of the time I'll be haunting Roland Park, looking for people I know," she said with a laugh.

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