The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff

The Bandit Queens is a very funny, quirky story about a group of wives and a widow who somehow become a dysfunctional sisterhood in hopes of emulating their friend Geeta, the widow and kill their husbands who abuse them, because of their culture in India in which women are looked down upon, oppressed, abused and belittled by men. It sounds horrible and it is, but this is a story of how these women take matters into their own hands…and win!

Greeta lost her husband five years ago. Although everyone in her small village thinks she killed him, she really did not. She really just LOST him. He disappeared and never returned. End of story. But many of the other wives believe otherwise. They envy Greeta’s freedom. She and her husband never had children, so she is able to have a pretty relaxed lifestyle.

So, when one of these women asks her to please help her kill her husband, Greeta says what she always says. She didn’t kill her husband. But when the wife shows us with bruises all over her face, she finally relents and devises a plan to help the woman, but not kill the husband. That should be the wife’s job. But sometimes helping someone kill their husband can backfire on the assistant. And so now Greeta is being blackmailed.

While all this is happening, other women find out what Greeta has been up to and implore her to help them. Hilarity and danger ensue as another husband dies and they all try to cover up the killing and worst of all, Greeta’s own husband returns from the dead. Add a dog named Bandit, an unwanted husband who wants to take advantage of his wife and you get a powerful force of females who ultimately put their men in their place. Or grave. Or crematory.

The Bandit Queens with its snarky dialogue and lovable characters makes this story about death a comedy of errors. It’s a compilation of How to Get Away with Murder meets The Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight! Enjoyable from beginning to end.

Thank you #NetGalley #BallentineBooks #TheBanditQueens #PariniShroff for the advanced copy.

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