Nev March: Author of Historical Mysteries

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An unsolved murder in colonial Bombay during the British Raj sets a young detective on a surprising path


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Murder in Old Bombay (On-sale Nov. 2020)

In 19th century Bombay, Captain Jim Agnihotri channels his idol, Sherlock Holmes, in Nev March’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning debut. 

In 1892 colonial India, Captain Jim is recovering from wounds received in a skirmish on the northern frontier. His long, dull months in hospital are relieved only by newspapers, and rereading tales of that new pulp sensation, Sherlock Holmes. The Bombay papers are following the deaths of two young ladies who plunged from its tallest clock tower. Did they jump? Or were they pushed?

When the widower of one of the victims writes to the papers insisting that his wife and sister did not commit suicide, Captain Jim approaches him, and is hired to investigate.

In a land of divided loyalties, asking questions is dangerous. As his findings lead from revelation to revelation, Captain Jim’s investigation stirs the shadows that haunt this family of well-to-do Parsee merchants. And when lively Lady Diana Framji joins the hunt for her sisters’ attackers, Captain Jim’s heart isn’t safe, either.

Based on a true story and set in vibrant British colonial India, Murder in Old Bombay brings to life the glamour and the tumult of the time. It earned author Nev March the First Crime Novel Award from the Mystery Writers of America and Minotaur Books. 

    In the late evening we climbed a rise and settled on a hillside overlooking Simla. I watched the setting sun touch purple clouds with silver. A peachy light bathed the bedraggled children, silent in their weariness. Below us, gaslights appeared, flickering, while stars filled the carpet of sky. 

     I remembered Diana’s peach dress, her smile, the turn of her head in the twilight. I’d lost track of the days, and didn’t even know if she was here, in Simla. Adi would be desperate with worry, since I had not cabled him from Lahore. Well, tomorrow would tell.

Murder in Old Bombay