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Murder in Old Bombay

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  318 ratings  ·  249 reviews
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, Bombay is the center of British India. Nearby, Captain Jim Agnihotri lies in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to do but re-read
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published November 10th 2020 by Minotaur Books
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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  318 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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Jul 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Update: On my friend Farshana's review comments, the author mentioned that she is writing a sequel.

I was pleasantly surprised at just how much I enjoyed this historical crime novel, set in 1892 British India.  Thirty year old Captain Jim Agnihotri, son of an unknown English father and an Indian mother who left him with a church before she died, has been convalescing in a hospital, from injuries that occurred over a year ago. During the skirmish that killed all but a handful of his fellow soldie
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up for an entertaining romantic mystery set in 1890s India. Our dashing hero, Captain Jim Agnihotri, son of an English father and Indian mother, reads Sherlock Holmes mysteries during a 2 year hospital stay because of injuries in battle. He reads newspapers also. An article about what the paper calls "the crime of century' catches his eye. Two women have fallen to their death from a tower. The husband of 1 woman, and brother to the other, writes a letter to the paper, insisting ...more
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
I wish to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC of this grand, epic tale set in Bombay during the latter part of the 19th century. The book gives a vibrant picture of life, luxury and turmoil during the British Raj and the Princely States which were never fully a part of British India in colonial times. These semi-independent states had their own regional rulers and had tenuous alliances with England, but often resented British rule. The book vividly portrays divisions in class, cul ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Murder in Old Bombay was not on my radar prior to receiving it, and I cannot tell you how grateful I am to Minotaur for sending it along. I love historical mysteries, and this one is steeped in Indian culture, so I loved it all the more. It’s also based on a true story, so what’s not to love here? And the cover is stunning!

Murder in Old Bombay takes place in the late 1890s when India was a British colony. It’s a time when loyalties were understandably divided and uncertain. Captain Jim is a dete
Oct 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Our mystery story starts out with two suspected suicides. Two young women seem to jump from the university's tower in Bombay but all seems quite shady and devious. As Captain Jim Agnihotri reviews the case in his hospital room in Pooma, where he is recovering from wounds suffered on the northern frontier, he puzzles over the case and the pieces he puts together do not make any sense to him. He once again reverts to his fascination with his idol Sherlock Holmes and believes these deaths are more ...more
Oct 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I rarely indulge in historical mysteries for some reason. Not sure why, as I enjoy both mysteries and historical fiction. And I truly enjoyed this book. Nev March paints a complete picture of India in 1892, providing plenty of background to understand the time and place. I felt I learned a great deal all while enjoying a good mystery.
James Agnihotri is a mixed blood Indian-English retired Army Officer. He’s known as the ‘hero of Karachi’ for reasons we are initially not privy to. What we do kno
Katie B
As soon as I saw this book was a historical mystery taking place in 19th century Bombay, I knew I had to read it. I was hoping I would get the opportunity to learn a thing or two and the author really did a good job incorporating a little bit of history into the book. Unfortunately while the story starts off with promise, my interest level did start to dip at about a third of the way in. A neat premise but a few problems with the execution.

Captain Jim Agnihotri has been recovering in a military
Nothing beckons the imagination and the forthcoming thrill as a murder set in the panorama of Old Bombay.

It's 1892 and Captain Jim Agnihotri is recovering in a Bombay hospital. He has served honorably in the 14th Light Cavalry Regiment for twelve years on the Frontier. Jim has come to a crossroads and has decided to take on a job as a journalist for the Chronicle of India.

But as strangers cross paths, Jim is contacted by a wealthy businessman, Adi Framji, who is about to change Jim's life with a
Kate Baxter
This book is set in an exotic locale, is an historical fiction with mystery, has an added touch of adventure, and provides quite the story. If that weren't enough, it's a story based on a true one.

India - February, 1892
We're introduced to recovering soldier, Captain James Agnihotri, as he celebrates his 30th birthday in hospital. Although of mixed heritage, (Indian and presumably, English), he is quite well educated and well mannered. He's been reading the Chronicle (newspaper) and a bit of She
Farshana ❤️rainnbooks❤️
Many thanks to Net Galley, St. Martin’s Press, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

I am in such a happy place, thrilled beyond measure to be transported to the OLD BOMBAY of the 19th century. The author has captured the era so beautifully that one can hear the clock tower chiming the hour from the Rajabai tower.

The story is one of those rare treasure that has brilliantly interwoven a murder mystery with pure historical facts. The autho
Blaine DeSantis
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thank you St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for this free ARC in return for an honest review. For a first novel this is quite good! I really enjoy novels/mysteries that are set in foreign locales and here we travel back to late 19th Century India as the author takes us quite and journey to lead us to find the killer of tw0 young girls who are members of an elite family in Bombay. He introduces us to a gentleman who is recovering from both battle wounds and what appears to be PTSD, one Jim Agniho ...more
CYIReadBooks (Claire)
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
It is colonial India, 1892. Two women fall to their deaths from the university's clock tower. One of the women is the wife of Adi Framji, son of a prominent family in Bombay, India. The other woman is Adi's sister.

Intrigued by a news article about the two women's deaths, Captain Jim Agnihotri convinces the Framji family to hire him to further investigate the crime.

Murder in Old Bombay is an interesting read with cultural references and customs. That being said, the novel references a number of E
It’s 1892, and Captain Jim Agnihotri is recovering in a military hospital when he reads about a puzzling case: two women have fallen from a clock tower. The husband of one of the women is certain that they didn’t die by suicide, and hires Jim to investigate. Jim is a devotee of Sherlock Holmes, and tries to use his methods to solve the mystery. The setting of India during British rule is unique, and the author seems to have done quite a bit of research to create the novel’s unique ambiance. Reco ...more
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Based on real events, this novel was pure Sherlock Holmes with an Indian flair. Having been to modern India several times, it was a consummate pleasure to be transported to the late 19th Century . The dialogue so perfectly portrayed a prismatic view of this period in time. Romance, history and a perfectly plotted story engulfed all my senses and vividly conveyed to me the mysterious dimension of colonial India. At the beginning, Captain Jim Agnihotri,an Anglo-Indian,is recovering in a hospital c ...more
Literary Soirée
Oh my was this a wonderful read! Winner of Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, Nev March gives us a sumptuous setting (1892 Bombay), a discerning character whose idol is Holmes, and a perplexing double suicide that may be murder.

I luxuriated in the heat, the compelling locale and Dev’s deft narrative style. Sure to please any reader who digs exotic historical mysteries. Ah, India!

5 of 5 Stars

Pub Date 10 Nov 2020  

Thanks to the author, St. Martin's Press and NetGa
Blaine DeSantis
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for this free ARC in return for an honest review. For a first novel this is quite good! I really enjoy novels/mysteries that are set in foreign locales and here we travel back to late 19th Century India as the author takes us quite and journey to lead us to find the killer of tw0 young girls who are members of an elite family in Bombay. He introduces us to a gentleman who is recovering from both battle wounds and what appears to be PTSD, one Jim Agniho ...more
The Library Lady
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Interestingly when I got this I had just read The Widows of Malabar Hill and The Satapur Moonstone, which are set in Bombay (as it was then) some decades later. The family at the center is Parsee, just like the family in the Massey books.There's even a mention of India's first woman lawyer in both books.

I liked those books, but I LOVED this one.

I didn't expect to, as I found the initial prose a bit stiff. And I am still bothered with why Jim insists on referring to the woman whose death he ends
There are certain captivating words that will have me snatching up a debut book without seeing its cover or reading its blurb. I saw ‘murder’ and I saw ‘Old Bombay’ and it was a done deal. I love historical mysteries particularly when set in an exotic (to me) location.

Murder in Old Bombay takes place during India’s British-run colonial period. The main character was a blend of British and Indian due to his heritage of Indian mother and unknown British father. Captain Jim Agnihotri was reared in
Murder and more! Wow!

I don't know why I'm so enamored with historical fiction/mysteries set particularly in the Indian subcontinent. But I am totally hooked! Amidst the Indian struggles for Independence, the influence of the East India Company and the results of British rule, there's much to set as a background that beckons.
In this mystery, placed mostly in Bombay (now Mumbai) of 1892, an injured illegitimate Eurasian soldier formerly of the Fourteenth Light Dragoons, until recently stationed in
Set in the late 1800s in colonial India - in the city of Bombay, this is a rather expansive historical mystery involving the death of two young women in the Framji family and a bit of romance thrown in for good measure. The Framjis are Parsees (or Parsis), a community of people originally from Persia, and are a respected well-connected family at ease among the British social structure and part of Bombay’s influential business establishment. Two women of the family are dead - having apparently “f ...more
Dee Arr
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective, mystery
Author Nev March has captured the perfect atmosphere for this book. It has the feel of a book written around the turn of the twentieth century yet doesn’t carry the stodginess of some of the books of that era. Thus, the period comes alive while the writing is still as interesting as a present-day novel.

As the title indicates, there is a murder-mystery to be solved. Captain Jim Agnihotri, recently released from the hospital and the army, is intrigued by an article he read in the paper, talking ab
This story takes place in 1892 Bombay. The main character Jim is a half English, half Indian soldier, who is recovering from injury at the start of the book. He becomes interested in a newspaper story about two women who died falling from a clocktower. Although it was ruled suicide, Jim suspects murder, possibly because he is also a bit fan of Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

When he leaves the hospital and the service, Jim goes to investigate the deaths. There are quite a few Sherlock Holmes reference
Carol lowkey.bookish
Nov 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The setting of 19th Century Bombay was magical. Throughout the story, we get a sense of the history of the time period when Britain ruled parts of India. This is a time period and region that I didn’t know much about and I was captivated.

The main character, Captain Jim Agnihotri is a well written and fascinating character. The secret of his background and what happened to him at the end of his military career is slowly revealed to the reader. There are so many facets to Captain Jim that he is a
Karen KK
I received this from

"Captain Jim Agnihotri channels his idol, Sherlock Holmes. The case that catches his attention is being called the crime of the century."

A police procedural set in 1892, Bombay and based on a true story. The descriptions of the people and their environment shows a fascinating portrait of India.

Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book. The characters are very well written. I was impressed with the authors ability to write a male protagonist so convincingly. Captain Jim is a gallant and moral man. He cares deeply about the relationships he makes and is willing to put his life in danger to help them.
I frequently had to remind myself that the setting is in 1890s India. I am not familiar with that area of the world and my understanding of its history is very limited. The autho
Oct 06, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, mystery
(Thank you to the publisher for the free review copy.) Murder in Old Bombay read like a Victorian-Indian spliff on a Sherlock Holmes mystery. There's a lot going on here: racial tension and conflicts of identity, class distinctions, political intrigue, and a forbidden romance. The author plays up the Holmes angle, as the main character Jim Agnihotri - an Anglo-Indian of unknown parentage - is a big Sherlock fan. He also is processing PTSD from his war wounds. The charming Framji family has lost ...more
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This debut mystery novel, Murder in Old Bombay by Nev March is a visual and historical delight. The reader quickly gets swept into the mystery of what happened to two young women in a well off Parsee family. Murder in Old Bombay takes place over months so the reader is really able to get a look into this family’s life and learn so much about all the characters.

And even though there are a lot of characters, March’s descriptions of the various character’s physical beings and dispositions are done
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2020
I had my doubts about Murder in Old Bombay before I began reading it. Perhaps it would turn out to be one of those novels that romanticize colonialism—but perhaps it would turn out to be a really solid mystery that acknowledges the nature and costs of colonialism. Murder in Old Bombay turned out to be the second of those two, and I'm quite glad I took a chance on it. If you really want to understand the impact of colonialism in 19th Century India, you'll need more than a mystery novel, but Murde ...more
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Holy crap I loved it and absolutely need a sequel right now.

See the full review (with gifs!) on my perfectly cromulent blog here.

Bombay! 1892! It’s the British Raj! Captain Jim Agnihotri is stuck in a hospital in Poona, recovering from injuries he received in the northern frontier. There’s not much he can do except lie there and read newspapers. As he slowly recovers, Jim becomes fascinated with a case he keeps reading about - two young women, Bacha and Pilloo Framji, died after falling from t
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was able to read advanced copy of this book through Net Galley, and I believe this should be available in November of this year 2020.
This is a heroic portrayal of young man in the 1890's whose status within society was disadvantaged by being born of Indian woman and English man, brought up in a orphanage and then educated, trained in boxing and later serving as a brave Captain in the Dragoons.. He is introduced to a prominent Parsee family by way of their need for a brave/intelligent person to
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Nev March is the winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award.

Leaving a long career in business analysis in 2015 she returned to her passion, writing fiction. She is a member of MWA, the Hunterdon County Library Write-Group and volunteers with non-profit organizations.

A Parsee Zoroastrian herself, Nev lives with her husband and two sons in New Jersey. Murder in

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