Captain Jim Agnihotri

Created by Nev March

It’s 1892, and Anglo-Indian Sherlock Holmes fan CAPTAIN JIM AGNIHOTRI of the British Army’s 14th Light Cavalry Regiment, is recovering from his wounds from a “skirmish on the wild northern frontier” in a Bombay’s Poona military hospital when we meet him in the Edgar-nominated Murder in Bombay (2020), the kick-off book in a promising new series by Nev March.

He’s bored as hell, until he comes across a story in the paper of two young women who fell to their deaths–or were pushed–from a university clock tower. Intrigued, and realizing his days in the military are over, he approaches Adi Framji, the grieving husband of one of the women (and the brother of the other), offering to help, and is promptly hired to look into it.

Whether the good captain pursues his new-found occupation or not, this was a hell of a book. Based on true events, March’s prose is sharp and her research fascinating. Agnihotri is an intriguing and compassionate character, an honorable man and a dogged investigator, caught up in a cultural, racial and classist crossfire he doesn’t always understand, torn between his duties as a British officer and his sympathies for the “blighters.”

By the sequel, Peril at the Exposition (2022), set in 1893, Jim and his new bride, Lady Diana Framji (yes, the sister of his first client) have relocated to Boston, fleeing the oppressive social rules of British-occupied India (like Boston in 1893 will be better for a mixed race couple?). Still, it’s a whole new world, and Jim has landed a job at the Dupree Agency, while Diana, under her husband’s tutelage, is learning the detection ropes.


New Jersey’s Nev March left a long career in business analysis in 2015 to pursue her one true love: writing fiction. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Hunterdon County Library Write-Group. A Parsee Zoroastrian herself, Murder in Old Bombay, her debut novel, won the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, and was an Edgar finalist.


  • “Bravo to Nev March for capturing late 19th century Indian history so beautifully in Murder in Old Bombay. Compelling characters, striking settings and the intricacies of social stratification shine in this talented author’s hands. I eagerly await more historic Bombay adventures narrated by sharp-eyed, open-hearted Jim Agnihotri.”
    — Sujata Massey
  • “This award-winning lyrical narrative is a delightful multilayered treat.”
    — India Currents
  • “March fills the story with finely developed characters, particularly Agnihotri, who proves a zealous investigator. She also presents an authentic view of India under British rule while exploring the challenges faced by a character of mixed race. The heartfelt ending leaves plenty of room for a sequel.”
    — Publishers Weekly on Murder in Old Bombay


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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