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Nev March Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Murder in Old Bombay (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Nev March
Nev March’s debut novel, called “Murder in Old Bombay”, was released in the year 2020. Her work is from the historical mystery genre. The novel won the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award.

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

To work through writer’s block, she has to “feed the engine”. For taking breaks, she will take hikes or walks to new state parks, read something new, bake some sourdough bread, or watch a classic movie. Sometimes she will just to journal more in order to figure out what has gotten tangled up in her head. At other times she needs to just ‘zoom out’ and take another look at her outline. She may then find something that will make a nice article, sometimes working on non-fiction pieces to break up the pattern and hit the refresh button on her writing brain.

She wrote the first draft of “Murder in Old Bombay” in four months, during days where eating felt like a waste of time, and she would sleep with a scene repeating in her mind. The book transformed, she moved important scenes from narration to action, added a first chapter, and altered the ending. It took her a year to edit and revise, and then six months to land her wonderful agent, Jill.

Submitting the novel MWA’s contest in December of 2018 is what won her the First Crime Award, which came with a contract with Macmillan.

She had the first chapters and the conclusion worked out before writing and just the vaguest idea of how she could tie the two together. The middle part was hijacked by her main character Jim. She took a huge leap of faith and wrote it, and wound up with a huge manuscript of 138,000 words. Trimming it down to 115,000 words was tough for her to do. Her critique partners helped her out with that.

Nev was prompted to write the novel from a story she heard as a child. Two Parsi girls died in the middle of one busy University, by falling from the university clock tower during the day. Adults would use this cautionary story to warn girls of the dangers present in a city, even during the day.

Through researching the story, she found out that the husband of one of these victims was Ardeshir Godrej, who wound up becoming a serial entrepreneur and inventor. At the time his sister and wife died, he was just 22. He never remmarried, so she believed he had to have been deeply in love with his young wife. It made her wonder how could a young guy recover from a blow like this? His bio shows how remarkable he was later in life, so she speculated about him hiring a detective to solve this mystery? This got her going.

The novel has a strong feminist message, since it is based off the original tragedy. But the novel became a much bigger canvas than she had originally planned on.

The idea for the sequel to “Murder in Old Bombay” came to her when she attended the Parliament of World Religions in the year 2018, as a delegate of the tiny Zoroastrian religion. She learned that the first POWR was held during the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. At the time, the US population was just about sixty million. Over six months, 27 million people visited Chicago to see the World’s fair, which was close to half the country.

This was a pivotal moment in human history, the start of something fantastic, people from different faiths and cultures reaching out to understand each other. She realized this moment in time had such potential, however working out the lethal plot was difficult. It took her fifteen months.

For Nev, the best part of being a writer is writing a scene that works, as it is such a source of joy, and this is even before anybody else has a chance to read it. It is thrilling for her to send her agent a few chapters, and wait, resisting the urge to bite her nails, to get her call. When she enjoys her chapters, Nev loves to hear her surprise, and feels blessed.

She lives with her two sons and husband in New Jersey.

“Murder in Old Bombay” is Nev’s debut novel and was released in the year 2020. Bombay is the center of British India, in the year 1892. Close by, Captain Jim Agnihotri is lying in a Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish out on the wild northern frontier. He doesn’t have much to do but reread the stories of Sherlock Holmes, his idol, and browse daily papers.

A case catches Jim’s attention, and it is being called the crime of the century: Two females fell from the busy university’s clock tower during the day. Moved by Adi, the widower of one victim, his certainty that his sister and wife didn’t kill themselves, he approaches the Parsee family and gets hired to investigate exactly what happened that horrible afternoon.

But in this land of divided loyalties, asking questions can prove to be rather dangerous. Captain Jim’s investigation disturbs the shadows that appear to follow the Framji family around and it triggers an ominous series of events. When lively Lady Diana Framji joins in the hunt for her sisters’ attackers, his heart isn’t safe either.

“Murder in Old Bombay”, which is based on a true story, brings this tumultuous historical age to life.

Nev’s detailed and magnificent writing helps invest the reader in the story and she enchants you with diverse and varied subjects and culture. She captures late nineteenth century Indian history so tremendously here. Her striking settings, compelling characters, and all the intricacies of social stratification shine in her talented hands. The novel has old-fashioned detective work, action, and a bunch of character interactions that reveal their motivations.

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One Response to “Nev March”

  1. Emily Francona: 4 months ago

    When can we expect a movie or series adaptation of this fabulous story?

    Reply

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