Mystery Murder Story Set in Colonial Bombay

Set in 1892, Murder in Old Bombay addresses issues prevalent at the turn of the 20th century which are very present today: discrimination against those who do not belong to our ‘in’ group, misogyny, inequality in attitudes toward women. It’s also a heart-felt appeal to the (tiny) Zoroastrian community to update our social norms–or face extinction.

Captain James Agnihotri, an Anglo-Indian soldier is recovering from injuries when he reads about a case that the newspapers are calling the Crime of the Century. He’s curious, then intrigued: Why did two beautiful and privileged Parsi young women drop to their deaths from the University Clock-tower in broad daylight? Then the widower of one of the victims writes a letter to the editor which tugs at his heart-strings. Invaliding out of the army, Captain Jim is hired by the Parsi family—not knowing that this investigation will lead him into dangerous adventures, as he strives for the ultimate prize—a sense of belonging.

Loosely based on real events, the tragedy of the Godrej girls in 1891, the novel is an action adventure and a love story. With deeper themes of feminism and countering discrimination, it’s an evocative journey through colonial India during the British Raj, describing the vibrant mix of sub-cultures and the danger of buried secrets. Ultimately it’s a story of triumph over adversity, and the different forms that courage can take.

Available on Nov. 10, 2020, Murder in Old Bombay can be pre-ordered at

Writing as Nev March, author Nawaz Merchant won 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 teaches creative writing at Rutgers Osher Institute and is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and the Hunterdon County Library Write-Group. A Parsee Zoroastrian herself, she lives with her husband and two sons in New Jersey.@Murder in Old Bombay@is her debut novel.