Murder in Old Bombay

Murder in Old Bombay

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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"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 lays in Poona military hospital recovering from a skirmish on the wild northern frontier, with little to read but newspapers. The case that catches Jim's attention is being called the crime of the century: Two women fell from the busy university's clock tower in broad daylight. Moved by the widower of one of the victims - his certainty that his wife and sister did not commit suicide - Jim approaches the Framjis and is hired by the Parsee family to investigate what happened that terrible afternoon. But in a land of divided loyalties, asking questions is dangerous. Jim's investigation disturbs the shadows that seem to follow the Framji family and triggers an ominous chain of events. Based on real events, and set against the vibrant backdrop of colonial India, Nev March's lyrical debut Murder in Old Bombay brings this tumultuous historical age to life"--
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2020.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781250269546
Branch Call Number: MARCH
Characteristics: 389 pages ; 25 cm


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Mar 20, 2021

I liked this story. It was like a really great romance novel, but no sex. The mystery was interesting, the historical setting was immersive. The characters were a little bit sentimental, in a Dickensian way. Several dangling plot threads made me hope for a sequel.

Feb 03, 2021

The author did a good job of illustrating the racial/ethnic problems in 1880's India, but her narrative never made me feel like I was back in the era in Bombay. Overall I think this novel was a very, very good Harlequin Romance, nothing more.

Nov 10, 2020

Although there is some meandering in this story of Bombay in the late 1800’s, the storyline is strong, and it is a good look at what life was like in Bombay. A former British Captain is enlisted to find out why two Parsee women died. It’s been ruled a suicide but there’s reason to believe that is not the reason. Captain Jim Agnihotri is a bastard. He never knew his English father and his Indian mother died soon after putting him in a Christian orphanage. There is only so far, a native can go in British ruled India. Not only is the storyline satisfying, but it is also a good look at what life was like under British rule. It is based on an actual event.

Oct 06, 2020

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a digital advanced reader copy of this book. All comments and opinions are my own.

This was a very engaging historical mystery taking place in nineteenth century "Old Bombay." Captain Jim Agnihotri, recovering from a military skirmish in an Indian hospital in Poona, becomes fascinated by a newspaper story. He channels his idol, Sherlock Holmes, to solve a suspicious double suicide of two sisters.

Hired by Adi Framji, the husband of one of the sisters, Jim is welcomed into their family as he uses Holmesian deductions to solve the crime. The novel works on several layers: as a murder mystery; as a story of family - Jim is an orphan and the Framjis generously embrace him as a son; plus Jim rescues several children who become his temporary family; and as a romance with the remaining sister, Diana.

The novel provides many exciting episodes as Jim, time after time, narrowly escapes dangerous situations thanks to his cleverness in utilizing disguises such as Holmes would use, his military connections, and his training as a boxer. In addition, the author expertly describes the cultural mores of the period which cause much angst for Jim as he is of the wrong caste to marry Diana, who has become the love of his life.

I recommend this entertaining, debut novel which is based on a true story for several reasons. Jim is such a humble, likable character and the author skillfully recreates the sights, sounds, and scents of nineteenth century India. And of course for the clever mystery with its homage to Sherlock Holmes.

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