Monday, October 31, 2022

Nev March

Nev March is the first Indian-born writer to win Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America's Award for Best First Crime Fiction.

After a long career in business analysis, in 2015 March returned to her passion, writing fiction and now teaches creative writing at Rutgers University, Osher Institute. A Parsee Zoroastrian herself, she lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons.

March's books deal with issues of identity, race and moral boundaries. Murder in Old Bombay is her debut novel. The sequel, Peril at the Exposition, was released in July. Captain Jim and Lady Diana's third adventure will be published Fall 2023.

Recently I asked March about what she was reading. Her reply:
While taking a break from revising book 3 of my Captain Jim and Lady Diana series, I had an epiphany: These days, a female protagonist who's independent and also committed to a relationship might be a rarity in the crime genre. I've loved many books with dynamic female characters (for example, Sujata Massey's Pervin Mistry series, Victoria Thompson's Gaslight mysteries,) but frequently they were 'single' to allow for potential relationships with folks they encountered in their adventures. This gave the impression that being married was somehow 'boring'!!! Romance novels usually end with couples getting together. For me, that is the start of the story! What a lot of change and conflict one must navigate in a relationship! So in my series, Diana and Captain Jim will likely investigate more mysteries in the 1890s, but may also discover the many challenges and surprises of couple-hood.

I've just finished reading a political thriller, Phoenix in the Middle of the Road by JR Bale, which kept me glued to the pages. This insider view of politics is both realistic and riveting, echoing the feel of hit TV series like West Wing and Designated Survivor. While there were a lot of characters to keep track of, the story evolved in gripping short scenes, brilliantly etched and with hard hitting dialog. I'll certainly read more by this self published author, who also writes sci-fi!

The last book I read (and can't forget!) was Isabella Maldonado's The Cipher. It kept me up, reading until 2 am. While serial killer tales are not my usual fare, (too violent!) this one had me hooked from the first page. "FBI Special Agent Nina Guerrera escaped a serial killer’s trap at sixteen." A heart rending backstory gives the protagonist depth and complexity, and believable flaws that still have you rooting for her. This thriller was terrifying and incredibly satisfying with twists that came out of nowhere. Not for the faint of heart but so well worth it. Left me feeling profound and empowered!

At present I'm reading The Lost Man of Bombay by Vaseem Khan. One does not expect a historical mystery to be so much fun! Khan's white hot wit singes! When a white man is found frozen to death in the Himalayan mountains, a group of misfit detectives is tasked to find the culprit before the political mess blows up in their faces. I was charmed to find that Khan's protagonist is Persis Wadia, a Parsi woman inspector! As a Parsi woman myself, this delighted me, and made me eager to know how she will fare in the misogynistic world of Bombay police in the 1950s. (By the way, when I was in Mumbai last month I saw four policewomen! Four. How wonderful!) I simply can't wait to see how Khan's book turns out. Strongly recommend ... and I haven't finished yet!
Visit Nev March's website.

Q&A with Nev March.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in Old Bombay.

My Book, The Movie: Murder in Old Bombay.

--Marshal Zeringue