Nawaz Merchant’s ‘The Rajabai Tower Mystery’ wins Mystery Writers of America’s prize

Published on Parsi Khabar

Our dear friend and first time novelist Nawaz Merchant who writes under the pseudonym Nev Merch informs us…

At the Edgar Awards last week, my historical novel ‘The Rajabai Tower Mystery’ won the Mystery Writers of America’s prize for Best First Crime Novel. It will be published by Minotaur, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press.Writing as Nev March, I’m simply thrilled at this exciting development.

The Rajabai Tower Mystery introduces Captain Jim Agnihotri, an Anglo-Indian soldier turned detective who is hired to investigate the 1891 deaths of two Parsee women who fell from the famous clock tower in broad daylight. Based on real events, this adventure-mystery traverses Colonial India, from Victorian Bombay to the wilderness of the Frontier Province, uncovering terrible truths hidden in plain sight.

Although solving the mystery is a challenge when no one seems to have any motive to harm the Framjis, Jim has another problem–he’s intrigued by Diana, his employer’s sister, who flouts the rules of both her Parsee upbringing and elite society.
India is an unsettled mélange of territorial loyalties in the 1890s. When Jim grasps the end of the thread and begins to pull, he has no idea of the political turmoil he’s unraveling. Someone close seems to forestall his every move. Things get worse when, disguised as a Pathan, he’s stranded in Pathan-held countryside. Can Jim learn why the two women were killed, disrupt the plans of powerful enemies and confront the threat that still hovers over the Framjis? The Rajabai Tower Mystery (soon to be published by St Martin’s Press) will make your pulse race as you find out.

About Nawaz Merchant

Born in Mumbai India, Nev March is a writer of mystery and historical fiction, historical romance and essays. Writing since the age of eleven, Nev has previously published stories in children’s magazines, and won Writers Digest and Maryland Writers Association contests for historical fiction.

With four completed manuscripts, Nev returned to writing full time in 2015, completed the first draft of The Rajabai Tower Mystery in four months, spent the next year editing and revising, and is working on a sequel, a mystery set in 1890s Boston, which features the same beloved characters.

As an immigrant, Nev has an affinity for diverse characters facing issues with universal appeal. Her books combine the excitement of mystery and adventure novels with the emotional journey of personal adversity, building characters that readers can identify with. She has written for, and twice been guest editor of the FEZANA Journal, a community publication, and is an active member of the Hunterdon County Library Write group. Nev lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.


Published on Parsi Khabar