The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret by Nev March

January 17th, 2024 Kimberly Guest Post, Review 4 Comments

17th Jan

Sophia Rose is here with The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret, the third novel in the Captain Jim and Lady Diana Mystery series by Nev March. Grab a cuppa and check out her thoughts on this historical mystery.

The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret by Nev March
The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret
by Nev March
Series: Captain Jim and Lady Diana Mystery #3
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

In The Spanish Diplomat's Secret, award-winning author Nev March explores the vivid nineteenth-century world of the transatlantic voyage, one passenger’s secret at a time.

Captain Jim Agnihotri and his wife Lady Diana Framji are embarking to England in the summer of 1894. Jim is hopeful the cruise will help Diana open up to him. Something is troubling her, and Jim is concerned.

On their first evening, Jim meets an intriguing Spaniard, a fellow soldier with whom he finds an instant kinship. But within twenty-four hours, Don Juan Nepomuceno is murdered, his body discovered shortly after he asks rather urgently to see Jim.

When the captain discovers that Jim is an investigator, he pleads with Jim to find the killer before they dock in Liverpool in six days, or there could be international consequences. Aboard the beleaguered luxury liner are a thousand suspects, but no witnesses to the locked-cabin crime. Jim would prefer to keep Diana safely out of his investigation, but he’s doubled over, seasick. Plus, Jim knows Diana can navigate the high society world of the ship's first-class passengers in ways he cannot.

Together, using the tricks gleaned from their favorite fictional sleuth, Sherlock Holmes, Jim and Diana must learn why one man’s life came to a murderous end.

Sophia Rose’s Review

Jim and Diana encounter murder on the high seas when a fellow passenger is killed and the captain asks Jim to solve the crime before their ocean liner docks.  The clock’s ticking on a locked door mystery with international ramifications that has everyone baffled.  I was so glad to see this third book in the series release since I’ve enjoyed seeing Jim sleuth like Sherlock and Diana show her brilliant wits, too.

The Victorian Era series works best in order because of the personal side of the story introduced and developed through the books.

The book starts with Jim and Diana preparing to enjoy the perks of a luxury cruise across the Atlantic.   It isn’t long before metaphorical dark clouds drift in.  Jim knows they’ll be meeting Diana’s brother Adi and needs to tell her about the situation meanwhile he senses an emotional distance in Diana.  He’s still struggling with being the child of a British soldier father and an Indian poor woman and how it caused him so much misery growing up in British Colonial India and he still feels unworthy of Diana whose family are Indian aristocracy and Parsee Zoroastrian.

But, then a fellow passenger Jim encountered while dealing with his bout of seasickness is murdered.  Jim’s investigation is a hard grind there in the middle and the story does drag a bit, but there is progress as Jim speaks with First Class passengers and their entourages and ship staff.  I wanted to bop Jim for being overprotective of Diana and keeping her away during witness interviewing and the prime bits of investigating especially when he really needed her help.  I felt she proved herself when by herself she came to Jim’s aid in the previous deadly Chicago situation.  In truth, Jim is still mentally recovering from that previous case and I was glad to see the author didn’t brush over that or his sensibilities about race and social status.  But, Jim learns and by the end, he’s encouraging Diana as his equal detecting partner.

Delving into the Spanish Cuban former governor’s life led to a part of Cuban history I didn’t know and was at the heart of this case.  I appreciate how the author chooses lesser known historical incidents to mesh with her murder cases and I learn a great deal from them.  And, it’s fun to see Jim employing what he learned from Sherlock Holmes’ stories.

While this one was slower in the middle, the end more than made up for it and left things set up nicely for book four.  I encourage historical mystery lovers who enjoy a cultural and international historical emphasis to give Captain Jim and Lady Diana a go.

Amazon | Audible

About Nev March

Nev March

Nev March is the recent winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America Award for Best First Crime Fiction. After a long career in business analysis, in 2015 Nev returned to her passion, writing fiction and now teaches creative writing at Rutgers-Osher Institute. A Parsee Zoroastrian herself, she lives in New Jersey with her husband and sons. Murder in Old Bombay is her debut novel. Her books deal with issues of identity, race and moral boundaries. Her sequel, Peril at the Exposition launched by Macmillan Publishers in July 2022.

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About Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose

Sophia is a quiet though curious gal who dabbles in cooking, book reviewing, and gardening. Encouraged and supported by an incredible man and loving family. A Northern Californian transplant to the Great Lakes Region of the US. Lover of Jane Austen, Baseball, Cats, Scooby Doo, and Chocolate.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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4 Responses to “The Spanish Diplomat’s Secret by Nev March”

  1. Katherine

    I listened to the first book in this series a few months ago and really enjoyed it. This sounds really good and is a reminder that I need to continue with the series.