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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
PW2019 Adult #03: CHEKHOV’S HAMMER (#ownvoices Mystery/Suspense)
M. J. Soni
Mentored by:
Kellye Garrett and Mia P. Manansala
Book Title:
2019 Adult Entries
#ownvoices Mystery/Suspense
Word Count:


Dr. Raeya Patel had it all. The two kids. The house. The career. Everything but the white picket fence. Then her husband died in a hit-and-run. Now Raeya seems to be the only one in her Massachusetts town who cares what happened. She launches her own investigation, but finds her family stalked by a sinister patient when she links her husband’s death to a conspiracy involving a string of brutal homicides. Harlan Coben’s Tell No One meets The Good Widow by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke.



On a cold February night, while my husband lay dying on a desolate country road, I was at home catching up on patient notes. I helped Kiara and Sammy with their homework, lost a game of Jenga, and then settled down at the kitchen table with a mug of masala chai. Chaos, our black Lab, sprawled under the table and kept my feet warm.

Looking back I should’ve been more worried. I should’ve gone out looking for him. I should’ve called 911 when he didn’t answer my calls. There were so many “I should’ves” but they didn’t make up for what I actually did.

Fall asleep.

Now, months later, I stood in Dhruv’s closet, staring into a box of his belongings. A week ago, the ME confirmed his hit-and-run was an accident. As part-time coroner of our town, I pulled some strings and got Forensics to release his things directly to me.

Chaos pushed his way in to smell a clear bag with a zipper that was on top. It had Dhruv’s tattered and blood-stained clothing.

And there, on his shirt, were the flecks of paint the forensics team had identified as Cosmos Blue. I had looked it up. It only came on one car.  A customized Jeep Wrangler.

I hated that color.

19 responses to “PW2019 Adult #03: CHEKHOV’S HAMMER (#ownvoices Mystery/Suspense)”

  1. Sarah Landis says:

    I’d love to read the full manuscript! Could you email it to me at slandis@sll.com? Looking forward to reading more!

  2. Lori Galvin says:

    Dear M.J. I would love to see the full. Please send the ms and query letter to lgalvin@aevitascreative.com with the subject line PITCHWARS. Thank you so much.

  3. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Soni,

    Chekhov’s Hammer has a fascinating premise, and your voice immediately drew me into the story. Please do send me the complete. I look forward to reading further.


    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  4. Sarah Phair says:

    Dear M.J.,

    This sounds interesting, and I’d love to take a look. Could you please send me the first 50 pages as a word document with your query letter as the first page? You can send it to sphair@sjga.com, and please mention Pitch Wars in your subject line.



    Sarah Phair
    Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc.
    55 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10003
    (212) 206-5611 | http://www.Greenburger.com

  5. Michelle Richter says:

    So great meeting you at NE Crime Bake! I’d love to see your full manuscript. Please submit your query and pages to me here: QueryMe.online/MichelleRichter/PitchWars

  6. This sounds so great – I love women pushed to the brink who finally decide to push back. And it feels like it has notes of Dead to Me. I’d love to read the full manuscript. Could you send it to me at

  7. Penelope Burns says:

    I would love to see this! Can you send the query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with #PitchWars in the subject? Thank you!

  8. Kristin Nelson says:

    What a lovely opening! I’d be delighted to take a look at your full manuscript. I’ve created a special Pitch Wars link so you can send the manuscript my way.

    Query Manager Event Link

    Pls also include your query letter as the first page of your full manuscript to help orient me when I dive in for the longer read starting on the 11th.

    It’s also okay to send to more than one agent at NLA if you have received multiple requests. We’ll coordinate on our end.

    Congrats on being a part of Pitch Wars. I can’t wait to read.

  9. Jill Marsal says:

    I would love to see the full manuscript. Please email to jill@marsallyonliteraryagency.com and put pitchwars in the subject line. Thanks!

  10. Jennifer Unter says:

    Intriguing pitch & opening – would love to read more! Please forward the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to jen.nadol (at) theunteragency (dot) com with PW Request in the subject line. Thanks!

  11. Sandy Lu says:

    I love to read more! Please send the full manuscript with bio and complete synopsis (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com

  12. Dorian Maffei says:

    Definitely would like to see more of this. 🙂 You can submit via my online submission form:


  13. Hi M.J.,
    This sounds fantastic! I’d love to read the full manuscript. Please send the manuscript to QueryMe.online/Stacey_PITCHWARS/PitchWars2020. Please add #Pitchwars when copying your pitch into the form.

    Looking forward to reading CHEKHOV’S HAMMER!

    All the best,
    Stacey Donaghy

  14. Jessica Faust says:

    This sounds terrific. I would love to consider the full manuscript. You can send it through my Query Manager link: QueryMe.online/Jessica_Faust/PitchWars I look forward to reading it. Thanks again, Jessica

  15. Sharon Pelletier says:

    Hi MJ, could you send this along to me? I think I saw an earlier version last year, but this such a great concept and I’d love to see the revised manuscript! spelletier@dystel.com. Thanks!

  16. Melissa Danaczko says:

    Hi M.J.,
    I would love the opportunity to read more. Can you please send the full manuscript to mdquery@skagency.com? Thank you!

  17. Dawn Dowdle says:

    Dear M. J.,

    Thank you for your pitch. Your manuscript sounds very interesting. I would like to read more.

    Please follow the query instructions at http://www.blueridgeagency.com and make sure to put “Pitch Wars” in who referred you.

    Thank you! Looking forward to reading more.

    Dawn Dowdle

  18. Jessica Craig says:

    Great opening! I would like to read your partial manuscript. Please send first 50 pages as Word or PDF attachment with PitchWars + the title and your name in subject heading to submissions@craigliterary.com

  19. Josh Getzler says:

    Very cool! Would like to see more—send first 50 (or so—whenever it falls out best)? Thanks!