Format Hardcover
Publication Date 03/05/19
ISBN 9781643130149
Trim Size / Pages 6 x 9 in / 352

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Smoke and Ashes

A Novel

Abir Mukherjee

Captain Sam Wyndham and his sidekick Surrender-Not Banerjee return in this prize-winning historical crime series set in 1920s Calcutta.

India, 1921. Haunted by his memories of World War I, Captain Sam Wyndham is battling a serious addiction to opium that he must keep secret from his superiors in the Calcutta police force.

When Sam is summoned to investigate a grisly murder, he is stunned at the sight of the body: he’s seen this before. Last night, in a drug addled haze, he stumbled across a corpse with the same ritualistic injuries. It seems like there’s a deranged killer on the loose. Unfortunately for Sam, the corpse was in an opium den—and revealing his presence there could cost him his career.

With the aid of his quick-witted Indian Sergeant, Surrender-Not Banerjee, Sam must try to solve the two murders, all the while keeping his personal demons secret, before somebody else turns up dead.

Abir Mukherjee has spent the last twenty years working in finance.A Rising Man, his debut novel, won the Harvill Secker/Daily Telegraph crime writing competition and is the first in a new series starring Captain Sam Wyndham and ‘Surrender-Not' Banerjee. Abir is married with two small children and lives in London.

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Endorsements & Reviews

"Mukherjee writes with an energy and urgency that is well suited to the turbulence of his setting and brings historic Calcutta to muggy, sweaty, visceral life. In Sam Wyndham he has created a complex and entertaining hero, marked by a pragmatic humor that makes Smoke and Ashes not just an excellent historical mystery, but a wonderfully entertaining read." Shelf Awareness
"It is the flamboyant evocation of 1920s Calcutta that makes this such a mesmerising read." The Guardian (UK)
"Smoke and Ashes is Abir Mukherjee’s best book yet; a brilliantly conceived murder mystery set amidst political and social turmoil. Beautifully crafted." C. J. Sansom, New York Times bestselling author
"Lush world-building, intricate character work, and remarkable wit. Mukherjee’s work is playful while also offering a serious look at colonialism and cross-culture mystery." CrimeReads
"Mukherjee makes the most of his setting, 1921 Calcutta, in his superior third mystery featuring the all-too-human Capt. Sam Wyndham, of the British Imperial Police, and his Indian assistant, Sgt. ‘Surrender-Not’ Banerjee. Mukherjee, who only gets better and better with each book, has established himself as a leading historical mystery writer." Publishers Weekly (starred)
"A phenomenal historical mystery. Thrilling and evocative, darkly funny and surprisingly touching. It’s so deeply rooted in place and history that you may want to read it while under a mosquito net, but Mukherjee’s prose is so sharp that the setting feels immediate and vital. I can’t imagine how Mukherjee will top Smoke and Ashes, but I can’t wait to see what he comes up with." Criminal Element
"Riveting. Mukherjee has a substantive grasp of colonial Indian history, and his books have the feel of a modern-day and much more progressive Kipling, full of high intrigue and derring-do, yet overlaid with the day-to-day reality of a struggle with addiction." BookPage
"Mukherjee’s amazing grasp of the social conventions and mores of both the British and Indians during the Raj period and of the political upheaval sparked by India’s fight for freedom give authenticity to this historical mystery. Historical mystery buffs will love this novel." Library Journal (starred)
"The third book in this marvelous British Raj series starts out with a bang. Abir Mukherjee is in the highest echelons of historical mystery/thriller writers." Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
"A clever whodunit, well served by smart writing, a dry-witted narrator, and a vividly recreated, rich, and colourful setting." Historical Novels Review
"Smoke and Ashes perfectly balances high suspense with its well-researched historical setting, each element masterfully supporting the other."
"In Wyndham and Bannerjee, Mukherjee has created two appealing characters presenting different factions of the whole that is India, revealing what each gives up to serve king and country, and answers the question of which country each actually serves." New York Journal of Books