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Abir Mukherjee

Abir Mukherjee is the Times bestselling author of the Wyndam and Banerjee  series of crime novels set in Raj era India. The series has been translated into fifteen languages. His debut, A Rising Man was the winner of both the Telegraph Harvill Secker Crime Writing Competition and the CWA Historical Dagger 2017 award, and was shortlisted for the MWA Edgar for best novel. It was also one of Waterstones’ Book of the Month and a Paperback of the Year and was shortlisted for the HWA Debut Crown prize, the Gold Dagger award and the Dead Good Reader Awards for Most Exceptional Debut category. The sequel, A Necessary Evil was published in 2017, and was the winner of the 2018 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. It was shortlisted for the 2018 Historical and Gold Daggers, and longlisted for the 2018 CWA Steel Dagger. It also featured on ITV’s Zoe Ball Book Club 2018. The third, Smoke and Ashes, was published in June 2018, and was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of the Best 100 Crime Novels since 1945, and has been shortlisted for the 2019 CWA Gold Dagger, the 2019 Sapere Historical Dagger and the Historical Writer’s Association Gold Crown for best historical novel of the year. It has also been shortlised for the MWA Edgar for best novel. His fourth book Death in the East, was published 2020 and was Book of the Month in the Sunday Times and Book of the Year in the Telegraph, Guardian, Mail on Sunday, Mail, Express and FT. 

Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in London with his wife and two sons. 

Books in order of Publication:

A Rising Man (2016)

A Necessary Evil (2017)

Smoke and Ashes (2018)

Death in the East (2020)


Praise for A Rising Man:

‘[An] enthralling debut novel’ The New York Times

“This brilliant mingling of real history and fictional invention kicks off a series that does for the Raj what Philip Kerr did for the Reich” The Times

‘[A] splendid debut…and his hero, Captain Sam Wyndham, is a winning creation’ The TimesCrime Book of the Month

‘A thought-provoking roller-coaster’ Ian Rankin, Guardian Best Books of the Summer

‘A very good read, rich in texture’ Val McDermid, My Six Best Reads, Daily Express

‘An exceptionally good, and original novel. The whole cast.. is finely yet lightly drawn. Roll on book two.’ CJ Sansom

A Rising Man is an assured novel: well researched and vivid… Delivered with verve and some appealingly wry humour.’ Guardian

 ‘A lip-smacking and highly entertaining mystery, set in a Calcutta so convincingly evoked that readers will find sweat bursting from their foreheads’ Daily Telegraph Best Books of 2016

‘Witty and sharply written, this is an evocative portrait of a multifaceted Calcutta.’ Literary Review

‘Mukherjee’s outstanding debut and series launch combines a cleverly constructed whodunit with an unusual locale—Calcutta in 1919—portrayed with convincing detail.. The nuanced relationship between Wyndham and his Indian assistant, a sergeant known as Surrender-not Banerjee because the English can’t pronounce his first name correctly, adds even more depth.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 ‘[A] terrific first novel…Mukherjee’s descriptions of Calcutta under the Raj are vivid, while Wyndham’s position as a newcomer with fresh eyes works brilliantly’ Sunday Times, Crime Book of the Month

‘A new star shines in the heat and dust. An intoxicating debut… Utterly captivating.’
Daily Mail

 ‘A joy to read’ Susan Hill

‘Evocative, intricate, beautifully written. A must read.’ Vaseem Khan, author of the Inspector Chopra mysteries

‘Colourful, eloquent, witty, unputdownable. And here’s the best bit: this is the first in an unmissable new series that is clearly destined to join the pantheon of intelligent historical crime fiction. Jump on the wagon now’ Neel Mukherjee, author of Booker shortlisted The Lives of Others

‘A thoroughly engaging new detective… A Rising Man kept me awake, racing to the finish… This is a Calcutta of smart cantonments and deep corruption, vividly brought to life, the politics and the people skewered with sharp dialogue and a brilliant sense of period’ Jason Goodwin

‘A historical thriller of the highest calibre; evocative and pleasingly complex, shot through with the driest of wit, it marks Mukherjee out as an author of great style and ambition’ Eva Dolan

‘A vivid sense of history and locale Financial Times Best Books of 2016

A Rising Man is a cracking debut novel’ Daily Express

‘Mukherjee brings sardonic wit to his portrayal of British rule in India, and the action is perfectly paced. It’s his best yet’ Daily Mirror


Praise for A Necessary Evil:

‘A year ago I welcomed the arrival of Captain Sam Wyndham and his faithful Sergeant… and I am delighted to report that his return is every bit as engaging’ Daily Mail

‘Even better than his first… What is most striking about Mukherjee’s novels is his infectious enjoyment of the human oddity of the British in India… Even better is his portrayal of the mix of opulence and spirituality that characterises Sambalpore under its sybaritic but benevolent maharaja… I can’t imagine anyone failing to enjoy it.’ Daily Telegraph

 ‘Mukherjee uses the plot as a means of taking us back to the time of the nawabs, showing us the excesses, eccentricities, and hidden responsibilities of the men and women who once ruled the subcontinent. What distinguishes these books is the quality of the writing and the dry humour. A solid recommendation from me.’ Vaseem Khan

‘An intriguing and enjoyable crime novel.’ Stylist

‘This second novel in the series takes place in 1920, a year after Mukherjee’s cracking debut A Rising Man… He writes beautifully, bringing the colourful kingdom of Sambalpore to vivid life and taking the reader on a highly entertaining journey to unearth the dark secrets at its core, with unexpected twists on the way to a satisfying finale.’ Express


Praise for Smoke and Ashes:

‘Smoke and Ashes is Abir Mukherjee’s best book yet; a brilliantly conceived murder mystery set amidst political and social turmoil – beautifully crafted’ CJ Sansom, author of Standlake Series

"[I]t is the flamboyant evocation of Calcutta that makes this such a mesmerising read" Guardian

"Well-researched and vivid in detail… [Smoke and Ashes] delights from the first page until the last. Simply superb" (Daily Express)

"[W]onderfully rich and entertaining period crime series" (Mail on Sunday)

"Mukherjee weaves crime and history together with great skill" (The Times)

‘Mukherjee, who only gets better and better with each book, has established himself as a leading historical mystery writer.’ Publishers Weekly (starred review) 

‘A thrilling mystery and a captivating journey’ The Mirror



‘It’s a brilliant change of pace, displaying Mukherjee’s growing confidence as a writer’ The Sunday Times

'The sky seems to be the limit for this extraordinarily talented author.' Publishers Weekly

‘A skilfully blended dual narrative: twice the intrigue, twice the fun. Mukherjee is at the top of his game.’ Mick Herron

‘As ever, Abir Mukherjee brings sardonic wit to his portrayal of British rule in India and the action is perfectly paced, but this volume has a depth that makes it stand out. His best yet.’ Sunday Express

‘The perfect combination of mystery and history.’ Sunday Express, Books of the Year

‘In his most accomplished and complex novel yet, Mukherjee keeps the reader enthralled as the duo race towards a brilliant conclusion. Death in the East is a contender for the best thriller of the year.’ Daily Express

‘The gloriously atmospheric Death in the East is his [Mukherjee’s] best book so far, a cracking read.’ Scotsman

‘Death in the East is the best so far of an unmissable series.’ The Times

‘Mukherjee’s style is elegantly conversational, his research is convincing and one of his murder methods is ingenious.’ Literary Review

‘Issues of identity, nationalism, historical memory…and cultural hybridity course through Mukherjee’s hugely entertaining novels. Like their creator, they are both good-humoured and socially engaged.’ Herald

‘Mukherjee brings sardonic wit to his portrayal of British rule in India, and the action is perfectly paced. It’s his best yet.’ Daily Mirror

‘Death in the East is as vivid and atmospheric as its predecessors.’ Guardian

‘An absolute delight’ Daily Mail

‘Mukherjee’s series…is emerging as one of the finest in contemporary crime fiction.’ Mail on Sunday

Abir Mukherjee Titles