Skip to the content

Smoke and Ashes

India, 1921. Haunted by his memories of the Great War, 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.

Set against the backdrop of the fervent fight for Indian independence, and rich with the atmosphere of 1920s Calcutta, Smoke and Ashes is the brilliant new historical mystery in this award-winning series.

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 the Shardlake Series.

'As in previous books, it is the flamboyant evocation of 1920s Calcutta that makes this such a mesmerising read.' The Guardian

‘Mukherjee weaves crime and history together with great skill.’ The Times

‘The terrific third instalment in Mukherjee’s wonderfully right and entertaining period crime series.’ The Mail on Sunday

‘[Mukherjee’s] skills have been delightfully honed with each novel in this gripping and thoroughly entertaining series. It’s unusual to read a taut historical crime fiction thriller that also interrogates the Imperial legacy […] Wry, gritty, fascinating.” The Financial Times

‘Mukherjee’s novels are tightly plotted portraits of British rule in India’ Sunday Times Culture

‘Well-researched and vivid in detail, Smoke And Ashes is a welcome return to form after A Necessary Evil. It balances a thrilling mystery with wry observations about the absurdity of the British Raj and delights from the first page until the last. Simply superb.’ Daily Express

‘Brilliantly researched third adventure in 1920s India for conflicted captain Sam Wyndham of His Majesty’s Imperial Police and his Indian sergeant “Surrender-Not” Bannerjee.’ The Times Crime Club

'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

Agent: Sam Copeland
Other Abir Mukherjee Titles