Smoke and Ashes (Hardcover)
A Novel (Wyndham & Banerjee Series #3)
Pegasus Books, 9781643130149, 352pp.
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
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.
About the Author
Praise For Smoke and Ashes: A Novel (Wyndham & Banerjee Series #3)…
Smoke and Ashes is Abir Mukherjee’s best book yet; a brilliantly conceived murder mystery set amidst political and social turmoil. Beautifully crafted.
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.
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.
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.
It is the flamboyant evocation of 1920s Calcutta that makes this such a mesmerising read.
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.
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.
An enjoyable read which brilliantly mixes the political and social issues of the period with a curious murder mystery plot. Adding likable characters and the exciting setting makes this a recommended historical mystery.
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.
A clever whodunit, well served by smart writing, a dry-witted narrator, and a vividly recreated, rich, and colourful setting.
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.