Reviews

Praise for A Rising Man

 “An enthralling debut.” Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review 

 “A vibrant and powerful debut.” Seattle Times

 “Winner of the Harvill Secker Daily Telegraph crime writing competition, this stirring, entertaining first mystery bursts with lively, colorful historical details about colonial Calcutta. The developing relationship between Wyndham and Banerjee is a delight. A fine start to a new crime series that will attract readers of M.J. Carter and Tarquin Hall.”  Library Journal (starred and Debut of the Month)

 “A lip-smacking and highly entertaining mystery, set in a Calcutta so convincingly evoked that readers will find sweat bursting from their foreheads.”  The Daily Telegraph

  “A crime novel that is, quite simply, enormous fun. Wyndham’s next assignment can’t come soon enough.”  The National (Abu Dhabi)

 “A marvelous new historical crime series. ”  Book Riot

 “The novel is filled with fascinating historical detail, intriguing crime, and a minefield of political pitfalls the characters must navigate. Both Sam Wyndham and Surrender-not Banerjee are two creatively developed characters who are more than capable of carrying readers through Calcutta for many books to come.”  Criminal Element

“[A] splendid debut…and his hero, Captain Sam Wyndham, is a winning creation.”  The Times (London), Crime Book of the Month

 “British author 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 adds even more depth. ”  Publishers Weekly (starred)

“This checks pretty much every box in our ‘should we read this mystery?’ checklist. First, it launches a new series. Second, it’s set in the past in another country, in this case Calcutta in 1919. Third, it was a hit overseas (in London). Fourth, the trades (Publishers WeeklyLibrary Journal, etc.) have praised it. Fifth, is enjoying enthusiastic support from early readers. Sixth (and this is a new one for us), it features a character known as ‘No Surrender’ Banerjee, which seals the deal.” BookFilter

“Mukherjee immerses the reader in the climate and society of India and the politics of a little known time in its history. Wyndham and Banerjee are engaging characters, and the complexity of the clash and cooperation between the differing castes and cultures within India promise many more intriguing mysteries with deftly turned conclusions.”  Popular Culture Association

 “With a sly authorial wit, quirky characters, and historical details that anchor the story to its steamy, exotic locale, this debut novel is the first in what looks to be an entertaining new series similar to Barbara Cleverly’s Detective Joe Sandilands mysteries (especially The Damascened Blade, 2004).” Booklist


A Necessary Evil

 “Brilliant. Wyndam is an intriguing protagonist, offering crisp narration that’s sometimes slightly arrogant, sometimes amusingly self-effacing. Add in clever dialogue that’s laden with double entendre, and what more can a hardcore whodunit fan ask for?”  Bookpage (Top 10 Mystery of the Year)

  “The novel has a great sense of time and place (be prepared to mop sweat off your brow from the heat!), a fascinating mystery, and an intriguing ending. Definitely recommended!”  Historical Novels Review (Editor’s Choice)

 “This atmospheric sequel to A Rising Man establishes a strong sense of place by showcasing in rich detail the life of a wealthy maharaja with his wives, concubines, and hundreds of children. Mukherjee further develops his brooding, introspective, and flawed lead protagonist, who relies on his partner’s in-depth knowledge of Indian culture and traditions. Fans of the author’s acclaimed debut, Sujata Massey’s The Widows of Malabar Hill, and mysteries dependent on international locations and history will appreciate this crime novel.”” Library Journal (starred)

 

“Mukherjee is adept at multifaceted, slow-burn plot manipulations. Packed with incident and intrigue, yet never in a way that sacrifices historical verisimilitude or character development for the sake of a thrill. At its heart, the novel and its prequel, A Rising Man, take the buddy-cop formula and turn it on its head in endless rotations. From the cars to the flowers to the moth-eaten flags, Wyndham sees empire for the lie that it is. This makes him an intriguing embodiment of the intricacies and hypocrisies of the period—especially in Mukherjee’s hands.”  Los Angeles Review of Books

“Capitalizes on all the best traits that made his debut, A Rising Man, such a success: relatable characters, rich period detail, accomplished prose, and a fascinating central crime. With A Necessary Evil, Mukherjee has secured his ranking as one of today’s best writers of historical crime fiction.”  Bolo Books

“Impressive. This successful evocation of the Raj in the service of a brilliant whodunit demonstrates that Mukherjee’s debut was no fluke.”  Publishers Weekly (Starred)


Smoke & Ashes

“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

 “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

 “Smoke and Ashes perfectly balances high suspense with its well-researched historical setting, each element masterfully supporting the other.”  HistoricalNovels.info

“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)

 “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

“A clever whodunit, well served by smart writing, a dry-witted narrator, and a vividly recreated, rich, and colourful setting.”  Historical Novels Review

 “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

 “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

 “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

 “It is the flamboyant evocation of 1920s Calcutta that makes this such a mesmerising read.”  The Guardian

 “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.”  Mystery Tribune


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