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“I set my novels in 1920s colonial India because writing, for me, is partly a search for my own identity. My parents came from India and, as a British Asian, I felt that understanding the period of British rule in India was important to understanding more about who I was.”

An author of crime novels

Abir Mukherjee in conversation with Sanjida O’Connell

Revealing the motivation to reveal the sometimes hidden stories of the British Empire through his detective crime fiction. This conversation took place in 2020 and Abir’s fifth book, The Shadows of Men, has since been completed and published.


Abir Mukherjee is the bestselling author of the award-winning Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in Raj-era India. The Shadows of Men (2021) is the latest instalment in the series. He has won the CWA Historical Dagger and the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing, and has been shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger, and HWA Gold Crown. 

His  novels, A Rising Man  and Smoke and Ashes were both selected as Waterstones Thriller of the Month. Smoke and Ashes was also chosen as one of The Sunday Times 100 Best Crime Novels and Thrillers since 1945. Abir grew up in Scotland and now lives in Surrey with his wife and two sons.