Smoke and Ashes (Sam Wyndham)
The Christmas of 1921 is approaching in Calcutta, and Captain Sam Wyndham of the Imperial Police Force could hardly care less. A shell-shocked war veteran, grieving widower, and opium addict, he has trouble enough keeping his career together under the worried scrutiny of his high-caste native aide and friend, Sergeant “Surrender-not” Banerjee. To make things worse, the city is rife with unrest, thanks to Gandhi’s independence movement and an impending (and ill-judged) visit by the Prince of Wales. Then, while visiting an opium den, Wyndham stumbles on an odd murder – that proves the first in a string of weirdly similar crimes. Torn between protecting the secret of his addiction and investigating, Wyndham will find himself racing against time as he clashes with the all-powerful secret Section H to uncover old and dangerous secrets. The third in a series, this is a clever whodunit, well served by smart writing, a dry-witted narrator, and a vividly recreated, rich, and colourful setting.