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  • Published: 27 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473571556
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

The Waiter

the award-winning first book in a thrilling new detective series

Kamil Rahman: Kolkata detective turned Brick Lane waiter has a new case on his hands . . .


'This detective waiter has all the ingredients for a great crime series' Sun'A rip-roaring mystery that's engrossing from start to finish... a refreshing and welcome addition to the world of detective fiction' Abir Mukherjee author of Death in the East

Kamil Rahman, disgraced detective, turned waiter, is about to find himself embroiled in a case that might just change his life...for better or for worse.

Ex-detective Kamil Rahman moves from Kolkata to London to start afresh as a waiter in an Indian restaurant. But the day he caters an extravagant party for his boss's rich and powerful friend, the peace of his simple new life is shattered. The event is a success, the food is delicious, but later that evening the host, Rakesh, is found dead in his swimming pool.

Suspicion falls on Rakesh's young and glamorous new wife, Neha, and Kamil is called to investigate for the family, with the help of his boss's daughter Anjoli. Kamil and Anjoli prove a winning team - but as the investigation progresses, and their relationship grows, Kamil struggles to keep memories of the case that destroyed his career in Kolkata at bay. Little does he know that his past will soon catch up with him in some very unexpected ways.

'[An] outstanding debut' Sunday Times
'A hugely entertaining first novel, taking us from Kolkata to Brick Lane' Ann Cleeves

'[Kamil Rahman is a] likeable inspector...we shall hear much more of him' Daily Mail
'Corruption, self-interest and the considerable gap between law and justice raise their heads in [The Waiter]...Kamil makes an appealing narrator, haunted but gently humorous and always humane' Guardian

  • Published: 27 May 2021
  • ISBN: 9781473571556
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 288

About the author

Ajay Chowdhury

Ajay Chowdhury is the winner of the inaugural Harvill Secker and Bloody Scotland competition. He is a tech entrepreneur and theatre director who lived the first third of his life in India and then moved to London, where he cooks experimental meals for his wife and daughters. His first children’s book, Ayesha and the Firefish, was published in 2016 and The Waiter is his debut crime thriller.

Praise for The Waiter

A hugely entertaining first novel for lovers of traditional crime fiction, taking us from Kolkata to Brick Lane. I can't wait to read more about disgraced detective Kamil and his wonderfully drawn companion Anjoli.

Ann Cleeves

From the mean streets of Kolkata to the kitchens of Brick Lane...this is a rip-roaring mystery that's engrossing from start to finish. In Kamil Rahman, Ajay has created a quixotic and all too human protagonist who is a refreshing and welcome addition to the world of detective fiction. One of my favourite reads of the year.

Abir Mukherjee, author of the Wyndham & Banerjee mysteries

An authentic and enthralling debut with an original new lead detective.

G.R. Halliday

The Waiter is beautifully written and gloriously transporting. I really loved the glimpse into life as a Kolkata homicide detective and the vibrant and mouth-watering depiction of the Bengali restaurant trade on London's Brick Lane. Ajay Chowdhury is a refreshingly different voice in the crime genre and I can't wait to read more.

Emily Koch

The Waiter is a heady mix of murder, intrigue and all things Indian. Weaving together a dual narrative with aplomb, Ajay Chowdhury's neatly-drawn detective Kamil Rahman relives his failure to solve the murder of a Bollywood A-lister in Kolkata whilst trying to solve the killing of an Indian industrialist in London. Could the two murders be connected? An accomplished crime debut that offers something a little different.

Vaseem Khan, author of the Malabar House Baby Ganesh Agency crime series

In a swiftly-moving energetic narrative that takes you from the decaying grandeur of Kolkata and the bustle of London's Brick Lane to the outward calm of the stately homes near Hampstead Heath, Ajay Chowdhury weaves a remarkable tale about the unlikely turns the life of police officer Kamil Rahman has taken, as he confronts his past, surrounded by the smells of spices and constant lurking danger.

Salil Tripathi

Kamil Rahman is down on his luck. He's lost his job, smashed his dreams and fled Kolkata for London. Ajay Chowdhury deftly weaves a tale of two murders, two countries, two times - past and present - and binds them together into a single web of intrigue, money, corruption and death. He paints a bleak picture but brings it to life with a keen eye for texture, detail and an enticing love of music and good food. No book as ever made me as hungry as this enjoyable, fast-paced thriller.

Georgia Kaufmann


Literary Review

Superb... Chowdhury paces the novel like an old hand, juxtaposing chapters set in the East End with flashbacks to Calcutta... [an] outstanding debut

Joan Smith, Sunday Times

[An] accomplished debut...intricately plotted, gripping... This is a sizzler of a crime novel, full of spice and authentic flavour

Richard Hopton, Country & Town House

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