Ajay Chowdhury

The detective Kamil
rahman mysteries

The warm, funny and spicy crime thrillers featuring Kamil, an ex-Kolkata detective turned Brick Lane Waiter


Ajay Chowdhury is the inaugural winner of the Harvill Secker-Bloody Scotland crime fiction award. He is a tech entrepreneur, writer and theatre director. His children’s novel ‘Ayesha and the Firefish’ was published in 2016. His first crime novel in the Kamil Rahman series – The Waiter – was published in 2021, was named the Sunday Times crime book of the month and has been optioned for television. Its follow ups – The Cook (2022) and The Detective (2023) – came out to strong reviews and he is currently working on the next book in the series – The Spy –  due to be published in 2024.

He is the Artistic Director of the Rented Space Theatre Company that he formed in 1987 and has directed over a dozen plays in London including ‘The Merchant of Vembley’ at the Cockpit Theatre and ‘Cymbeline’ at the Etcetera.

On the business front, Ajay has been the founder or CEO of several startups, including Shazam (sold to Apple), Seatwave (sold to Ticketmaster) and LineOne (sold to Tiscali). He has served on the boards of Lionhead, Department of Culture Media and Sport, Arts Council London, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), and Historic Royal Palaces amongst others.

He is currently a Managing Director and Senior Partner at BCG Digital Ventures, globally responsible for their ‘deep tech’ businesses, and Chair of Cambridge Enterprise, Cambridge University’s spinout arm. He is a Trustee of the renowned Cheek by Jowl Theatre Company and is a board member of Enacte – a San Francisco based South Asian Theatre Company.

He was selected to be part of the Asian Power 100 – the 100 most influential and powerful Asians in the UK and was selected as one of 2016’s Sunday Times top 100 BAME business leaders in the UK.


Times/Sunday Times Best Crime Books of 2021

Guardian Top Crime Books of the Year 2022 

Sunday Times Crime Book of the Year 2023

A free interactive ebook in partnership with Google

Coming April 2024

Amazon Children’s Bookshelf Selection

Praise for the SERIES

‘Outstanding’ Sunday Times

‘Hugely entertaining’ Ann Cleeves

‘Superlative… Chowdhury is brilliant at incidental detail and unexpected plot twists’ Sunday Times

‘Chowdhury’s writing is compelling and compassionate, especially on the themes of displacement, and divided loyalties personal and political.’ The Guardian

The Detective has all the ingredients for a great crime series’ The Sun

‘[Kamil is a] likeable inspector . . . We shall hear much more of him’ Daily Mail

An elegantly constructed thriller’ The Times

A rip-roaring mystery that’s engrossing from start to finish’ Abir Mukerjee

Chowdhury brings his own expertise in modern tech to the plot, combining it with hot button history, and a biting wit. The series goes from strength to strength’ Vaseem Khan

About the detectives:

Kamil has always wanted to be top cop. With a father who reached the position of Police Commissioner of the Calcutta police, what else could he do, other than hanker after an honourable career chasing the bad guys, just like his dad. However, the odds are stacked against him. He’s a Muslim in the Met, facing overt and covert racism and he needs to be twice as good as his colleagues to make it. All of this he could cope with, if only his personal life was humming along smoothly.

Anjoli is searching, but she doesn’t know what for. A high-minded psychologist who is super smart, always restless and naturally empathetic, she is meticulous and often finds connections Kamil has missed. She would love to get deeper into crime solving – possibly even have a go at it full-time but she can’t shake the feeling that she is an imposter in a game of let’s pretend. Kamil makes her laugh, but she doesn’t know why she can’t make the leap. Why is she so scared of surrendering her heart to him? Does she not feel deserving of love and adoration? Or does she fear a life where she’s always waiting for the other shoe to drop?”



Latest news

Ajay debates the ethics of using AI in crime writing with Frederick Forsyth on TalkTV

Ajay discusses the use of AI in writing on BBC One's The One Show

The Spy long listed for The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing award