The Last Resident

The Love Story of a British Official and an Indian Princess

Awoken by the call to prayer, an old woman looks at her husband’s sleeping face, and to her it is as beautiful as the day they fell in love. But when she tries to wake him, she realizes he is not breathing. How these two found each other and united, despite every obstacle, is the subject of Shahzad Rizvi’s historical romance The Last Resident: The Story of a British Official and an Indian Princess.

When Nigel Hadley, a young Indian Civil Service officer, boarded the Star of India, he dreamed of the land about which he had read and studied so much, longing to immerse himself in a world utterly different from his own.

During his journey, however, he is pulled into an engagement with Lady Pamela, niece of the Viceroy, and his dreams of freely exploring India and its culture are shattered. Torn between his responsibilities to his wife and his hopes for the future, Nigel attempts, with limited success, to fit in with British expatriate society.

But when Nigel meets the Nawab of Bhojpal, his luck changes. At the Nawab’s request, Nigel is appointed Resident, or diplomatic representative, to the Nawab’s princely state. Finally he has a chance to immerse himself in the magical cultures of India. As Nigel juggles his roles as Resident in Bhojpal and husband to Lady Pamela, he encounters the Nawab’s daughter, the Princess Mehr Un Nisa, and his fate is sealed.

Known as the “poet princess,” Mehru captures Nigel with her exotic beauty and her passion for life. Like magnets, the two strangers are drawn to each other, despite the different worlds they come from and the sheer impossibility of their union. The Nawab is enraged by the relationship, a betrayal, as he sees it, by both his friend and his daughter. It takes all the genius of the state’s brilliant Jewish prime minister, the Nawab’s closest advisor, putting his own livelihood on the line, to secure Nigel’s freedom and to unite the lovers at last.

Set in an India clamoring for independence, The Last Resident captures the rainbow of cultures that call that nation home. It is the story of one Western man’s love of India, and one Eastern woman’s hope that with love, anything is possible.

Read reviews of the book.


"I could not put it down till I reached the final page.The Last Resident is a beautiful and touching romance. I enjoyed the vibrant descriptions of all of Nigel’s surroundings, almost as though I was there myself. I was drawn to so many things in the novel – the setting, the historic time period, and the several charming parables (such as the camel stuck on the roof) with the judicious solutions. They reminded me of similar parables that my father used to enjoy and relate to me.

I also enjoyed the amiable relationship between Nigel and Nawab Sahib as well as the role of Mr. Joseph as the wise, open-minded prime minister, and especially his clever solutions for uniting Nigel and Mehr Un Nisa, and capturing Lady Pamela’s murderer. ...A wonderful book and a beautiful story."