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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Around the World in 80 Murders: Asia and Southeast Asia

Sleuth your way around the world, explore novel destinations, and help catch a killer as you go…Around the World in 80 Murders

Asia and Southeast Asia

The Interior by Lisa See
Chinese inspector Liu Hulan and her American boyfriend, American attorney David Stark team up for a second mystery. Here Liu travels from Beijing to Da Shui to help an old friend solve the murder of her daughter.  The toy factory she worked in may be responsible for her death.  This is a compelling mystery series, with a touch of romance, which accurately portrays life in modern China.

Eye of the Jade by Diane Wei Liang
After resigning from the Ministry of Public Security, Mei Wang becomes a PI in late 1990s Beijing. This change of career is disgraceful to her family because being a PI is illegal in Beijing.  However, an old family friend gives Mei her first case: track down a jade seal from the Han Dynasty.  The case and family issues collide in this mystery which also contemplates the human rights abuses of the Chinese government.

The Samurai’s Wife by Laura Joh Rowland
In 17th Century Japan in the town that will become Tokyo, Sano Ichiro holds the title of Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People.  In this, the fifth title in the series, Sano must get help from his new wife to solve a murder, but the investigation also turns up a plot to overthrow the government. History, intrigue, and suspense meld together perfectly in Rowland’s series.

The Flower Master by Sujata Massey
Amateur sleuth Rei Shimura is a young Japanese American antiques dealer in modern day Tokyo. When her flower arranging teacher is killed and Rei’s Aunt becomes the lead suspect, Rei must try to clear her Aunt’s name.  This series mixes in Japanese culture lessons with the suspense of the mystery.

Bangkok 8 by John Burdett
Bangkok’s only honest police detective searches for the person responsible for the deaths of his partner (a friend from childhood) and an American Marine sergeant killed in his car by a mass of cobras and a giant python.

The Shadow Walker by Michael Walters
In Ulan Bataar, Mongolia, violent crime is relatively unknown. A serial killer has left behind his fourth mutilated corpse with a severed head and limbs this time in a luxurious hotel, so a British CID Inspector is sent to assist in the quest to catch the killer before more people die.

A Corpse in the Koryo by James Church
Inspector O works for the North Korean government. After what appears to be a routine surveillance job, the Inspector starts to realize he may have been set up to fail by his bosses.  Inspector O fights for justice despite his government’s shady dealings.  This is a highly accurate account of life in a secretive country.

The Coroner’s Lunch by Colin Cotterill
In this series debut, it is 1975 and seventy-two year old Dr. Siri Paiboun is named Chief Coroner of Laos by the newly installed Communist government.  His first case begins with the death of the wife of a Party leader and then the bodies of Vietnamese soldiers start surfacing in a lake.  Siri is an eccentric and original investigator.

The Damascened Blade by Barbara Cleverly
Scotland Yard commander Joe Sandilands is in India during the 1920s.  He is trying to take a vacation near the Afghan border when he receives orders to chaperone an American heiress who wants to experience the “real India.”  The two end up at a frontier outpost, a tribal prince is killed, and Sandilands must find the murderer quickly in order to avoid starting a war.

The Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall
Meet Vish Puri, an accomplished private detective and owner of Delhi’s Most Private Investigators Ltd.  Expect interesting and eccentric characters, and storytelling like Agatha Christie with the addition of current technology. It also explores the contradictions of modern India without sacrificing the playfulness of the story.

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