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Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China | [Paul French]

Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China

Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives - one British and one Chinese - race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever.
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Publisher's Summary

In the last days of old Peking, where anything goes, can a murderer escape justice?

Peking in 1937 is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, opulence and opium dens, rumors and superstition. The Japanese are encircling the city, and the discovery of Pamela Werner's body sends a shiver through already nervous Peking. Is it the work of a madman? One of the ruthless Japanese soldiers now surrounding the city? Or perhaps the dreaded fox spirits?

With the suspect list growing and clues sparse, two detectives - one British and one Chinese - race against the clock to solve the crime before the Japanese invade and Peking as they know it is gone forever. Can they find the killer in time, before the Japanese invade?

Historian and China expert Paul French at last uncovers the truth behind this notorious murder, and offers a rare glimpse of the last days of colonial Peking.

©2012 Paul French (P)2012 Penguin Audio

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    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-16-12
    Richard Kerrville, United States Minor Outlying Islands 05-16-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Haunting, suspenseful"
    Would you listen to Midnight in Peking again? Why?

    Yes. The story is set in Peking just before WWII erupts. The foreign community lives in an enclave that seems to attract or breed decadent westerners who think they are entitled to do whatever they want. The British embassy officials are more interested in preserving face and prestige than in seeing the brutal murder of a young British woman solve. The local Chinese police are corrupt, and protect the drug dealers, pimps and other low lifes in the "Badlands." The murdered girl's father, an irascible former British diplomat, won't give up and investigates how and why his daughter died. Meanwhile the tension mounts as the Japanese close in.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The father. He's a maverick, speaks his mind, which gets him in trouble. When his daughter is murdered persists in trying to solve the mystery of who murdered his daughter, in the face of ridicule, and danger from the British embassy, the local corrupt police, and the underworld.


    Have you listened to any of Erik Singer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but he's very good.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    When a young woman is murdered, her father risked it all to find her killers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 05-06-12
    Michal Scotsdale, AZ, United States 05-06-12 Member Since 2009

    I live in Scottsdale, Arizona. I have 5 grown children, play ukuele exercise, and read.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Never really cared about Pamela"

    This was a murder mystery. A horrible murder mystery. The problem I had with the story is that I never really ever got invested in the life of Pamela, and I'm not sure if that was the author's fault or the reader. I should have been deeply moved by her horrible murder, but I just wasn't. That's very sad.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
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