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Inspector Singh's expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was t Inspector Singh's expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man's mother demands that Singapore's finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue. But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism "with Chinese characteristics" is a dangerous business, and it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet.


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Inspector Singh's expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was t Inspector Singh's expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man's mother demands that Singapore's finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue. But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism "with Chinese characteristics" is a dangerous business, and it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet.

30 review for A Calamitous Chinese Killing

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This is my first time reading a book in the "Inspector Singh Investigates" series, and I loved it for so many reasons. A book that raises awareness about the human rights abuses in China, an issue that in reality is often ignored or labelled a "conspiracy theory"? A book that points out the fallacies and flaws of socialism and communism? Finally! The main character is also Sikh, and his perspective as a police inspector getting involved with China's corruption and political intrigue was really i This is my first time reading a book in the "Inspector Singh Investigates" series, and I loved it for so many reasons. A book that raises awareness about the human rights abuses in China, an issue that in reality is often ignored or labelled a "conspiracy theory"? A book that points out the fallacies and flaws of socialism and communism? Finally! The main character is also Sikh, and his perspective as a police inspector getting involved with China's corruption and political intrigue was really interesting. I loved him as a main character; Shamini Flint writes him just like a real person. The plot of A Calamitous Chinese Killing follows Inspector Singh on an adventure through the high-rises and modern, smoggy streets of Singapore, a place where there's a strong divide between what the tourists and visitors see, and what the locals know. Singh investigates the murder of the son of a prominent figure in the Singapore Embassy, also coming across various people in the process who tell a very different story of China than the one the world wants to see: unfair practices at factories, the persecution of Falun Gong members and political dissidents, these issues are all addressed in a very real, poignant way that doesn't shy from bringing out the ugliest aspects of these things in the open, while also offering a spark of friendship and hope. I commend the author for not being afraid to talk about China's corruption and rights abuses, and for writing diverse characters who aren't just defined by labels. I also loved that A Calamitous Chinese Killing has some wit and humour beyond the suspense and mystery, and the exploration of Chinese culture and tradition being lost considers the value of experiencing it in full. I'll definitely be reading more "Inspector Singh Investigates" books in the future.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ram Kaushik

    Excellent! Ms. Flint gets better and more confident with each novel. Her description of modern Chinese society walks a fascinating and line: a subtle indictment of its excesses, but simultaneously sympathetic without sounding judgmental. The inspector and the plot are incidental to the tour of China, sort of like Qiu Xialong Inspector Chen series. Recommended!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dan Sihota

    This is the sixth installment I have read in the series following Inspector Singh's investigations, and I enjoyed it as much as the previous ones. And, similar to the previous installments, the plot isn't actually all that difficult to work out, so anyone after a book with lots of plot twists would probably not enjoy these books. However, what makes these books enjoyable to read is the main character, Inspector Singh, a highly unobservant and overweight Sikh who is difficult to take seriously; a This is the sixth installment I have read in the series following Inspector Singh's investigations, and I enjoyed it as much as the previous ones. And, similar to the previous installments, the plot isn't actually all that difficult to work out, so anyone after a book with lots of plot twists would probably not enjoy these books. However, what makes these books enjoyable to read is the main character, Inspector Singh, a highly unobservant and overweight Sikh who is difficult to take seriously; and the fact that each book is set in a different place with its own unique culture and history. I highly recommend these books to anyone after an easy to read, detective, fiction.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shirin

    I thought this book was 'mehhhh....'. I did not enjoy this one as much as i did with the Indian adventure. Someone in one of the earlier book review said that Ms Flint's books set in the far east i.e. indo china and beyond are not as fun to read. I agree. This one goes into the same bin as the Cambodian adventure. I am not sure what it is, I think Ms Flint's writing has improved and continues so with every new series. Perhaps, the grim background of these regions sets the tone for a rather dark I thought this book was 'mehhhh....'. I did not enjoy this one as much as i did with the Indian adventure. Someone in one of the earlier book review said that Ms Flint's books set in the far east i.e. indo china and beyond are not as fun to read. I agree. This one goes into the same bin as the Cambodian adventure. I am not sure what it is, I think Ms Flint's writing has improved and continues so with every new series. Perhaps, the grim background of these regions sets the tone for a rather dark adventure. When I sit down to read Inspector Singh's adventure I look forward to witty lines and clever anecdotes. I look forward to a fun adventure. I turn to Scandinavian thrillers such as those written by Jo Nesbo if I wanted dark...or Patricia Cornwell. Anyway, Singh finds himself on a flight (not SQ444, thank goodness) to Beijing at the behest of the madam first secretary, Susan Tan, of Singapore to China, to investigate the death of her son, Justin, at one of the hutongs. The local police has swept the case aside concluding that it was a botched robbery job but madam first secretary was not so sure. The hutong where Justin was killed has been earmarked to make way for a new development comprising of shining new malls to be developed by Singaporean developers. On the side, Susan tan's house husband, Anthony Tan finds trouble when the deal he was putting together, involving bribery of the officials,for the singaporean developer went side ways and the money lenders are hot on his heels.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I always loved the covers on these books but not being a mystery fan, I figured I'd never get around to reading them...until this past week when I got myself into a situation for class and ended picking this one up at the last minute. Could Shamini Flint turn me into a mystery reader? The jury's still out on that, but I will definitely be sure to read the other books in this series. I loved Inspector Singh's role as "the corpulent copper," who loves his curries, cold beer, and cigarettes (clearl I always loved the covers on these books but not being a mystery fan, I figured I'd never get around to reading them...until this past week when I got myself into a situation for class and ended picking this one up at the last minute. Could Shamini Flint turn me into a mystery reader? The jury's still out on that, but I will definitely be sure to read the other books in this series. I loved Inspector Singh's role as "the corpulent copper," who loves his curries, cold beer, and cigarettes (clearly more culturally a Sikh than religiously) nearly as much as he loves solving a tricky murder. I loved the sense of place Flint created here--the setting was so well-constructed, I was totally immersed, wandering through the streets, markets, and restaurants of Beijing as well. I loved the peculiarities of all the characters, with even the bad guys being so bad they were delightful. And even though grisly murders pepper the novel, it sustains a quaint level of humor throughout that it's just totally charming. My only regret is that, per the parameters of my RA class, I started with the latest installment in the series, not that it really seems to matter necessarily the order they're read, but it does bristle my OCD tendencies to read an author/series chronologically. Ah well, I'll be happily starting at square one with Singh and enjoy the ride. ******** Serendipitously counting for my "takes place in Asia" criteria for the Read Harder challenge.

  6. 4 out of 5

    John Lee

    This is very weird and rather worrying. For some reason, I had thought that this was a new book and I have just finished reading it (5th July 2018). It was as I was preparing to write my notes that I discovered that I had already read it. Although this was less than 3 years ago I have absolutely no recollection of the story and I had no feelings of deja vu during my reading of it. It is rather pleasing to note that my feelings this time were much the same as the last. This is my previous review. On This is very weird and rather worrying. For some reason, I had thought that this was a new book and I have just finished reading it (5th July 2018). It was as I was preparing to write my notes that I discovered that I had already read it. Although this was less than 3 years ago I have absolutely no recollection of the story and I had no feelings of deja vu during my reading of it. It is rather pleasing to note that my feelings this time were much the same as the last. This is my previous review. Only one of this series has failed to come up to expectations and it wasnt this one. Painting a grim picture of life in China the authoress spins a tale of corruption and revenge at the top of Beijings Inner circle. I enjoy reading about supposed exchanges with Mrs Singh although there seemed less in this one. The Who-done-it element was a bit obvious with such a small 'cast' Overall an enjoyable read but may be it could be time for the Inspector to return to his home soil before, who knows, maybe a Japanese Jape.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    Inspector Singh is back on the job…and is promptly sent to China by his supervisor. The son of a Singaporean diplomat has been killed. Although the Chinese police investigation has been wrapped up, the diplomat is not convinced that her son's death was the result of a robbery gone wrong. Singh is called in to reinvestigate, unofficially. He is paired up with a former police officer, Li Jun, to help him navigate Chinese society and keep him out of the crosshairs of Chinese authorities. Various is Inspector Singh is back on the job…and is promptly sent to China by his supervisor. The son of a Singaporean diplomat has been killed. Although the Chinese police investigation has been wrapped up, the diplomat is not convinced that her son's death was the result of a robbery gone wrong. Singh is called in to reinvestigate, unofficially. He is paired up with a former police officer, Li Jun, to help him navigate Chinese society and keep him out of the crosshairs of Chinese authorities. Various issues, such as land deals, corruption, and falun gong, are highlighted in this tale. And for the first time, a case is making the normally fearless police officer nervous because of the high stakes. Another enjoyable installment in this series -- I can't wait to find out where Inspector Singh travels next!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Very mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, loved seeing Singh in China - as a Shanghai resident of 5 years, I totally agree with Flint's descriptions of the Chinese reactions to our portly, turbaned hero! And OF COURSE he would love Sichuan food! But it felt like Flint had done a lot of research on the dark side of modern China - corruption, nepotism, land grabs, princelings, forced organ donation, adultery, labor camps, media manipulation, poor migrants - and tried to jam everything into Very mixed feelings on this one. On the one hand, loved seeing Singh in China - as a Shanghai resident of 5 years, I totally agree with Flint's descriptions of the Chinese reactions to our portly, turbaned hero! And OF COURSE he would love Sichuan food! But it felt like Flint had done a lot of research on the dark side of modern China - corruption, nepotism, land grabs, princelings, forced organ donation, adultery, labor camps, media manipulation, poor migrants - and tried to jam everything into this slim book. Too much, and too much explaining about these issues, that at times overshadowed the characters and plot. Was easy enough to guess at who the villain was. Will commend Flint on how she ended the novel though - that a certain person became the public scapegoat felt like an accurate depiction of how things are handled in China.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Still trying to catch up with all of the books in this series, I continue to enjoy and search out those I have not yet read. This time Inspector Singh travels to mainland China after a Singaporean diplomat's son is killed. Never mind that the murder occurred several weeks prior and Singh is not always diplomatic in his investigations! The case is adroitly concluded and the reader learns much about the inscrutable Chinese as each page is swiftly turned. As always, Shamini Flint has done her homew Still trying to catch up with all of the books in this series, I continue to enjoy and search out those I have not yet read. This time Inspector Singh travels to mainland China after a Singaporean diplomat's son is killed. Never mind that the murder occurred several weeks prior and Singh is not always diplomatic in his investigations! The case is adroitly concluded and the reader learns much about the inscrutable Chinese as each page is swiftly turned. As always, Shamini Flint has done her homework and keeps her finger on the cultural pulse of her setting. Her tale is nuanced with an insider's understanding of Chinese culture and current issues. I hope by the time I finally catch up with previously released books in the series Flint publishes yet another Inspector Singh Investigates!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Izzati

    I enjoyed this more than the first book in the series (I've only read these two). This one did not have unnecessary legal-sounding words like in the first book. And Inspector Singh appeared slightly more central in this story than the other - I could see him acting ala Poirot/Sherlock/Roulatabille. There were a lot more deaths in this book than I expected. I can't comment on whether or not the depiction of China, the mainland Chinese and its culture was accurate because I am not exposed to that, I enjoyed this more than the first book in the series (I've only read these two). This one did not have unnecessary legal-sounding words like in the first book. And Inspector Singh appeared slightly more central in this story than the other - I could see him acting ala Poirot/Sherlock/Roulatabille. There were a lot more deaths in this book than I expected. I can't comment on whether or not the depiction of China, the mainland Chinese and its culture was accurate because I am not exposed to that, but they seem plausible. I like how Shamini Flint brings Inspector Singh around Asia (and I believe there's one in Britain) because we get to somewhat experience different cultures for different cases. The series is definitely better than Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders... I'm interested to read more from the series, if I could get my hands on the rest of the series without spending too much. That being said, I do still have some issues with the biases shown here that were also present in the first book - the fat-shaming and the jabs on Muslim cultures. I truly hope I don't have to bear those in her other books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dave Watt

    So nearly 5 stars. For me, this was a slightly more difficult read as the recent history of the China described here was pretty much unknown to me. So thanks to Inspector Singh for opening up another corner of this mysterious world! One of the things that I think draws me to Shamini's writing is her characterisations - I particularly liked Li Jun the retired policeman in this book. His approach and the way he interacts with Singh speaks much about the experience of ordinary people like him durin So nearly 5 stars. For me, this was a slightly more difficult read as the recent history of the China described here was pretty much unknown to me. So thanks to Inspector Singh for opening up another corner of this mysterious world! One of the things that I think draws me to Shamini's writing is her characterisations - I particularly liked Li Jun the retired policeman in this book. His approach and the way he interacts with Singh speaks much about the experience of ordinary people like him during and since the revolution. Loved the book, looking forward to the next!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Carol Mundie

    Ooh how I love these books and the character of Inspector Singh. I love these series of books. They are just brilliant superb characters and storyline .I was up until the small hours of the morning to finish this book but that means I am one book closer to finishing the current books in this series and that will be a shame as I enjoy following the inspector on his current mission. I had no idea about these books before I saw them come on recommendation and I am really glad I took it up .

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Jeanne

    I love Inspector Singh novels so much. I've read steadily through the series enjoying the characters, not only the gruff and unconventional Singaporean Sikh lead detective but his nemesis in the force, Superintendent Chen, and his nemesis at home, Mrs. Singh. It's a compulsively fun read, a book to savor even as you tear through to the end, and a series that will keep you entertained to the end.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Goldenwattle

    I selected this book for one of my holiday reads. Another Inspector Singh book I have enjoyed. This time set in China. The Inspector is called in when the Singaporean son of an embassy official is killed. Involves official corruption, greed and the embassy official's slimy husband. A good read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    WF

    Singapore's own Inspector Frost, Inspector Singh is unpopular with his superiors, makes serious mistakes, but ultimately has flashes of insights and solves the murder. An enjoyable Singaporean yet cosmopolitan read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ravinder B Reddy

    Reasonably good book! A reasonably good book. The plot is a wee bit far-fetched! However, the depiction of events are extraordinary! Ms Flint surely has a wonderful ways of prose, describing the various events, with a hint of humour!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    Simple and satisfying. Haven't tired of the ample Punjabi inspector yet.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    As always easy and an enjoyable read about the eccentric Inspector Singh. Nothing is easy in China for a foreign policeman.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Lovatt

    Love the characters, great mystery too.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Inspector Singh is such an endearing character. Read this book over a Long haul flight and it was such a great read that I didn’t need to rely on inflight entertainment.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jamad

    Just okay for me. Had this been the first the series I do t think I would have bothered with any more. Had the next one not been set in London, I might not continue, but it is and I shall.

  22. 4 out of 5

    LJ

    First sentence: Justin Tan stood at the main junction of the old hutong, a neighborhood of old courtyards dating from Imperial times, and stared down narrow alleyways that disappeared quickly into Darkness. Justin Chan the 23-year old son of the first secretary at the Singapore Embassy in China has been murdered. Chinese security believes it was a robbery gone wrong. The young man’s mother isn’t satisfied. Inspector Singh has been sent to solve the crime hopefully without causing an internation First sentence: Justin Tan stood at the main junction of the old hutong, a neighborhood of old courtyards dating from Imperial times, and stared down narrow alleyways that disappeared quickly into Darkness. Justin Chan the 23-year old son of the first secretary at the Singapore Embassy in China has been murdered. Chinese security believes it was a robbery gone wrong. The young man’s mother isn’t satisfied. Inspector Singh has been sent to solve the crime hopefully without causing an international incident. We open with fear, danger, and many questions. The contrast from that, to meeting inspector Singh and his wife is very well executed. Still another shift leaves one impressed by how effectively Flint changes both the scene and the tone of the story. Finch has such a captivating voice one finds oneself wanting to read and share passages with someone else - "A murder investigation was not laser-like in its intensity, following a certain path to the truth. It was a bright white beam that lit up hidden corners and dark where the family skeletons where hidden." She also adds just the right touch of the metaphysical--"She flinched at his words and the hairs on Singh’s neck stood up along the base of his turban. Suddenly, it was as if was a presence in the room, erase come to demand did the policeman from Singapore do his duty and not be so keen to accept the official version of the events." Injections of subtle humor, often as part of Singh's narrative, are a delightful offset to the story—“Singh's stomach growled its concurrence before he had a chance to speak... He decided that, remarkably, he was prepared to eat more Chinese food. What was happening to him? Next, have to call himself a food tourist and write a travel book." It is also interesting to learn some of the elements of being a Sikh even though inspector Singh is a very poor example of a practicing Sikh. Yet, for all his foibles, it's hard not to admire him-- "It might be the Chinese way to label a person - terrorist, communist capitalist, a government activist - and then forget about his essential humanity, his inalienable rights. He wouldn't fall into that trap." The story is also a stark reminder of the system of oppression and injustice which exists in many countries today. The suspense, danger, intrigue escalate at a nice pace. As it grows it's a pleasure to watch Singh put together the pieces of the puzzle one by one. The inclusion of a very good plot twist makes things more fascinating still. Yet we also feel Singh’s frustration at not being able to put all the pieces together in a way he could initially prove. “A Calamitous Chinese Killing” is yet another good read in an excellent series with an ending that is satisfactory and yet rather sad. A Calamitous Chinese Killing (Pol Proc-Insp. Singh-China-Cont) - G+ Flint, Shamini – 6th in series Virago - 2013

  23. 4 out of 5

    Somnath Sengupta

    Singapore based author Shamini Flint has written six books on Inspector Singh, a homicide inspector of Singapore police. Inspector Singh isn’t much liked in the force, largely thanks to his unconventional methods of detection. Such is his reputation that the Police Department feels more comfortable when Singh is away from his home-land and he is often sent out to foreign lands to investigate cases where he is not likely to find success. Inspector Singh’s cases have seen him travel to Indonesia, Singapore based author Shamini Flint has written six books on Inspector Singh, a homicide inspector of Singapore police. Inspector Singh isn’t much liked in the force, largely thanks to his unconventional methods of detection. Such is his reputation that the Police Department feels more comfortable when Singh is away from his home-land and he is often sent out to foreign lands to investigate cases where he is not likely to find success. Inspector Singh’s cases have seen him travel to Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia as well as India in the previous books. This one takes him to Beijing. The son of a high-ranking official of Singapore Embassy in Beijing is bludgeoned to death in an old and dank alleyway. The Chinese police claim it was a case of robbery gone wrong but the official thinks otherwise and so sends for an investigator from Singapore. Inspector Singh has to get through several challenges to solve his case. The crime scene is two weeks old, the Chinese police doesn’t want to help him out and he eventually gets tangled into a web of illegal land grab with powerful Chinese politicians behind it. His path of investigation also sees the body count mount up – eventually leading to the climax where multiple deaths take place within minutes. It is quite clear that Flint doesn’t like the way China is being run. In her bid to paint the “this progress is make-believe, China is actually going nowhere” picture Flint tries too hard to get into the dark sides of Chinese administration – going into topics like forceful land grabs, censure and persecution of certain groups, staged encounters as well as illegal organ trade. She often deviates from her plotline to highlight the problems in China and this ruins the flow of the story. The conversation between some of the Chinese characters are completely wooden and read like hastily done subtitles of a Jacky Chan movie. Inspector Singh can easily be compared to Vish Puri. Both are middle aged, portly detectives with a love of spicy food. But while Tarquin Hall manages to conjure some memorable characters, Flint fails in this regard completely and the cast of supporting characters end up being just that and nothing more. This being detective fiction, the obvious flaws in Flint’s narrative could have been ignored if the story was interesting. Flint doesn’t find success here as well. The criminal can be predicted mid-way into the plot and the ending is pretty predictable. Inspector Singh’s detection methods aren’t that unconventional either. Overall, a pretty disappointing read.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh series is one of my favorites. Not only does she let me travel to countries that I will never see, she gives me a real feel for each one-- geographically, politically, and culturally. They're perfect for armchair travelers. In some ways Flint's Inspector Singh of the healthy appetite and blindingly white sneakers reminds me of Tarquin Hall's Vish Puri in New Delhi. For one thing, both characters will have you sampling some spicy and delicious cuisines-- and isn't Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh series is one of my favorites. Not only does she let me travel to countries that I will never see, she gives me a real feel for each one-- geographically, politically, and culturally. They're perfect for armchair travelers. In some ways Flint's Inspector Singh of the healthy appetite and blindingly white sneakers reminds me of Tarquin Hall's Vish Puri in New Delhi. For one thing, both characters will have you sampling some spicy and delicious cuisines-- and isn't that a fantastic way of having books appeal to all our senses? As Singh begins to investigate, he quickly learns how difficult it can be to seek truth from facts in a country where rumors are currency. Once again he's going to have to rely on an interpreter, and this time he is blessed with the one he's given: Li Jun, a retired policeman who can help Singh with so much more than just the language barrier. As these two become acquainted with each other, they make quite a team. As in most investigations, there are several threads that must be unknotted before the truth can be known. The fate of the dissident Professor Luo shocked me down to my marrow and will stay with me, much as a scene from Dominque Lapierre's City of Joy published in 1985 has done. The childless Singh is led to the professor by a brave young woman named Dao Ming, and he meets yet another named Jemima. The way he deals with these girls proves that even though he has no children, he does have a way with them. The mystery in A Calamitous Chinese Killing was one of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. The bad guys were easy to spot, but all the whys and hows and whens were the difficult bits. It's a mystery that entertains on many levels and one that evokes many emotions. From the aforementioned horror to humor, as when Singh's "driver weaved between lanes like a fighter pilot avoiding enemy fire." A word of warning: have a box of tissues handy before reaching the end of the book because Singh also manages a very strong tug on the heartstrings, too. I highly recommend all the Inspector Singh books, but if you're worried about starting yet another series, each one stands alone well. I can't wait to see where Inspector Singh will be headed next.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Indulgenges with b00k r3vi3ws

    Though this is the sixth book in the series, this is my first time reading a Shamini Flint book. The books in the Inspector Singh Series are standalones and can be read as such, but I wish I had started with book one. It would have been an enjoyable experience to see Inspector Singh’s character develop right from the beginning. Inspector Singh is the best of Singapore Law Enforcement – well at least according to him. So when a bloody death rocks the Singapore Embassy in China, Inspector Singh is Though this is the sixth book in the series, this is my first time reading a Shamini Flint book. The books in the Inspector Singh Series are standalones and can be read as such, but I wish I had started with book one. It would have been an enjoyable experience to see Inspector Singh’s character develop right from the beginning. Inspector Singh is the best of Singapore Law Enforcement – well at least according to him. So when a bloody death rocks the Singapore Embassy in China, Inspector Singh is the one handling this case. As he travels to China to investigate, he discovers that the son of an Embassy Official has been murdered and the bludgeoned body was found in a back alley in Beijing. While the Chinese official’s claim that it is a robbery gone bad, the victim’s mother is convinced otherwise. What is supposed to be a simple murder case, soon turns into something much more sinister including organ harvesting, environmental issues and gang wars. To make things even more difficult, the local politics is a force to contend with. Like I said at the very beginning, it would have been fun to have read the books in order so as to see the character of Inspector Singh develop from early on. He is not what one expects from a lead detective in a mystery novel. He is short, fat man who enjoys his food and drinks equally. He is also very unorthodox in his approach and course of action. I was taken aback at first, but then the character grew on me pretty quickly. The cast of this story has a minimum number of characters and to keep all the surprise elements of the story intact, I will only say that while the group is small, it still offers a variety in flavor. The plot is also simple and thus for a hardcore mystery fanatic like me, it was pretty obvious after a while, especially since there weren’t many twists in the story. The author rounds up her work with simple language and narrative style that balances the story well. It was fun to stumble across China with Inspector Singh and watch his unorthodox methods bring justice.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ilonita50

    I love the book cover, its mysterious and suggests of historical elements, my pure interpretation. This is my second book reading from the series, in a mixed order. It did not seemed a problem, every one can read them either by order or not. I like the dialog between inspector and his wife, although it does not make any further influence on the story, the episode with her made me lough, so typical of a Singaporean national. I could seriously picture in my mind an Indian aunty speaking with her hu I love the book cover, its mysterious and suggests of historical elements, my pure interpretation. This is my second book reading from the series, in a mixed order. It did not seemed a problem, every one can read them either by order or not. I like the dialog between inspector and his wife, although it does not make any further influence on the story, the episode with her made me lough, so typical of a Singaporean national. I could seriously picture in my mind an Indian aunty speaking with her husband, picture their HDB apartment and neighboring gossip ladies. The plot touches another important topic - illegal/ under law system in China, corruption and illegal donor forced providers, adultery in the middle of it all & vengeance . There are so much injustice what lower grade people has to face, the possibility of being sucked and face political penalties just because of one democratic mindset. The book partly was so emotional and I felt so bad for main characters and then for bitter personalities, I wish to give the book full 5 or 4 stars, although applying critical view while reading I found some parts unclear and would have expected the plot to have more depth on the issues related to the story. Still looking to read the rest of the stories from the series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kerrie

    Inspector Singh again finds himself with an overseas posting. Not that he will have authority A crime has been committed against a Singaporean national in Beijing and he is being sent to represent Singaporean interests. The First Secretary at the Singapore embassy in Beijing has personally requested him. No one is suggesting that he will be able to solve the crime. In fact he suspects that his superiors are hopeful that his involvement will in some way be terminal and that he will not return to Inspector Singh again finds himself with an overseas posting. Not that he will have authority A crime has been committed against a Singaporean national in Beijing and he is being sent to represent Singaporean interests. The First Secretary at the Singapore embassy in Beijing has personally requested him. No one is suggesting that he will be able to solve the crime. In fact he suspects that his superiors are hopeful that his involvement will in some way be terminal and that he will not return to Singapore. This series is a delightful read and this title is no exception. Throughout the series Singh's character has become stronger and I think he has become a better detective. In Beijing he is given a disgraced retired detective as his offsider and interpreter and between them they actually make a formidable pair. The setting is very topical because it involves land development in Beijing, the removal of century old hutongs and their replacement with modern buildings, but it also involves graft and corruption at the highest level even in the police force. In the background there is the handling of protest through re-education, and a sniff of other forms of corruption. Singh steams on, sampling local cuisine with gusto, and following his intuition. Recommended.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Chung

    Reviewed at Mama Kucing Books : Inspector Singh Investigates : A Calamitous Chinese Killing shamini flint has done it again. another thought provoking book fill with suspense. cleverly blend in the story are issues on corruption, illegal organ harvesting, poverty, materialism, environmental issues and crackdown on fulan gong members. did I miss out on any other issues? Qing's aunt had certainly voiced out what I felt about Mao's policies. as usual, it was not easy to begin reading this book. stor Reviewed at Mama Kucing Books : Inspector Singh Investigates : A Calamitous Chinese Killing shamini flint has done it again. another thought provoking book fill with suspense. cleverly blend in the story are issues on corruption, illegal organ harvesting, poverty, materialism, environmental issues and crackdown on fulan gong members. did I miss out on any other issues? Qing's aunt had certainly voiced out what I felt about Mao's policies. as usual, it was not easy to begin reading this book. story jump from one character to another but as it goes, the story will come together. the only downside is that I am not happy with the closure on Professor Luo issue. it's feel just so unfair. I would have love it if it have a perfect ending. but then with perfect ending, the story will no longer have the realistic feel, right? I wonder where will inspector Chen send inspector singh to next? will mrs singh learn how to make szechuan food? will she be more involved in his investigation?

  29. 4 out of 5

    Krista

    This is perhaps my favorite entry into one of my all time favorite mystery series. Inspector Singh finds himself in Beijing seeking the killers of a Singaporean diplomat's son, bumping up against all that is good and horrifying within the Chinese state in the process. One of my favorite aspects of this series is that wherever the inspector goes he meets a new sidekick to aid him in his investigations. This time it is a morally upright ex-policeman who is forced to resign in disgrace after ruffli This is perhaps my favorite entry into one of my all time favorite mystery series. Inspector Singh finds himself in Beijing seeking the killers of a Singaporean diplomat's son, bumping up against all that is good and horrifying within the Chinese state in the process. One of my favorite aspects of this series is that wherever the inspector goes he meets a new sidekick to aid him in his investigations. This time it is a morally upright ex-policeman who is forced to resign in disgrace after ruffling the feathers of a high cadre child, the child of a politically important person. This book does not feature the notorious Mrs. Singh, but she keeps up a running monologue in her husband's head so one does not really notice the absence, much to my delight. This book delves into the terrors of the Chinese security state from disappearances, cover ups, and forced organ donations to feed the insatiable medical tourism industry and Flint manages to inform and disgust in equal measure. Despite the extremely dark themes, the book is still shot through with the Inspector's particular brand of humor and I very much look forward to the next installment of his adventures abroad.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Clare O'Beara

    Singapore is a clean modern country with high-rise cities, but in this story a Sikh police inspector gets sent to China to investigate the death of the son of a Singaporean family in Beijing. The smog, smells and squalor are an uneasy match with lavish lifestyles and tourists seen by locals as waiting to be fleeced. There seem to be a lot of characters but their disparate stories of life in the modern China - a farm girl come to work in factories, a land developer, a corrupt official - or two - Singapore is a clean modern country with high-rise cities, but in this story a Sikh police inspector gets sent to China to investigate the death of the son of a Singaporean family in Beijing. The smog, smells and squalor are an uneasy match with lavish lifestyles and tourists seen by locals as waiting to be fleeced. There seem to be a lot of characters but their disparate stories of life in the modern China - a farm girl come to work in factories, a land developer, a corrupt official - or two - an aged woman who remembers the famine days, a policeman forced to retire because he arrested someone important, a sad intellectual who knows he fights a losing battle and dares to practise the exercises falun gong in public - are all tied together and form the meat, vegetables and noodles in this intricate and spicy chop suey. This is a fine read and I will be checking out more books by this author. Those interested in the smog-choked industrial prosperity of the People's Republic will find more details in another book I've just finished reading, 'The People's Republic of Chemicals' by Chip Jacobs and William J. Kelly.

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