THE KING OF MACAU by JAKE NEEDHAM

I clearly am a very late learner. Having only recently discovered the wonderful detective novels of John Burdett, which are set in Bangkok, I have just this week made the acquaintance of yet another Asian based crime writer, Jake Needham. I was in Hong Kong a few days ago, and decided I …

BANGKOK EIGHT by JOHN BURDETT

There is such a delight in discovering (admittedly well after everyone else) a fabulous new detective hero, and after reading “Bangkok Eight” I am a fan, a firm, verging-on-embarrassingly-enthusiastic fan of Sonchai Jitpleecheep. Sonchai Jitpleecheep is an unusual Bangkok cop. For one thing he is only half Thai. For another …

BALZAC AND THE LITTLE CHINESE SEAMSTRESS by DAI SIJIE

This slim, charming novel about one of the darkest periods in recent Chinese history, the Cultural Revolution, manages to combine ugliness and brutishness with a life-saving thread of hope and young love and dreams. It is 1971, and 2 young men, teenaged sons of then-reviled intellectuals, are sent off to …