A Calamitous Chinese Killing by Shamini Flint [Book Review]

a calamitous chinese killing

A Calamitous Chinese Killing, the latest entry in Shamini Flint’s Inspector Singh Investigates series, is a light yet engrossing read that sends the titular character into a conspiracy of murder, wrongful arrest, property seizure and corruption. The series, now six books long, stars a portly Indian detective based in Singapore, who travels across Southeast Asia solving murders, while generally causing headaches for his superiors. Past entries have taken Inspector Singh to Malaysia, Bali, Cambodia and India; this most recent chapter takes him to a very different society: rapidly modernizing China.

Inspector Singh is asked, unofficially, to help solve the murder of a young Singaporean student in Beijing: Justin Tam. His mother Susan Tam, a top diplomat in the Singaporean Embassy, disbelieves the official story, which deemed the murder a robbery gone wrong. Singh is drawn into a wider conspiracy involving a deputy mayor that bears a striking resemblance to another populist, yet corrupt, Communist politician in the news recently.

This is an except from a review of A Calamitous Chinese Killing by Shamini Flint, originally published in the Asian Review of Books on September 26th, 2013. The full review can be accessed here.