Midnight in Peking   by  Paul French 

Midnight in Peking is  Paul French’s account of the brutal murder of Pamela Werner.  In 1937 Peking was still reeling from the ongoing turmoil caused by the Japanese invaders in the north of China and the many warlords who had come and gone in the preceding years. Pamela failed to return home one evening and her badly mutilated body was found the following morning. British Detective Chief Inspector Richard Dennis was sent from Tientsin to assist Chinese Colonel Han Shih-ching in finding the perpetrator.

From the customs and superstitions of the Chinese people to the foreigners located in what was known as the Legation Quarter, the history of this time in Peking is brought to life. As the investigation into the murder of the young white girl unfolds we learn more about underground culture and lifestyle that was present at that time as well.

This was a fascinating read. It drew me in from the opening pages straight through to the surprising end. That era is amazingly brought to life with the colorful descriptions offered. It reads more as a modern day mystery/thriller than a rehash of a decades old unsolved murder.