This is not a review, as such. The Speaker of Mandarin is one of the best Wexford tales, clever and surprising as they all are, with the added feature of seeing Wexford on holiday in China, which Rendell renders wonderfully!
However, as I say, this is not a review, this is more of a plea. Several of these relatively early titles by RR remain stubbornly out of print, impossible to acquire. To Fear A Painted Devil and Vanity Dies Hard are two more examples. All excellent books, which seem to have been passed by by her publishers, randomhouse, left unacceptably out of print. This is quite clearly wrong, as this in particular is a fantastic book. If you are an ardent Rendell fan and can't get hold of these titles, email her publisher (the adress for emailing the sales department can be found on their site) without further ado! The more people who request info on out-of-print titles, the more likely it is that they will be reprinted. So, I urge you, get emailing in order that everyone will be able to experience the joys of every one of Rendell's works!
If you can manage to get hold of The Speaker of Mandarin these days, enjoy it. It's one fantastic crime novel, clever and unguessable, in a brilliant setting. In Rendell's canon, it is unique.