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Showing 1-10 of 80 reviews(4 star). See all 241 reviews
In ‘Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish’ author Stephen Leather has carefully crafted an affectionate homage to that most enduring of golden-age investigations, the locked-room mystery. It may be set in the gleaming steel spires of one of the world’s most advanced urban environments, but this story owes everything to the traditional intrigue of the English country estate and the dead body found in the guest bedroom.

Inspector Zhang adopts the role of the idiosyncratic detective, inspecting the scene from every angle to uncover the crucial piece of compelling evidence. The locked room itself is brilliantly brought into the modern era as a sleek, climate-controlled hotel suite, complete with sealed windows and a CCTV guardian at the gate. The method of murder is obscure and the mystery appears to be impenetrable, but Zhang is more than up to the challenge.
The author indulges in an overview of the genre, recounting the time-honoured solutions to this pretty puzzle. But he also imbues the storytelling with the authentic atmosphere of Singapore itself.

Short stories may not be as fulfilling as full-length novels, but they’re also mercifully free of the domestic humdrum which weighs down so many recent ‘thrillers’. This one was the perfect length for a lunch break: an elegant and entertaining whodunit which encouraged me to pick up the compiled ‘Eight Curious Cases’ which feature the same detective.
8/10

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on 29 October 2011
Normally I don't read "whodunnits"(Christie etc always seem to drag on and on)but I like Stephen Leathers other works so I figured I'd try this one.I was pleasantly surprised.It's a very quick read(15-20 minutes),I liked the characters and it's well written.I may even be tempted to read some more about Inspector Zhang(though in all truth I prefer the authors more "boys own/action" type novels).Excellent read for the price(it's rare to get anything good for free).
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on 8 November 2011
Leather's Singaporean Detective Zhang investigates another closed room mystery as a hotel guest is found dead where CCTV shows that no one has entered his room since said guest called room service and also telephoned his wife. This series of very short stories is modelled on Agatha Christie's Poirot where Zhang similarly uses his 'little grey cells' to solve a seemingly impossible mystery. Very simple, very clever, and very readable.
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on 23 June 2013
Its a quick, short read. You can make up your own mind how you feel about that.

Its a book for fans of crime novels. It takes the classic scenario of the body in the locked room and, whilst being written as a novella, provides an almost scholarly analysis of the genre. It then delivers the resolution within that framework. It is a pity it didn't offer a new variation, now that would have been something. There are also enough nods to other crime writers to keep the fan amused with their own knowledge.

It is well done, nice characters, nice interplay between the Inspector and side kick. There is a beginning, a middle and an end, and yes, if you read the story and exercise your own little grey cells, you too can play along and work out the solution.

I thought I read that the Inspector also appears in other "locked room" mysteries. If you like this, then you might want to read more. Personally, I can imagine them to be formulaic, simply using each of the conventional plot devices.
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on 6 July 2013
Second read of Stephen Leather, not sure I took to the character enough to want to read anymore but had a sense of humour which I liked and although not really of fan of the Columbo style characters as a freebie it was pleasant enough
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on 9 September 2013
A bit short for my taste and Zhang threw all protocol (and so presumably, his career if his assistant told anyone) out of the window just to bring to life his favourite crime fiction sleuth techniques but good fun to read.
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The main character reminded me of Charlie Chan and his scenes in the film Murder by Death. He has already solved the crime and is just waiting for the others to either catch up or bask in his super skills of deduction. I really enjoyed the extra research and info that went into the solution of the locked room mystery. I haven't read any of the authors work since reading once bitten, which was enjoyable barring a minor hiccup or two. If this is an indication of the work he can create without the use of violence and/or graphic details, then I may give one of his more tame tales a go. I really enjoyed this short story and have to admit that i had to go back a few pages and reread the bit I missed, that solved the mystery. (Not going to mention who didn't or did do what or when due to the danger of spoiling the read).Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish (a free short story)
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on 25 January 2014
Though this mystery is only a short story it was still an enjoyable light read and recommended if you need a quick reading fix whilst resting between your busy schedule.
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on 10 June 2013
Very short story which made it ideal for travelling. I could read the book in a couple of hours. The story line was believable and well told.
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on 10 June 2013
Yes I enjoyed this book very much. However, as it is a short story it only took about half an hpur to read - I would recommend it though.
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