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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 8 December 2013
As I know that Stephen Leather has lived in the far east in the past, and currently resides over in that part of the world, I can see how he can write so well about the area in a lot of his books. 'Write about what you know,' is a writers mantra, as it adds realism to your work, and he certainly does that. If anyone has read my other comments on Stephens books they will know I am big fan of his work. I aspire to write as well as he does, knowing that I will fail, but even trying to be as good will improve my own work.
The book is good in that it introduces a character to the uninitiated and brings him alive, leaving the reader with a desire to seek out more on the 'Poirot of the East.'
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 October 2016
Witty, elegantly written short story from a very good writer. Inspector Zhang is a particularly well-read detective who uses his erudition to help solve an intriguing murder mystery in double-quick time. His literary references puzzle everyone else and from this comes the humour. I really enjoyed this little story and feel that I have made a new discovery in Stephen Leather.
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on 2 May 2017
Modern day Sherlock Holmes, great book.
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on 19 July 2014
I'm not a big fan of stephen leather and once more i found the writting bit simple even the story is smart, i think it could be more interesting to read and more passion in that, things i've not found in that book.
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on 13 January 2013
stephen leather is one of the best authors around, I have read most of his books and would recommend them to all
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on 18 May 2017
good
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on 19 February 2016
A good read
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on 9 March 2013
Easy enough to read, but like most 'locked room' mysteries a bit formulaic. Would be fine for the beach or airport.
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on 28 April 2013
It was an easy read but the plot was very simple, disappointing, not what you expect for a Stephen Leather book.
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