THE FENG SHUI DETECTIVE
Nury Vittachi

 


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Allen & Unwin, This Edition published June 2008
Reviewed by Sally Roddom

Mr Wong is a breath of fresh air to the mystery genre. He is a feng shui master, who just happens to solve mysteries while giving his clients interior decorating advice as a geomancer.  Feng shui is about noticing negative chi energy, accompanied by simple observations. What Mr Wong wants to do is quietly write a book on Oriental wisdom, snippets of which can be found preceding each chapter. Unfortunately his quiet life is shattered when he is forced to take on an assistant, Jo McQuinnie, the daughter of a friend of his boss and a typical western teenager loud, bubbly and speaking incomprehensible, colloquial English.

THE FENG SHUI DETECTIVE is the first in a series of books starring Wong and Jo. Rather than one single plot line through the book there is a progression of different cases, each with its accompanying starter of feng shui history. It is a perfect blend of fun and philosophy, a blend of East meets West and each becomes the richer for it. Based in Singapore, the two unlikely partners travel to Malaysia, India, Hong Kong and finish up in a monastery in Vietnam as they take on the different cases. Wong tries to come to grips with mastery of the English language through Jo, but his attempts to understand Jos lingo or mimic it are comical. His initial skepticism of how a young, loud woman could be of any use to him is understandable. But his opinion slowly changes from apprehension to approval as they work through each successive case, each contributing to solving the mystery.

This is a wonderful, intelligent and very funny mystery which will appeal to a broad range of readers who will learn many helpful feng shui tips along the way.

Nov 2008 review originally published on Murder and Mayhem

 

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