The Murder of Mr. Ma

Soho Crime. Apr. 2024. 304p. ISBN 9781641295499. $25.95. M
Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series author Rozan and comics exec Nee create a distinct sense of time and place in this brisk adventure. Lao She teaches Chinese at a London university in 1924 and leads a peaceful life—until Bertrand Russell sends for him. Lao anticipates a quiet discussion about China. Instead, he’s sent to jail to impersonate Judge Dee Ren Jie, who was accidentally swept up when police arrested a group of Chinese agitators. After the pair stir up trouble and cause a riot, Dee involves Lao in his plans to solve a murder. Dee served in the Chinese Labour Corps in France in the Great War. One of his former compatriots, a merchant, has been murdered. Then two more Chinese men are killed, all with a butterfly sword. Along with Lao, Dee enlists a shopkeeper, a British thief, and a group of urchins in his investigation. Lao narrates their adventures as Dee impersonates a street legend, “Springheel Jack, the Terror of London,” swinging from lampposts and launching himself across rooftops in search of a killer.
VERDICT Fans of the Sherlock Holmes canon will appreciate this fast-paced, exciting novel.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing