Renowned author Paul French will publish his crime classic “Midnight in Beijing” August 29, about the seedy underbelly of Beijing in the 1930s. After bestsellers like “Fat China: How Expanding Waistlines are Changing a Nation” and on foreign correspondents in China, now French hits the suspense writing, taking us back to a murder scene in the Beijing of 1937.
In the exclusive Legation Quarter, the foreign residents wait nervously for the axe to fall. Japanese troops have already occupied Manchuria and are poised to advance south. Word has it that Chiang Kai-shek and his shaky government, long since fled to Nanking, are ready to cut a deal with Tokyo and leave Peking to its fate.
Each day brings a racheting up of tension for Chinese and foreigners alike inside the ancient city walls. On one of those walls, not far from the nefarious Badlands, is a massive watchtower – haunted, so the locals believe, by fox spirits that prey upon innocent mortals.
Then one bitterly cold night, the body of an innocent mortal is dumped there. It belongs to Pamela Werner, the daughter of a former British consul to China, and when the details of her death become known, people find it hard to credit that any human could treat another in such a fashion. Even as the Japanese noose on the city tightens, the killing of Pamela transfixes Peking.
Seventy-five years after these events, Paul French finally gives the case the resolution it was denied at the time. Midnight in Peking is the unputdownable true story of a murder that will make you hold your loved ones close, and also a sweepingly evocative account of the end of an era.
- Fat childrens’ health problems – Paul French (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- After the kids, mom and dad will get fat – Paul French (chinaherald.net)
- Paul French, author of Midnight in Peking, answers Ten Terrifying Questions (booktopia.com.au)
- China’s leadership: caught between inflation and deflation – Paul Denlinger (chinaherald.net)