'Midnight in Peking' by Paul French
Published on Friday, July 26, 2013 - 9:22am
Midnight in Peking is the selection we will be discussing Thursday, Aug. 1.
In 1937, as Peking moved toward the Japanese invasion, two detectives, one Chinese and one British, battled time and their own bureaucracies to investigate the brutal murder of 19-year old Pamela Werner, front-page news around the world, which remained unsolved for 75 years. To tell a tale of place and politics as well as of people, historian Paul French, who lives in Shanghai and has written books on pre-1949 China, spent seven years researching the story in archives in China and the United Kingdom. Described as creative non-fiction, the style of the book is reminiscent of Truman Capote's In Cold Blood, called the first nonfiction novel, and James Fox's White Mischief.
The Midnight in Peking website is full of fascinating additional material including an audio walk and a bibliography of related readings.
The Cleveland Park Mystery Book Club meets on the first Thursday of the month, at 6:30 pm, at Barnes & Noble, 12th and E streets, NW.