book cover of The Murder of Mr. Ma
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The Murder of Mr. Ma

(2024)
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Sherlock-esque crime set in early 20th century London, packed with action and martial arts elements, this is the first book in a series to feature a daring, opium-addicted Chinese judge and his shy, academic sidekick, solving fiendish mysteries among the Chinese community in London's Limehouse district.

For fans of Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films, this stunning, martial-arts series opener by a powerhouse duo of authors is at once comfortingly familiar and tantalizingly new.

Two unlikely allies race through the cobbled streets of 1920s London in search of a killer targeting Chinese immigrants.

London, 1924. When shy academic Lao She meets larger-than-life Judge Dee Ren Jie, his life abruptly turns from books and lectures to daring chases and narrow escapes. Dee has come to London to investigate the murder of a man he'd known during World War I when serving with the Chinese Labour Corps. No sooner has Dee interviewed the grieving widow than another dead body turns up. Then another. All stabbed to death with a butterfly sword. Will Dee and Lao be able to connect the threads of the murders—or are they next in line as victims?

John Shen Yen Nee and SJ Rozan's groundbreaking collaboration blends traditional gong'an crime fiction and the most iconic aspects of the Sherlock Holmes canon. Dee and Lao encounter the aristocracy and the street-child telegraph, churchmen and thieves in this clever, cinematic mystery that's as thrilling and visual as an action film, as imaginative and transporting as a timeless classic.

Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"Fans of Sherlock Holmes, devotees of intricate crime, and lovers of historical London will thrill over The Murder of Mr. Ma, the new gift to mystery readers bestowed by John Shen Yen Nee and SJ Rozan. With a plot as clever as Chinese veteran of WWI turned independent investigator Dee, and pacing as light-footed as the martial artists engaged in the frequent fisticuffs, this case has it all - even romance and authentic food, if you can stomach such things. I'm only miffed because I don't know when the next in the series will land on my doorstep." - Lyndsay Faye

"The Murder of Mr. Ma is a joy, with this Chinese Sherlock Holmes and his Watson bringing a thrilling, complex, and thought-provoking new take on 1920s London." - Laurie R King

"The Murder of Mr. Ma is a refreshingly unique mystery featuring a Chinese detective and his somewhat unwitting partner in 1920s London, combining classic elements from both British and Chinese detective stories in a thrilling romp that doesn't shy away from the realities of life under colonial dynamics. Lao She and Dee Ren Jie are a hilarious and compelling duo to follow!" - Xiran Jay Zhao


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