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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; its all about noticing negative chi energy accompanied by simple observations.  All 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 with mastery of the English language through Jo, but his attempts to understand Jo’s lingo or mimic it are comical. His initial scepticism 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.

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"Mr. Wong is a feng shui consultant, but his cases tend to involve a lot more than just interior decoration. You see, Wong specializes in a certain type of problem premises: crime scenes." Wong and his brash teenaged Aussie-American intern make a strange pair indeed as they travel around Singapore solving crimes while trying to decipher each other's language and behavior. His latest case involves a mysterious young woman who, according to a psychic reading, is doomed to die. Wong's desperate efforts to save her eventually lead him and his sidekick to Sydney, where the story climaxes at the Opera House, a building known for its appalling feng shui.

Review THE FENG SHUI DETECTIVE - Nury Vittachi
Saturday, November 1, 2008

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