As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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by Constable, 1 June 2017. ISBN:
This story is set in the British colony of Singapore
in 1936 where the Acting Governor’s household suffers a bereavement. The
Irish nanny, Charity, who has been looking after the governor’s daughter dies
mysteriously by falling from her balcony. She is replaced by SuLin who
has been educated at the Mission school and who wants to escape from the
looming possibility of being married off by her family. She is from a
Chinese family of some wealth and is under her grandmother’s control. She
speaks Malay and Hokkien as well as fluent English.
Dee-Dee, the daughter of the
Governor, had, had a serious illness at the age of 7 and her mental development
has halted at that point though she had grown older and much bigger.
SuLin becomes her carer and finds herself trying to make sense of Charity’s
death and another in the household that follows. The Chief Inspector of
the Criminal Intelligence Department, Thomas Le Froy, is very concerned about
the deaths too. As SuLin becomes part of the Palin household
she develops different relationships with the various household members.
Eventually SuLin’s search for
answers puts her in some danger but she survives to fight another day!
This is a fascinating book in its lovely detailing of the attitudes of the
people in Singapore in the 1930s, from Governor’s lady to Chinese cook and
I enjoyed reading this very much
and hope that the promise of a further story about SuLin is fulfilled.
Jennifer S. Palmer
Ovidia Yu has written a number of
previous contemporary mysteries also set in Singapore.
Ovidia Yu was born in,
lives in and writes about Singapore.She spent her
schooldays in the science stream and it was only after she found herself in
medical school that she became aware she didn’t want to spend her life as a
It was after
dropping out of college that Ovidia entered her first writing competition. Her
short story A Dream Of China won
first prize in the Asiaweek short story competition that year. Although she had
been writing her own stories almost as long as she had been reading, it was
only then that she dared to think about becoming a writer. Winning the
competition meant a lot because until then, the only people who had read her
stories were friends and family. As she said, “they might have been saying they
liked my writing because they were being nice to me.”Ovidia loved reading as far back as she can
remember. In addition to short stories, she has also written plays, novels and
a children’s book, The Mudskipper.
But now Ovidia is focusing on trying to figure out how to write the kind of
books that made her fall in love with reading in the first place—traditional
mysteries. Ovidia is a member of several writing and reading groups and tries
to keep some balance in her life by writing morning pages.
my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my
15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands
& the USA
but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting
reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics
including Famous Historical Mysteries.