Sunday, September 9, 2012

Short Story Sunday: "Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish" by Stephen Leather


Inspector Zhang is a member of the Singapore Police Force and a fan of mystery books.  His biggest wish is to one day encounter a locked room mystery, a true mystery that is seemingly impossible to solve.  But for Inspector Zhang, this may never happen, as Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, and barely one murder a year.  

Until one day Inspector Zhang is called to a five star hotel to investigate the murder of a wealthy American businessman.  After reviewing the hotel security tapes, Zhang realizes that he is in the midst of an actual locked room mystery.  Using the principles set out by famed mystery writer John Dickson Carr, Zhang relishes the fact that he has finally got his wish.  But will all of his reading help him solve the case or will he get more than he wished for?

Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish is a short story by Stephen Leather, one of the UK's most successful thriller writers.  It is one of four Inspector Zhang stories, all locked room mysteries.  I loved it!  It is reminiscent of mystery stories of old - Agatha Christie, Sherlock Holmes, etc.  The way that Leather explains the seven explanations of a locked room mystery really put the reader in the middle of the story, attempting to figure it out themselves right along with the Inspector.  Even though it's short, about 30 pages, it has sparked something in me to go read more like this and I'm definitely going to go get my hands on not just the others in this series, but John Dickson Carr's The Hollow Man.

This story is available for free on Amazon.  To get this story, click here.

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