From the list on old Beijing.
Who am I?
Having lived in China for almost three decades, I am naturally interested in the expat writing scene. I am a voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction on China, past and present. One constant in this country is change, and that requires keeping up with the latest publications by writers who have lived here and know it well. As an author of three novels, one short story collection, and three essay collections on China myself, I believe I have something of my own to contribute, although I tend to hew to gritty, offbeat themes to capture a contemporary China unknown to the West.
Isham's book list on old Beijing
Discover why each book is one of Isham's favorite books.
Why did Isham love this book?
Graeme Sheppard’s account of the 1937 murder of Englishwoman Pamela Werner, A Death in Peking, has been overshadowed by Paul French’s more widely known Midnight in Peking, unfortunately so. Whereas French builds his case on dubious claims and sensationalizes his narrative with gothic embellishments centered around the haunted “Fox Tower” where Werner’s body was supposedly found (a location contradicted by contemporary newspaper accounts), Sheppard sticks to the facts and arrives at a strikingly different and more convincing conclusion regarding the identity of the murderer. And if French’s page-turner is modelled more on the mystery novel genre than true-crime reportage, Sheppard’s starker account is nonetheless equally engrossing in its pursuit of the truth. In the process of his methodical sifting of the evidence, he brings to light an old Beijing grounded in reality. I myself have conducted guided tours of the old Legation neighborhoods and their sheer geography compels…
A Death in Peking
Why should I read it?
1 author picked A Death in Peking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
The brutal murder of 19-year-old Pamela Werner in the city of Peking one night in January 1937 shocked the world, but the police never found or named the murderer. A best-selling book, Midnight in Peking, declared the murderer to be an American dentist, but English policeman Graeme Sheppard, 30 years with Scotland Yard, decided that conclusion was flawed, spent years investigating all aspects of the case and came up with an entirely different conclusion. So who did it? Who killed Pamela? This book provides never-revealed evidence and a different perpetrator.