The Paper Bark Tree Mystery by Ovidia Yu

Set in Singapore in the 30s, this cozy crime sets about describing the political situation between the Japanese, Indians and Singaoreans well.

As administrator, Bald Bernie, who works for the Detective Unit in Singapore is murdered and this uncovers a whole host of people who are not what they say and who have run away from India. The local police are treated as if they are not capable of finding out who the killer is but of course they are and in fact a young woman, Su Lin, finally solves the murder.

There isn’t an awful lot to say about this book. It made a comfortable read in between other books but there is nothing to really shout about. It is focused on colonialism and white patriarchy, illegally mined diamonds and overseas as an escape for those who can’t cope in England, aren’t wanted or who need to hide.

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