Lots of intrigue: Shanghai Secrets by Sulari Gentill

Shanghai Secrets (Rowland Sinclair WWII Mysteries Book 9)

I am always delighted to settle in for another visit with Rowly, Edna, Clyde and Milton. Each of these characters is eccentric and interesting. We have an aristocrat, an artist, a poet and an artisan. Together they form a formidable quartet.

The Rowland Sinclair mysteries take place in the run up to WWII and in a world that feels rather ominous. Ms. Gentill always does her research and brings authenticity to both the setting and the background history of her stories. This time, I learned about Chiang Kai Shek, those who were pro or anti-Communist and the troubled relations between Japan and China. This history adds verisimilitude to the story.

The story begins as Rowly’s brother ( a more conventional sort) wants to send him and his friends to Shanghai to meet with those who may want to purchase Sinclair wool. Rowly is firmly instructed to equivocate in all of his business dealings. Can he?

The Shanghai that the protagonists visit is depicted as a city of immigrants and locals with many classes and nationalities in its society. For example, Rowly has a Chinese butler and an Indian driver.

As readers of the series know, where Rowly goes, trouble follows. In this novel, he meets a “taxi girl” named Sasha. She is reputedly from the Russian aristocracy. Alexandra now sells dances with her to those at the Cathay Hotel. This is quite a step down from her former life in her own country. Rowly dances with her…when the worst happens to Sasha and she is found dead in Rowly’s hotel room, there is a case to be solved.

This is an intricate and involving story. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone. I do think, though, that many readers will want to explore all of the titles after they finish this book.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.

Author: joycesmysteryandfictionbookreviews

I love to read, recommend books and open the world of reading to others. I tutor to ensure that the next generation of readers will know the joys of a good book because their reading skills have improved. I am an avid reader, especially of mysteries and fiction. I believe that two of the world's greatest inventions were the public library and eyeglasses!

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