1930s Shanghai has long captivated people for its lurid underworld, usually presented in the form of the notorious Green Gang. However, there was a brief period in Old Shanghai where a new batch of gangsters rose to prominence, and their story is told in Paul French’s Devils of Shanghai.
Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland is a historical mystery set in 1929, during the early days of Stalinist Russia. The first of the Inspector Pekkala series, it shines a light on an often-overlooked period, when the USSR was a strange international pariah, rather than the Red Menace of the Cold War.
China Dawn by Robert L. Duncan is a historical epic novel from 1988, spanning the years of 1931 to 1981, moving through various locations, from Tokyo to Shanghai, to Manchukuo, to Singapore, to Paris.
Babylon Berlin returns for a third season, taking us back to the hectic and hedonistic days of 1929 Berlin. This season (or series as the Brits say; staffel fur die Deutschen) follows Detective Gereon Rath and his assistant/sidekick Charlotte Ritter as they investigate the strange murders on a movie set, committed by a mysterious and nightmarish Phantom. With them are enough side characters and subplots to give Deadwood a run for its money.
Moscow Investigator Arkady Renko is back for his ninth and possibly last book, The Siberian Dilemma by Martin Cruz Smith. As with all Arkady Renko books, it’s filled with murder, intrigue, and wry Russian humor.
Shanghai 1928 – the body of blonde woman is found dead, washed up on the “Beach of Dead Babies.” The mutilated corpse is marked with the Chinese character for “justice.” It’s with this gruesome and foreboding atmosphere that Death in Shanghai by MJ Lee, and the Inspector Danilov series begins.
Shanghai Story by the great Alexa Kang is a historical epic in the vein of such classics as The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. Whereas those books concentrated on the well-represented European Theater of World War II, Kang’s trilogy will focus on the lesser-known Sino-Japanese War.