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.
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.
1932 was an important year in Sino-Japanese relations. In March, the puppet state of Manchukuo was proclaimed, manufactured out of the conquered northeast region of Manchuria. It was also a momentous year for Shanghai when the city became a battleground. It’s on the verge of the undeclared war that we regroup with Inspector Danilov and Detective-Sergeant Strachan in The Killing Time, the fourth book in this series by MJ Lee.
Like Weimar Berlin, Shanghai in the 1920s and 30s has always held a unique appeal for me. It’s got everything: bloodthirsty gangsters, seedy prostitutes, glamorous nightclubs, spies, political intrigue, and a cosmopolitan feel that makes Berlin look like Oklahoma.
In the early months of 1931, the world was a very different place. There was no Nazi regime in Germany, Japan hadn’t invaded Manchuria, and Stalin was solidifying his power within the Soviet Union. It is on this world stage where That Evening in Shanghai by Paul Thorne is set.
Hugh Cardell, an American engineer finds himself unemployed after a job prospect falls through in China. Deciding to kill some time in the Orient, Hugh spends a few days in Shanghai where he encounters a blonde woman in a green dress, pursued by sinister persons.