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Chinese Puzzle

525 pages15 hours


Red City Review awarded "Chinese Puzzle" First Prize in its Mystery/Thriller category.

"As the first novel in a trilogy, T.M. Raymond’s Chinese Puzzle is full of action, mystery, facts, and lies.
T.M. Raymond has created a story that is captivating and thorough, keeping readers interested throughout the novel and projecting interest onto the coming two sequels. Each of the characters in the novel have a distinct background that is explained within the novel, creating motivations that drive the actions and personalities of the characters. Throughout the novel, readers are found to be questioning the “facts” along with Davies, who works as both the procurer of information and the detective of many situations and crimes along the way. The twists and turns that the author reveals are surprising not only to Davies, but also to readers – an uneasy feat for many writers. The language in the novel is varied for each of the characters, creating not only distinct voices but also making clear the effort that was employed by the author in the creation of such a story. The research and the interest of the author is clear to the readers, making the novel even more enjoyable. A story that is sure to interest all, this mystery is full of questions, answers, and excitement."

Here's my description of "Chinese Puzzle."

Monica Marshall is a nobody. The fact that she is radiantly beautiful, clever, funny, often brilliant is of no importance. As an Eurasian visiting Shanghai in the 1920s, none of her attributes matter; to whites she's invisible; Asians regard her with contempt. When she's accused of committing an especially gruesome murder, a Caucasian detective steps in as her champion, fighting to prove her innocence. Unfortunately, as the detective's attraction to Monica grows, so does his distrust of her, fueled by his own repressed racial prejudice.
Shanghai in the twenties was a fabulous place, a gaudy, immoral, violent, unjust, optimistic free-for-all where rickshaws competed with Rolls-Royces and a wealthy Englishman, American or Japanese who spent an afternoon at the dog races might be inconvenienced by the sight of a public beheading on his way to the club for cocktails. It was also an improbable model for the future where racial barriers were rigid in certain neighborhoods and completely lacking in others only a few blocks away. There was almost no place in history where
the past and the future collided with so much drama.

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