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Sunday, Dec. 30, 2007

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BEST OF BOOKS

Need something to read in the new year?


THE SHANGHAI UNION OF INDUSTRIAL MYSTICS by Nury Vittachi (Polygon)

Mark Schreiber

Vittachi, who is arguably Asia's funniest writer, is a longtime columnist for the Far Eastern Economic Review. His character C.F. Wong is a "feng shui detective" with a cute young Australian female assistant and the laziest, most self-centered secretary who ever lived. The trio's latest madcap adventure is set in China.

TOUCHLINE SAMURAI by Guy Stanley (Book Guild Publishing)

When a man named Ohara, who turns out to be Japanese and not Irish, is brought in to manage an appallingly bad English football club, the clashes — cultural and otherwise — just won't quit. Longtime Japan resident Guy Stanley has diverted from his earlier series of mysteries set in Tokyo with a new book reminiscent of what "Major League" did for U.S. baseball.

Read an interview with Guy Stanley.

BANGKOK HAUNTS by John Burdett (Knopf)

I immensely enjoyed Burdett's previous two mystery-thrillers featuring half-American Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, and expect this one, which involves the usual cast of eccentric farang low-lifes who populate Bangkok, will prove equally entertaining.

Mark Schreiber is a passionate collector of mystery and adventure fiction set in Asia and invites interested readers to visit www.steamyeast.com for more information on this topic.


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