A Drop of Chinese Blood (Hardcover)

A Mystery (Inspector O Novels #5)

By James Church

Minotaur Books, 9780312550639, 320pp.

Publication Date: November 13, 2012

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover, Large Print (4/10/2013)

List Price: 39.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


James Church's Inspector O novels have been hailed as "crackling good" (The Washington Post) and "tremendously clever" (Tampa Tribune), while Church himself has been embraced by critics as "the equal of le Carré" (Publishers Weekly, starred). Now Church—a former Western intelligence officer who pulls back the curtain on the hidden world of North Korea in a way that no one else can—comes roaring back with a new novel introducing Inspector O's nephew, Major Bing, the long-suffering chief of the Chinese Ministry of State Security operations on the border with North Korea.

The last place Bing expected to find the stunningly beautiful Madame Fang—a woman Headquarters wants closely watched—was on his front doorstep. Then, as suddenly as she shows up, Madame Fang mysteriously disappears across the river into North Korea, leaving in her wake both consternation and a highly sensitive assignment for Bing to bring back from the North a long missing Chinese security official. Concerned for his nephew's safety, O reluctantly helps him navigate an increasingly complex and deadly maze, one that leads down the twisted byways of O's homeland. In the tradition of Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy, and the Inspector Arkady Renko novels, A Drop of Chinese Blood presents an unfamiliar world, a perplexing universe where the rules are an enigma to the reader and even, sometimes, to Inspector O. Once again, James Church has crafted a story with beautifully spare prose and layered descriptions of a country and a people he knows by heart.

About the Author

JAMES CHURCH (pseudonym) is a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia. He has wandered through Korea for years. No matter what hat he wore, Church says, he ran across Inspector O many times.

Praise For A Drop of Chinese Blood: A Mystery (Inspector O Novels #5)

“Stellar... An intricate plot that ranks as one of Church's best... A satirical look at paranoid intelligence structures and the snappy, irreverent narration add to the fun.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Church uses his years of intelligence work to excellent advantage… delivering one duplicitous plot twist after another.” —The Washington Post

“Satisfied readers will hail Church as the equal of le Carré.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Like Marlowe and Spade before him, Inspector O navigates the shadows and, every now and then, finds truth in the half-light.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Weaving headlines with his own knowledge of the back story of North Korea, Mr. Church is getting better and better at his new tradecraft.” —Washington Times

“Church creates an utterly convincing, internally consistent world of the absurd where orders mean the opposite of what they say and paperwork routinely gets routed to oblivion.” —The Boston Globe

“Church illuminates the darkness of North Korea's closed society in this fascinating series.” —Rocky Mountain News

"Inspector O is a complex, nuanced figure who understands that the regime he serves is corrupt, brutal and mendacious, but he remains loyal.... I think many North Korean officials today are an echo of the conflicted nationalist Inspector O." —The New York Times