The Feng Shui Detective
Nury Vittachi
Felony & Mayhem
320 pages

If you like either Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s short Sherlock Holmes stories or mysteries set in foreign places like the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, you are going to like The Feng Shui Detective by Nury Vittachi. If you like both, you are going to love it. The nine stories here are individual whodunits. The Feng Shui is a fun, light, capsule mystery style read.

The Feng Shui Detective is professional geomancer C.F. Wong. At the beginning of the book his boss strongly suggests he find work for a friend’s offspring. Enter young American Joyce McQuinnie. Her purpose plot wise is to ask relevant questions, be the duck out of water for the reader, and, bring a dose of humor, especially about various colloquial expressions she uses and Wong does not understand or that Wong misuses.

The stories themselves are good but not really more than that. What makes them interesting is the set-up of a feng shui expert and his young assistant.

Also, Nury Vittachi does not really play fair with the reader. In “Mysterious Properties” the sort of crime is solved by having Wong disappear and come back with pertinent information he gleaned offstage. In other stories some of the elements of the solve are presented but not all of them are.

The more interesting story has Wong and Joyce meeting a fortune teller, a mathematician, and a police detective who needs their help to solve a closed room whodunit.

If you expect the author to give you enough information so that you too can solve the crime, The Feng Shui Detective is not going to satisfy. If you are looking for a fun series of short reads with a change of scenery, this book is pretty decent.