Inspector Zhang Books

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Inspector Zhang is the lead in the Inspector Zhang series of detective mysteries by renowned British author Stephen Leather. Leather first introduced the character in the first novel of the series, “Inspector Zhang Gets Her Wish”, published in 2011.

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Order of Inspector Zhang Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish ( By: Stephen Leather) 2011 Description / Buy
2 Inspector Zhang and the Dead Thai Gangster ( By: Stephen Leather) 2011 Description / Buy
3 Inspector Zhang and the Falling Woman ( By: Stephen Leather) 2011 Description / Buy
4 Inspector Zhang and the Disappearing Drugs ( By: Stephen Leather) 2011 Description / Buy
5 Inspector Zhang and The Perfect Alibi ( By: Stephen Leather) 2012 Description / Buy
6 Inspector Zhang Goes To Harrogate ( By: Stephen Leather) 2012 Description / Buy
7 Inspector Zhang and the Island of the Dead (Short Story) ( By: Stephen Leather) 2013 Description / Buy
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Inspector Zhang is a Detective Inspector working for the Singapore Police. He is best described as an impeccably dressed detective, well spoken, and a voracious reader of traditional detective fiction. What is more? He has gone as far learning Japanese so that he can read a popular Japanese detective mystery series never translated into English. He has some of the best deductive powers in the police department, but given that hardly anything happens in Singapore, has had very few opportunities to put them to use.

The first novel in the series, Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish is a short 9000 word narrative that tells the story of Detective Inspector Zhang who finally gets that closed-door mystery that he has been craving for a long time. Zhang and his assistant Sergeant Lee are called to a luxury Singapore Hotel, where Wilkinson a wealthy American has just been found dead in his room.

What follows is a breezy, witty, and intriguing narrative as Inspector Zhang gets to work in the dead man’s room. Giving due respect to Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Homes from whom the detective inspector is descended, Leather creates a charming character and delightful narrative that is a clear demonstration of a detective thriller master at the top of his game. Reading the novel, it is no wonder that the author is a two-time CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award nominee.

INspector Zhang Awards

While the Inspector Zhang series has yet to win any awards, author Stephen Leather has been recognized quite a bit for his writing. As previously mentioned, he was nominated for the CWA Ian Fleming Flaming Dagger award for his 2002 novel Tango and for his 2004 book Hard Landing.

In 2007, his book Cold Kill was nominated for Best Novel by International Thriller Writers, Inc. Four years later, he would be voted on the most 100 influential people in the UK publishing world.

In addition to his book writing, Leather has also written for television. He’s written screenplays for popular shows London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind.


Inspector Zhang Gets His Wish: This book is beloved for it’s take on the classic “locked door mystery”, you know when a person is found dead in their room with the door locked, windows shut and all alone. Inspector Zhang is a lifetime fan of exactly this type of mystery and uses his skills of deduction, honed from reading so many detective novels in his life, to try and solve the case. To do so, he has Sergeant Lee at his side. Kind of the Watson to his Holmes, that is the ever faithful student of Zhang and willing to learn. A great relationship.

Inspector Zhang also has a certain knowledge that he is finally in one of his short stories that he loves reading so much and it is both a tribute and amazing story.

A quick, breezy read and a great introduction to the character.

Inspector Zhang and the Perfect Alibi: The fifth novel in the Zhang series is a fun whodunit mystery in the locked-room mystery format. A young woman is killed in what seems like an ordinary opportunistic burglary. In most instances, such a case would be an open and shut case for Inspector Zhang of the Singapore Police Force. But this is no ordinary murder, given that the burglar has an airtight alibi, despite his bite marks and fingerprints being found on the victim and on the murder weapon. As it turns out, the man was in police custody and it is up to Inspector Zhang to find out how he got out of his cell to commit the crime.

Inspector Zhang and the Dead Thai Gangster: The third novel in the series is another captivating and witty novel in the Inspector Zhang locked room mysteries. The inscrutable, charming, and ever courteous Inspector Zhang with his sidekick Sergeant Lee of the Singapore Police Force are on a flight to Bangkok, when the crew discovers that passenger in the first class cabin is dead. Initial observations show that the passenger died of bullet wounds that were inflicted on the flight. The Detective Inspector now has to find out who killed him, why he did it, and how he did it without attracting any attention.

Inspector Zhang and the Falling Woman: The second novel in the Inspector Zhang series is a quick entertaining read. Detective Inspector Zhang is coming out of a hotel where he has been celebrating his thirtieth wedding anniversary with his wife, when a woman falls out of the sky right in front of the couple in an apparent suicide. Even as Singapore is a city in which suicide is common and murder rare, Zhang believes something is not right with the suicide he has witnessed. He brings his powers of deductive reasoning to bear and what is first thought to be a simple suicide becomes an intricate case that will tax the veteran detective to the limits of his powers.


If you love the Inspector Zhang series of novels, you will love the “Miraculous Mysteries: Locked Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes” by Martin Edwards. This is a collection of 16 locked room mysteries published by various British authors at the beginning of the 20th century. Fans of the Inspector Zhang series of novels also enjoy the “An Odelia Grey Mystery” series by Sue Ann Jaffarian. These novels follow the adventures of paralegal Odelia Grey, who is repeatedly drawn into the world of contract killers, tangled relationships, and bizarre suicides, that turn her into the unlikeliest of amateur sleuths.

What Is The Next Book in The Inspector Zhang Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Inspector Zhang Series. The newest book is Inspector Zhang and the Island of the Dead and was released on November, 26th 2013.

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