Saturday, August 30, 2008

A rival for Nergui?

I received an interesting e-mail today from the crime-writer, Mary Reed.  Mary had come across a (very enthusiastic, I'm pleased to say) review of The Shadow Walker in the newsletter, I Love a Mystery.  The reviewer had mentioned in passing that my publisher had apparently claimed Nergui to be the only Mongolian detective in fiction. 

Well, that kind of claim is always risky, and Mary was writing to point out that she and her writing partner, Eric Mayer, had in fact created a Mongolian detective, Inspector Dorj, who had appeared in a number of stories in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine in the 1990s and in a story in a recent Mike Ashley anthology, The Mammoth Book of Perfect Crimes and Impossible Mysteries.

I'm only too happy to set the record straight, and also to draw your attention to Mary and Eric's excellent website.  The website covers their fascinating-sounding John the Chamberlain series, set in 6th Century Byzantium, and also contains a wealth of stories, essays, reviews and other material (including an absolutely stunning set of links to Golden Age crime stories and M R James-style supernatural fiction, available through Project Gutenberg).  The website is a superb resource and I'll add a permanent link to it on here. 

Apologies to Mary and Eric for my publisher's over-selling of Nergui's uniqueness - but at least it's enabled me to discover their splendid site.  I'll now seek out the stories, and I'll be interested to see how our perspectives on Mongolia compare.  And perhaps one day we should collaborate on something which brings Dorj and Nergui together...


1. Mary Reed said...

Thanks for your generous response!
We wish you every success with Nergui.

2. Michael Walters said...

Thanks, Mary - only too pleased to highlight your work and the excellent website. Best wishes to you both.

3. tammy swofford said...

Hi Michael,
I just saw your book today at Barnes and Noble. My heart skipped a beat when I flipped it over to see "Ulan Baatar". Have been there, and further into the steppes as part of a medical team with doctors and nurses from my hospital system, and also a nurse from Canada. What a perfectly beautiful place!

I was impressed with seeing the only stop signs being the occasional Yak on the road blocking the bus. The people were lovely and extremely grateful for the care, traveling by car or camel to the river bank where we set up our clinic of yurts along the banks of the river.

My stack of books is tall, so I hope to keep your selection in the back of my mind for a future purchase.


4. Lanni said...

How lovely to find this site - thanks to my friend Tammy, who found it first. We both visited Mongolia on medical mission with Change The World Ministries. A beautiful land, fascinating people - kind and hospitable. I will be getting a copy of "The Shadow Walker" and look forward to reading it.

5. Michael+Walters said...

Many thanks for the comments, Tammi and Lanni. It's encouraging to hear of people doing such important work in the country, as well. I hope you enjoy the book!

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