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by Nury Vittachi

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 2004
ISBN: 0-312-32059-0
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

A Singapore feng shui master is well along in his magnum opus, Some Gleanings of Oriental Wisdom, when he realizes he may have to glean some Occidental wisdom from his unasked-for teenaged intern.

While C.F. Wong is in the middle of a consultation for the Tsai-Leibler family, someone sets fire to their flat. Even though Mr. Wong puts out the fire, his client points out that almost dying is very bad feng shui. Worse, the problem is apparently there to stay: Just ask the vocal ghost of a tormented patient that haunts Dr. Leibler’s new dental office. When a Malaysian witch doctor hires two of Mr. Wong’s friends, Dilip Kenneth Sinha and Madame Xu Chong Li, to help a client—doomed according to Indian and Chinese astrology, palmistry, and every other occult science known to the Singapore Union of Industrial Mystics—they enlist Mr. Wong’s help. But first he must find still another client’s kidnapped daughter, assisted by Joyce McQuinnie, the intern who escorts him through Dan T.’s Inferno. Meanwhile, Dr. Leibler’s hygienist dies suddenly, leaving Police Superintendent Gilbert Tan in need of Mr. Wong’s advice. It all ends when Wong and Joyce travel to Australia’s Sydney Opera House, a building with catastrophically bad feng shui, to sort out vengeful gangsters, life insurance policies, and psychic doom in a dramatic conclusion.

An entertaining debut, with a zany but affectionate multicultural mix.