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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Corpse in the Koryo

Church, James. A Corpse in the Koryo. Inspector O is relating events that led up to a murder in Pyongyang's main hotel, the Koryo. A fascinating look into North Korean communism and a country where little can be counted on, not even a cup of tea. Inspector O and his superior Pak are men committed to their jobs, but subject to the vagaries of Korean politics. What began as a supposedly routine surveillance assignment ends with Inspector O explaining the events to the foreign agent. The conversation between the two men is interspersed among Inspector O's story of where the assignment led.

Far more interesting than the murders is the glimpse into the closed society of North Korea. The small everyday details of life in North Korea are revealed without fanfare and made the country real for me...for the first time. The character of Inspector O is well developed, believable, and sympathetic.

James Church, a former intelligence officer, knows the country, its people, and its politics and spins an interesting tale in a fascinating setting.

I enjoyed this one very much.

Fiction. Mystery. 2006. 280 pages.


  1. I am so ready for a good mystery. I have about 20 lined up. Must finish classics challenge first.

  2. Cheya - Among those 20, I'm sure there are several from our favorite series!

  3. I liked this book so much I started Googling to see what other people thought about it. I'm happy to learn there's a second Inspector O book due out in the fall.