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The Feng Shui Detective (Feng Shui Detective #1)

3.63  ·  Rating Details  ·  432 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Mr. Wong is a feng shui consultant, but his cases tend to involve a lot more than just interior decoration. You see, Wong specializes in a certain type of problem premises: crime scenes. He and his brash teenage Aussie-American ex-pat intern (think an Asian Sherlock Holmes paired up with Kelly Osbourne) travel around Singapore solving crimes while trying to decipher each o
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published January 21st 2004 by Minotaur Books (first published 2000)
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Red Mandarin Dress by Qiu XiaolongThe Skull Mantra by Eliot PattisonDragon Bones by Lisa SeeDeath of a Red Heroine by Qiu XiaolongFlower Net by Lisa See
Asian Mystery
87th out of 160 books — 47 voters
Everyone Burns by John DolanThe No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall SmithThe Coroner's Lunch by Colin CotterillThe Case of the Missing Servant by Tarquin HallThe Skull Mantra by Eliot Pattison
Best Multicultural Mysteries
50th out of 114 books — 126 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 929)
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Grace Tjan
Aug 04, 2010 Grace Tjan rated it liked it
With apologies to native Singlish speakers.

Ah Lian (AL): "So, what you got with you hah?"

Ah Beng (AB): "A book."

AL: "Aiyaa, it's got kaya on it. You been reading it at the kopitiam, issit. No good- lah. Must not read books while makan. Must respect books."

AB: "Nevermind-lah."

AL: "Where got?"

AB: "At Borders."

AL: "You bought it? Usually you so kiasu. Only want to read books in the store."

AB: "No-lah. Only when I boh lui. Yesterday I got salary. So can buy buy. Besides the story is set in Singapor
Oct 04, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
As you begin this novel, it may be tempting to dismiss it - a mistake I almost made. Give it a few more pages and you'll hopefully be hooked - as I was. CF Wong is a simple man, ostensibly retired, but busy with his feng shui business which he hopes will bring in some extra income. He is saddled with a very disagreeable secretary who refuses to work (yet who's made herself irreplaceable due to a complicated filing system only she can understand) and an eager yet unwanted young intern named Joyce ...more
Apr 07, 2010 Suzanne rated it liked it
Recommended to Suzanne by: Cozy Mystery Apr 2010 "Around the House"
Shelves: cozy-mysteries
This book has to be one of the most novel sleuthing teams I've ever read. CF Wong is the older, Chinese, feng shui master who specializes in crime scenes. He is paired with a young, Australian girl who has been foisted upon him as an intern. The age and culture clashes add quite a bit of humor to the story, such as CF writing that he eventually figures out that "whatever" means yes and "as if" means no.

The setting, Singapore, is also somewhat unique and provides a good background of eastern and
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
Apr 12, 2016 Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cina
alla ricerca della giusta collocazione

Wong è un maestro di Feng Shui, di solito viene chiamato per stabilire la corretta ubicazione degli oggetti nello spazio e spesso è coinvolto per chiarire cosa è andato storto in un dato luogo, ha un'assistente, Joyce, che gli è stata imposta dal suo capo e che parla una strana lingua di cui Wong non è ancora padrone, gli tocca spesso cercare sul dizionario il significato delle parole della ragazza, ma dal punto di vista dei contatti umani lei sa molto megli
Dec 30, 2007 mina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cerita lucu dan dialog cerdas, itulah kehebatan Vittachi. Aku secara kebetulan membeli seri 1 dari cerita detektif Feng Shui-nya ini di Gramedia Jogja, dan langsung tergila-gila. Sejak itu, aku selalu ingin mencari karyanya. Tabrakan antara Timur (Mr Wong, sang feng shui master) dan Barat (Joyce, the sidekick) selalu bikin geli. Catatan harian yang dibuat Mr Wong juga menarik dibaca, memberikan satu dosis Zen per bab cerita. Kita juga belajar sedikit tentang feng shui tanpa merasa digurui.
Dec 11, 2008 Sharakael rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery lover looking for a light reading.
I really enjoyed this book :D It's actually a collection of 9 stories, each an interesting mystery ranging from murder to missing money. I was looking for something short to read, so this perfect the bill as I could read one story each night.

While each story has its own charm and character, the stories were not written as pure murder mystery; few of the stories doesn't really give you enough hints or clues so that you'd be able to solve the mystery yourself. But all the solution was ingenious, p
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
A light, fast read. I was a bit disappointed at first that it is actually a collection of short stories when I was expecting a novel, but they're pleasant enough, if a bit derivative. This book is sort of Tarquin Hall's Vish Puri, with his fractured "Asian English", meets Alexander McCall Smith's Precious Ramotswe with her knowledge of human nature; plus a good sprinkling of "aphorisms" along the lines of the old Kung Fu TV series--except the student is adressed as Blade of Grass instead of Litt ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Shelves: mysteries, 2015
I don't know. It was kinda cute, a bit silly, but very confusing. The story jumped around a lot and there were a lot of names to remember. As the story unfolded, I realized that what seemed like a lot of unrelated plotlines were actually related... but even towards the end, I was having a hard time figuring out exactly HOW. Same thing goes for the characters... they were actually all more related to one another than it seemed, at first. And yet, because I had a hard time keeping them all straigh ...more
Dina P.
Dec 09, 2014 Dina P. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Nury Vittachi. His articles in Reader's Digest are always funny and full with Asian cultures. So very Asian. Then I saw this book at Periplus, and I thought Vittachi's book must be equally good. And I'm not dissapointed.

This book is actually a collection of short stories, with Mr. Wong, an elderly feng shui master and Joyce McQuinnie, his Australian teenager assistant, as the protagonist. Their story usually started in an feng shui reading, which lead to cases or mysteries, which they fi
Angelic Zaizai
Jan 30, 2009 Angelic Zaizai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller-misteri
Suka baca buku detektif ??
Detektif yang ini beda dari yang laen..
metoda penyelidikannya berdasarkan feng shui..
herannya bisaa aja sukses membongkar kasus yang didapatnya..
udah gitu kocak pula orangnya... pelitnya setengah mati...
Apr 12, 2014 Sae-chan rated it liked it
A light read. Too light, maybe. Many wrong malay words and expressions. The redeeming factor is the start of each stories.
May 13, 2016 Kuri rated it liked it
I had saw this book and was immediately drawn to it. Yes, I judged a book by its cover. I love the lucky cat that was on the cover. So I picked it up and decided I would read it. At first, I got discouraged and thought it was boring, but after reading reviews, I decided to give it another try. So glad I did! The reviews are right, the beginning is a little slow, but you won't regret it if you keep reading. This book is very witty and has a lot of comedy for a mystery book. That really reels you ...more
Dewi V
Aug 18, 2015 Dewi V rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Setelah menyelesaikan buku ini, saya membaca juga edisi hard cover bahasa inggrisnya (terbitan Minotaur kalau tidak salah). Kenapa harus dua edisi? Iseng saja dan kebetulan pula dapat, apalagi saya suka sekali seri ini biarpun waktu itu baru mulai buku pertama. Tokoh tokohnya unik dan terkesan komikal tapi tetap selaras dengan alur ceritanya. Saya tidak akan panjang lebar menguraikan ceritanya, tapi ada satu poin plus lagi buat buku ini, yang baru saya sadari setelah membaca ulang edisi bahasa i ...more
Feb 05, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
c.F. Wong is a feng shui expert who companies around Asia call on to help with problems. He is assisted by Joyce Mcquinnie, a European teenager who is doing work experience in Mr Wong's office. This is a detective-in-another-country book with a difference - every chapter is a different mystery. in fact it feels a bit like those five minute mysteries I read as a kid, and sometimes the mystery is solved as implausibly.

But the mysteries and crimes are almost secondary to the cross cultural misunde
Sep 05, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I picked this book up because I have read the author's column, "Traveller's Tales", in the Far Eastern Economic Review many times with great pleasure. As a humorist he does not disappoint and this book is further proof of it.

It is a detective story, but it is also a good 'clash of cultures" story. The author (I believe this is the first in the series) introduces a set of unusual and interesting characters. Are they stereotypes? Not exactly, but several of them do fit the mold of specific persona
R.J. Murphy
Sep 08, 2011 R.J. Murphy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Singapore office of C.F. Wong & Associates are dominated by Winnie the incompetent receptionist, and Joyce the teenaged Aussie assistant, who was forced on Mr. Wong by his main client. Mr. Wong is a Feng Shui consultant who would like nothing better than to sit in his office working on the book of oriental wisdom he has been writing for the last several years but somehow life keeps interrupting him. Mr. Wong is currently trying to stop the haunting of a dentist's office, find a young wom ...more
Dec 26, 2012 Mars rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: senior-year-hs
This book was not exactly what I expected in that rather than one continuous storyline, each chapter is a small standalone mystery in and of itself. This is not a bad thing at all and in fact I found this book to be extremely enjoyable. I felt as though its events sort of occurred in episodes, like a television show, which was cool. In fact, one of the quotes under "Praise for Nury Vittachi and The Feng Shui Detective books" is from The Australian and it says, "If Hollywood wakes up..." Yes! I a ...more
Dec 09, 2013 Melanie rated it liked it
Joyce, auch genannt Jo, ist als Praktikantin bei C. F. Wong untergekommen. Ihr 'Papi' hat dies arrangiert und C. F. Wong hat nur als gefälligkeit mit Hoffnung auf ein wenig mehr Honorar zugesagt.
Anfangs versucht Wong das Junge Mädchen mit Ablagearbeiten abzuspeisen, doch schnell wird klar, dass sie viel mehr will, als nur die Sachen sortieren und so nimmt er sie mit auf seine Aufträge. Dort geht es nicht nur um Fengshui, sondern auch um Mordfälle.
Dieses ungwöhnlich, eigentlich nicht zusammen pa
Bronwyn Hegarty
Feb 14, 2015 Bronwyn Hegarty rated it really liked it
C.F Wong is the geomancer practising Feng Shui to solve problems for people. During his work a few corpses appear or he is asked to find out why people become ill or die as a result of bad feng shui in buildings or homes. This is an eclectic collection of stories that develop over time so need to be read in order. They are light and easy to read but deal with intense life events. I really like the interactions between C.F. Wong and Joyce his 17 year old American assistant on work experience....h ...more
Sep 10, 2015 Tiffany rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, metaphysical
What fun reading and a bit ridiculous. Mostly I liked Mr. Wong's statement about letting things go:
Ideally a person should have slightly more destruction in her life than acquisition. That way he would gradually change the balance of his existence from material to spiritual as he ages. He would thus end his life gloriously unencumbered.
Excellently relevant to my life!
Helen Tubrett
Aug 12, 2015 Helen Tubrett rated it liked it
This book made me long for Singapore again...I especially liked "Some Gleanings of Oriental Wisdom." I would have liked a bit more help translating the Chinese/Cantonese expressions that Wong uses, just to colour in the lines, but I made do without. I'm looking forward to Book #2 now!
Jan 25, 2016 Prctaxman rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Nury writes as humorously as he talks - this is a droll, funny piece of escapism.....subtle puns, galore!

My wife cleaned...she put the book away.....we cannot find this will be a partially read book until found, hopefully....
Carol Sloan
Jun 22, 2016 Carol Sloan rated it really liked it
I found this book in my bookshelf and decided to read it, it turned out to be funny and not a bad read.
It was written in 2002, so it isn't a brand new best seller, I enjoyed it anyway. You might give it a try if you can find it .....
Mar 22, 2014 Nure rated it it was amazing
Bukunya Nury Vittachi penuh dengan ledakan. Bayangin aja, baru di awal cerita sudah muncul harimau yang berkeliaran di tengah kota. Lucu, seru, dan cerdas. Yang paling aku suka, Nury bisa membuat dialog para tokohnya seperti nyata.
Anne Charlotte LE DIOT
Jan 12, 2016 Anne Charlotte LE DIOT rated it really liked it
Young East meets Old West and solve mysteries. While staying true to themselves (and what a truth), they find a way to bond along the way.
And read it in English. It simply isn't as funny in another language !!
Melinda Seyler
Aug 28, 2015 Melinda Seyler rated it it was ok
It was okay. I couldn't really relate to any of the characters- the Feng Shui "detective" his psychic friends, his Aussie assistant and his ridiculous office "manager". The Feng Shui man seemed downright thick and his assistant should figure out what she wants and do it. The manager should just be fired.
Danusia Tsehelska
Jun 04, 2016 Danusia Tsehelska rated it it was amazing
This book, I randomly picked off the shelf.
I'm beyond grateful I did that, when I did, because I've started to incorporate the teachings of Feng Shui into my daily lifestyle; and now, being such an important time in my life, when I'm shaping up to be the person I'm meant to be for the rest of my life, knowing these peaceful and logical rules exist and why, made my life all the more fulfilling.
You'll be surprised if you take a chance on a random book... because nothing in life is really 'random
William Freeman
Apr 22, 2015 William Freeman rated it really liked it
Started off a little slow but I ended up warming to this charming and quirky read. Recommend for crime fans and those who like something a little different
Miriam Reger
Apr 27, 2014 Miriam Reger rated it really liked it
Shelves: humourous
A fun read, with a different take on the mystery genre.
I particularly enjoyed the cross-cultural and cross-generational misunderstandings.
Sep 07, 2015 Nancy rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, asian-books
I read this years ago, but just saw it listed on Cindy's To Read list.
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Nury Vittachi is a journalist and author based in Hong Kong. His columns are published daily, weekly in a variety of newspapers in Asia as well as on his website. He is best known for the comedy-crime novel series The Feng Shui Detective, published in many languages around the world, but he has also written non-fiction works and novels for children. He is also noted for his role in founding the As ...more
More about Nury Vittachi...

Other Books in the Series

Feng Shui Detective (5 books)
  • Detektif Feng Shui 2: Petualangan ke Selatan
  • The Feng Shui Detective's Casebook
  • The Shanghai Union of Industrial Mystics (Feng Shui Detective, #4)
  • Mr Wong Goes West

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“Tambi’s expression changed again, this time to one of a humble supplicant. ‘I am not asking much,’ he said. ‘Only a miracle. Can you do this?’
Wong looked down at the briefing papers in front of him for a moment. Then he looked Tambi in the eye. ‘Miracles we have fifteen per cent extra surcharge. Is it okay?”
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