Christopher West has been a professional writer for many years, and China is a subject to which he frequently returns. His first book, Journey to the Middle Kingdom, was a travel memoir based on a visit he made to that country in 1986. In 2005, he co-authored Myths about Doing Business in China, a guide to Chinese business culture (and showing how different it is, both from Western business culture and from most Westerners’ preconceptions of Chinese ways).
The four crime novels that make up The China Quartet were first published in the 1990s; Death of a Blue Lantern was nominated for Best First Novel at the 1995 World Mystery Convention (Bouchercon). In 2015, Chris revisited the series and gave it a substantial rewrite for ebook publication. ‘I found they needed to be a little faster and a little darker,’ he says. ‘Times change, and it was fun making my detective change with them.’ The stories remain set in the 1990s, however. ‘It was a special time which created the template for the modern economic superpower that China is today. The stories belong to that era.’