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Book Review: ‘Nine Fold Heaven’ by Mingmei Yip

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Books are a great way to escape or run away to exotic new places and to meet new people. Nine Fold Heaven is a book that does that. It will transport you into the world of 20-year-old Camilla, a Chinese female spy in 1930s Shanghai.

When we meet her, she is returning to Shanghai after having to escape a short time ago – because she is wanted by the police. She was caught between two powerful rival gangs, people died, money was stolen and she got away. But that isn’t the only thing hanging over her head.

She left two lovers behind and one was the father of her baby. She was told the baby was stillborn. But she’s having dreams that lead her to believe that he’s alive.

So, how does a mother who is wanted by two gangs and the police, manage to sneak into Shanghai and find a baby who may be dead and who she’s never seen?

Mingmei Yip has written four other books in Asian settings and Nine Fold Heaven is the second in a series about Camilla – but you do not have to read the Skeleton Women, the first book in the series, to enjoy and understand Nine Fold Heaven.

The atmosphere was very good in the book and I felt the character was very authentic. The reader gainsNine Fold Heaven by Mingmei Yip a lot of insights into the world of a female spy, a woman who grew up in an orphanage and was then molded by a gangster. We meet a variety of characters throughout the story and its interesting to see how Camilla manages to keep herself out of trouble – well, most of the time. It is also interesting to see how she interacts with others in the story, some who she already knew and other people who are new acquaintances.

There really isn’t any graphic sex in the book. However, Camilla’s sensuality and the fact that she is used to being  a beautiful and talented woman in a world dominated by men  is clear. Keep in mind it’s the 1930s, she is searching for her baby and she is on her own.

It is a challenging situation and she works to find a way to find the answers to her questions – along with her baby and her lovers. For a woman that is used to surviving through her wits and using whatever she must to stay alive, it is a tough world, but she is determined that she will find her baby. Come along and see what Camilla has in store for you.

About Mingmei Yip

Mingmei Yip has been writing and publishing since she was 14 and now she has 12 books to her credit. Her five novels are published by Kensington Books and her two children’s books are published by Tuttle Publishing. She is also a renowned qin (ancient string instrument) musician, calligrapher and painter. In Hong Kong, she was a columnist for seven major newspapers.

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