The Feng Shui Detctive (Chameleon Press, Hong Kong 2000 ) is the first in the series by Nury Vittachi of the Feng Shui detective series. C.F. Wong, originally from China and residing in Singapore is a Feng Shui expert often called in to right the wrong energies in houses, gardens, blocks of apartments and offices. Wherever Wong goes a crime surfaces which he resolves by use of Feng Shui charts and deduction. His assistant, Joyce McQuinnie, forced upon him by one of his best sponsors, is an Amglo-Australian, aged seventeen who is utterly gauche and paternalistic in her outlook. Joyce exudes quite the wrong energy force for Wong but often proves useful with her roll-over pragmatism. As plot after plot unfolds, each encapsulated within a different story, the reader is presented with Malaysians, Chinese, Indians; the whole range of multicultural society to be found in Singapore and neighboring Malaysia. Wong goes further afield though; to Vietnam and it is here that Joyce’s neo-colonial views come to the fore even more obviously. Wong may wonder about cultures and the flux and flow of cultural encounters, but the one thing he is not is paternalistic or neo-colonial in his perspective.
The book is witty and ironic but beneath Vittachi’s wit lies a description of the foibles, prejudices and cultural contrasts both in Singapore and Malaysia. Not only does Vittachi lay bare the extent to which postcolonial multiculturalism is up to be interrogated but he moves across barriers to examine architecture, dress, food, and language in the multicultural postcolonial societies of both Singapore and Malaysia.