It’s a fine month to be a book lover here in Beijing, as The Bookworm International Literary Festival
returns peddling a jam-packed programme, with authors, journalists and all manner of other literary KOLs passing through in the coming weeks for a slew of talks and events.
The majority of the action centres around The Bookworm
itself, of course, but if al fresco explorations of grisly murder mysteries are more your cup of cha
, then Bespoke Beijing
and Penguin Books’ super special-edition Midnight in Peking
tour on Sunday April 1 is one for the diary. For the first time since 2013, Paul French – author of the eponymous bestseller – will return to Beijing to personally lead the official walking tour based on his book, alongside local historian Lars Ulrik Thom, whose own recent research has uncovered yet more layers to this complex story.
Image: Jens Schott Knudsen
A huge hit upon its release in 2011, Midnight in Peking tells the true tale of the previously unsolved murder of British teenager and diplomat’s daughter Pamela Werner, whose mutilated body was discovered beneath the desolate Fox Tower, near Chongwenmen, on the eve of Japanese invasion in 1937. The case and the circumstances surrounding it remained a mystery for decades, until French’s book uncovered new evidence and theories on the killer’s identity. Bespoke’s tour takes in some of the story’s key locations, mostly found in the city’s historic Foreign Legation Quarter.
Murdered teen Pamela Werner (Image: Jens Schott Knudsen)
In addition to the early evening walking tour, tickets (priced at 1,288RMB per person) include a four-course dinner and wine pairing at Nuo Hotel (formerly the historic Beijing Hotel) on Chang’an Avenue, to be enjoyed with Thom and French, who is also in town to promote the release of his newest work City of Devils: A Shanghai Noir
Places are limited and it’s a pretty hot ticket – two earlier tours, on March 24 and 31 have already sold out. Click here or scan the QR code below to reserve your place, and visit Bespoke Beijing’s site
for more information on the tour, French and Midnight in Peking
. A one-off experience and a special addition to an already terrific Beijing tour.