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Inspector Tay Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Mean Streets of Asia Crime Novels Books

The Big Mango (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Laundry Man (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killing Plato (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ambassador's Wife (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
A World of Trouble (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Umbrella Man (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The King of Macau (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead American (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl in the Window (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Get Caught (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Brother It's Starting to Rain (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of The Mean Streets of Asia Crime Novels Books

The Ambassador's Wife(2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Umbrella Man(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Big Mango(1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Laundry Man(2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Killing Plato(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dead American(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A World of Trouble(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl in the Window(2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The King of Macau(2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Don't Get Caught(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
And Brother It's Starting to Rain(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

The name Inspector Tay refers to a series of novels written by Jake Needham. Jake is well known in Asia for his crime dramas, and the Inspector Tay series falls neatly within the author’s bibliography.

+The Story

The Inspector Tay series works better than some people might expect. Considering the number of years that Jake Needham has spent writing detective stories, and the number of heroes he has created within this world, one would expect his ideas to begin blending together.

However, while all his books follow protagonists who must resolve crime mysteries in order to save the day, the series do not so closely resemble one another that there is any risk of readers confusing them.

The Inspector Tay series is one of Jake Needham’s best not only because it actually stands apart from the author’s other detective novels but because it shows the growth that Jake has undergone as a writer over the years.

The Inspector Tay series follows Inspector Samuel Tay, an officer working for the Crime Investigation Department in Singapore. Like many of Jake’s protagonists, Tay doesn’t look like the typical hero.

For one thing, he is a bit overweight, definitely nothing like the super fit detectives of the modern age. Additionally, he is cranky and lonely and he has an unhealthy smoking habit.

Anyone looking at Tay from the outside can tell that he wasn’t exactly built to be an Inspector. In fact, Samuel Tay himself spends a lot of time questioning why he ever became a policeman.

The protagonist isn’t exactly driven by a sense of justice to do what he does. But even Tay cannot deny the fact that detective work is his calling. Despite his general disinterest in the profession, Samuel Tay is very good at his job.

He knows it and so do those people that know him. As such, he can do little more than to keep applying his skills wherever they are needed.

Unfortunately for the Inspector, working for the Singapore Crime Investigation Department is no picnic. People do not make it easy for him to do his job, and it is not always everyone’s desire to see him succeed. But the Inspector keeps plowing on and revealing injustice whenever a case comes his way.

The Inspector Tay series works because Samuel Tay is such a normal human being. He has weaknesses and doubts like anyone else. The inspector isn’t driven by lofty ideals or immovable convictions. He is just a guy who, like everyone else, simply tries to do his job.

And like everyone else, Inspector Tay doesn’t exactly garner inspiration from his job; if he had his way, he would probably do something else. But he has accepted where he is, and he simply tries to get through each day.

The Inspector Tay books are very deliberately paced. Jake Needham always takes his time telling Tay’s stories, taking a somewhat leisurely pace. The approach works because it allows Tay to be very reflective and introspective.

The author uses Tay to make observations about the people around him. The books also provide an interesting glimpse into Singapore, especially for those individuals that have never been to that part of Asia.

+The Author

Jake Needham is an American author who loves Asia. His obsession with that part of the world might have something to do with the time he spent practicing international law. The graduate of Rice University and Georgetown University has spent the last couple of decades in Bangkok, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Even though Jake had his roots in the law, the author somehow found his way into the movie business, eventually creating his own television production studio and producing film scripts for Cable Network Television.

Writing novels was a release of sorts for Jake. Even though he had little experience in the screenwriting arena, Jake’s scripts kept selling. However, he eventually found that he needed a change.

Writing novels gave him the chance to stretch his creative muscles, though he was as surprised as everyone else when his first book did so well. Since ‘The Big Mango’, Jake Needham has gone on to write several novels, many of them police procedurals.

The author is quite big in Asia, and he has expressed an interest in replicating his popularity in the United States. Though, the landscape in the U.S is a little more competitive.

Jake’s knowledge of international law and experience with Asian nations has proven to be infinitely useful in his efforts to bring interesting tales about Asia to Western audiences.

+The Ambassador’s Wife

Two women are found dead, one in the empty suite of a hotel and another in a seedy apartment. Both were American and both were beaten, shot, and stripped. The FBI’s claims of terrorism are countered by rumors of a serial killer that might have a grudge against American women in Asia.

It all comes down to Inspector Samuel Tay who would rather steer clear of the whole situation. However, as a member of the Singapore CID, he is tasked with resolving the case because he is the best they have to offer.

Yet, when Inspector Tay begins his work, he realizes that no one wants him to find the serial killer, not even the FBI. There is international politics at play, but Tay doesn’t care about that, not when the bodies begin to pile up.

The first book in the Inspector Tay series is pretty leisurely in the way it tells the story of a reluctant policeman trying to catch a serial killer. Tay just wants to live his simple life, but he cannot avoid getting embroiled in an increasingly complicated situation.

+The Umbrella Man

When three explosions tear through American hotels in Singapore, Inspector Tay can only watch the aftermath unfold because he has been frozen out of the investigation, a consequence of all the enemies he has made everywhere in Singapore, from the American Embassy to the Country’s Internal Security Department.

While the FBI and the CIA try to get to the bottom of the situation, Inspector Tay is assigned a couple of routine cases, one of which forces Tay to revisit the secrets of his past.

The second book in the Inspector Tay series finds Tay struggling to find his footing following three massive explosions. The story this time around reaches back into the past as Jake Needham explores Tay’s family history.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Inspector Tay

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