Tag Archives: Eliot Pattison

Eliot Pattison Adds to the Inspector Shan Series with SKELETON GOD

How many bibliophiles do you know who anxiously await the publication of a new book in a series? The reader’s longing for the next instalment exemplifies the efficacy of narrative to expand meaning for the human experience. For often a fictional world becomes so real for the reader that she grieves when the story has ended.

That’s why I’m pleased to announce that Eliot Pattison’s 9th book in the Inspector Shan Tao Yun series was published in March. It is entitled Skeleton God (2017). Pattison’s first novel of this series, The Skull Mantra (1999), won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel in 2000. The series has been translated and published in over twenty languages. His work can be read on so many levels, from the cultural to the political to the spiritual. I read the Inspector Shan mysteries as fictional imaginings of lived religion in Tibet under Chinese occupation.

Here’s what readers can expect from Skeleton God:

Blurb: “In Eliot Pattison’s Skeleton God, Shan Tao Yun, now the reluctant constable of a remote Tibetan town, has learned to expect the impossible at the roof of the world, but nothing has prepared him for his discovery when he investigates a report that a nun has been savagely assaulted by ghosts. In an ancient tomb by the old nun lies a gilded saint buried centuries earlier, flanked by the remains of a Chinese soldier killed fifty years before and an American man murdered only hours earlier. Shan is thrust into a maelstrom of intrigue and contradiction.

The Tibetans are terrified, the notorious Public Security Bureau wants nothing to do with the murders, and the army seems determined to just bury the dead again and Shan with them. No one wants to pursue the truthÐexcept Shan, who finds himself in a violent collision between a heartbreaking, clandestine effort to reunite refugees from Tibet separated for decades and a covert corruption investigation that reaches to the top levels of the government in Beijing, China. The terrible secret Shan uncovers changes his town and his life forever.”

Praise for Skeleton God:

“Pattison‘s ninth installment provides an important history lesson little understood in the West with authority, nuance, and genuine suspense.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Edgar winner Pattison remains without peer at integrating a fairplay whodunit into a searing portrayal of life under an oppressive and capricious regime, as shown by his ninth Insp. Shan Tao Yun mystery. Even readers unfamiliar with the physical and cultural devastation China has wrought in Tibet will find themselves engrossed—and moved—by Pattison’s nuanced portrayal.” – Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*


About Eliot Pattison:


“An international lawyer by trade, Pattison spent many years in the backwaters of Asia, fascinated by how Buddhism shapes all aspects of people’s lives. He recently received the prestigious “Art of Freedom” award from the Tibet House, an international non-profit organization devoted to the preservation of Tibetan culture, founded by Columbia University professor Robert Thurman, actor Richard Gere and composer Philip Glass at the behest of the 14th Dalai Lama.


For more information on Eliot Pattison and his focus on Buddhism, visit http://eliotpattison.com/why_i_wrote_about_tibet.html





Announcing New Buddhist Fiction x 3

It’s been a busy, busy holiday season and I thought before the year ends I should write a post about three new works of Buddhist fiction that have been published recently. I extend my deepest appreciation to all those Buddhist Fiction Blog readers who brought these books to my attention. In chronological order, the novels are:

1. 7121_c1The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie. Hay House Visions, October 1, 2012. http://www.hayhouse.com/ This link leads to Hay House publishing. Search for The Dalai Lama’s Cat once you are there.

This is my winter holiday read! I am half way through this light-hearted novel that is, as the title makes clear, about the Dalai Lama’s cat. She is a Himalayan, as one would expect, and she has many names to match her multi-faceted personality. The book is written from the cat’s perspective and is a thin veil for some rudimentary lessons from Tibetan Buddhism. The most interesting aspect of the novel, to me, is the extended characterization of the Dalai Lama. How did Michie research and write the fictional Dalai Lama in this book?

David Michie is the bestselling author of Buddhism for Busy People, Hurry Up and Meditate and Enlightenment to Go. He has also written four thrillers, most recently including The Magician of Lhasa, which, as the publisher’s web site remarks, “brings the profoundly life-enhancing perspectives of Tibetan Buddhism to a wider audience of fiction readers.”

2. imagesLunch with Buddha by Roland Merullo. AJAR Contemporaries, November 13, 2012. http://www.lunchwithbuddha.com/

The web site provides the following on Merullo’s sequel: “Lunch With Buddha has the same main characters as Breakfast with Buddha (Rinpoche, Otto, Cecelia, Otto’s family) and is, like its predecessor, a road trip book. This time, though, the trip is from Seattle, Washington to Dickenson, North Dakota, a route that takes the travelers through Washington State, across the Idaho Panhandle, across the breadth of Montana, and into parts of North Dakota not visited in Breakfast.” Merullo’s Breakfast with Buddha was so popular that I can foresee nothing but success for this novel.

3. mandarin-gateMandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison. Minotaur Books, First Edition November 27, 2012. http://www.eliotpattison.com/

This is Pattison’s seventh novel in a series featuring the compassionate, intrepid Shan Tao Yun, an ex-Inspector from Beijing who shares the plight of imprisoned Tibetan Buddhists of post-revolutionary China when he is thrown into a prison camp in Tibet for unnamed crimes against the regime. Pattison writes with a power of insight and depth of compassion that are heart wrenching. A wonderful review of the novel and an insightful interview with the author, Eliot Pattison, can be found here on Sumeru. Many thanks go out to Karma Yönten Gyatso for this review and interview.