"Murder on Orchard Road," by Nury Vittachi, in Singapore Noir, edited by Cheryl Lu-Tien Tan, Akashic Press, 2014.
The term "political correctness" or PC has become an epithet. It is seen as a form of censorship or advocacy of wimpiness.
Wasn't always that way. As I recall someone asked the folksinger Fred Small if he was ever "not PC." He replied "Do you mean am I ever intentionally rude?"
I bring this up because most of the stories in Singapore Noir use dialect, by which I mean attempting to indicate on the page the non-standard language and pronunciation of the characters. Dialect has been out of favor for a long time, for a lot of good reasons: it can be amazingly annoying to read and, it can seem insulting to the people whose language is being mimicked.
On the other hand, a lot of the people in these stories set in Singapore are not going to speak like they went to Harvard or Oxford. What's an author to do?
The usual thinking these days is that less is more. Put in just enough dialect to indicate the speech patterns, without driving the ready crazy. (By the way, if you want to hear my attempt at a dialect story, here is a free podcast.)
Mr. Vittachi's is about an older Chinese may named C.F. Wong. And here is one of his longer speeches: "Slow race no good. Makes bad TV. Sponsors very angry. Race organizer very angry."
Gives you a sense of how Wong speaks. Whether it accurately reflects Chinese speech in Singapore is beyond me.
And I suppose that tells you a bit of what the story is about. But there is more. Here is the opening:
His New Year's resolution was to give up murders. Murders were horrible, messy, smelly, difficult, heart-rending things. And not nearly as profitable as they used to be.
Mr. Wong is a feng shui master and his specialty has been spiritually cleansing murder scenes. But today he hopes to only deal with a car race (which as you see above, seems to be going wrong). And then there is the case of the food taster accused of poisoning his clients...
Not noir, but entertaining.