As summer approaches, 38 North eagerly awaits the release of the fourth novel in the Inspector O mystery series, due to hit bookshelves on August 17, 2010. The Man with the Baltic Stare takes Inspector O, a name that has become well known to North Korea watchers and mystery novel enthusiasts alike, to the city where his role was first concieved. In an interview with the Macau Closer, author James Church explained:
In a curious way, Inspector O, a detective in the Pyongyang branch of the North Korean Ministry of People’s Security, emerged from an incident during a trip I took to Macau twenty-five years ago. Two decades later he strolled out onto the pages of the first book nearly fully formed. I have to say, it was a surprise to see how much we seemed to understand each other.
James Church (pseudonym) is a former Western intelligence officer with decades of experience in Asia. He has wandered through Korea for years. No matter what hat he wore, Church says, he ran across Inspector O many times. Other books in the series are A Corpse in the Koryo (2007), Hidden Moon (2008), and Bamboo and Blood (2010).