Foreigners living inside Peking's Legation Quarter may have felt almost immune to crime, but not so those living and working the China beyond.
All big cities suffer from violent crime, and China's were no exception.
On New Year's Eve 1936 - a week before Pamela's murder - Sergeant Eric Slater (right) of the Shanghai Municipal Police was shot to death by criminals as he attempted to prevent their escape from the armed robbery of a business premises in Shanghai's Peking Road (within the International Settlement).
The dramatic story was reported in detail by the North China Herald on January 6th.
Slater's murder illustrated only too well how 'privileged' foreigners in China could also be victim's of crime.
Hearing of a robbery in progress on an upper floor, Slater entered the building (left), only to be fired at by five armed men on their way down the stairs. He sought cover in the vestibule, returning fire with his pistol, but fell with a bullet to the forehead. He died instantly.
Two others were killed in the shoot-out: an unarmed doorman, and one of the robbers.
The use of firearms was common in Shanghai - China's 'wild-west'. Newspaper reports reveal how conditions in Peking were not far behind.
Right: the safe - opened at gunpoint - from which the robbers stole $4,500.
Sergeant Eric Slater was 23 years old. He was born in Burma, the son of a British army officer. On the father's retirement, the rest of the family had moved to Victoria in Canada. Eric, however, had stayed on in Asia, joining the Shanghai Municipal Police.
Policing the International Settlement was a dangerous role. It cost Slater his life.
A Death in Peking explores the nature of policing 1930s China through the experiences of one of Slater's colleagues, one who ended up being charged with murder himself.
Read more on Slater: www.treatyportsport.com/slater--e-m--1934---1936-.html