My thanks to Christine Maiwald of Germany who is currently investigating her illustrious ancestor Hermann Breuer, formerly of Melchers and Co. in Shanghai and a well known member of the city’s German community (any information on Hermann do let me know and I’ll pass along). Christine was also kind enough to pass along to me some memories of Pamela Werner (in case you’ve been living in a cave and don’t know, she’s the tragic murder victim in Midnight in Peking) that an old friend of hers had from the former popular northern Chinese summer holiday retreat of Peitaiho (no Beidaihe). Many foreigners in northern China including Peking and Tientsin decamped to Peitaiho every summer to escape the furnace like heat of the cities. ETC Werner had a summer house there and so did DCI Dennis, the policeman from Tientsin who investigated Pamela’s murder. Christine’s friend’s memories are interesting as they also shed light on just how many rumours were flowing around about who killed Pamela – it wasn’t her boyfriend, he had an alibi. Anyway, here’s her memories below and, by the way, if someone’s looking for a good research project on old China gathering together all the old stories, characters and pictures of Peitaiho would be a great way to spend some time!
…a friend born in Tientsin in 1921 whether she knew Pamela – and indeed she knew her from Peitaiho where they had adjoining holiday homes. She remembered that Pamela was sweet with lots of freckles and at the time thought of as a bit “frivolous”. She flirted with the boys on the beach and she already had a boyfriend who was later suspected of having murdered her. The rumour being that the motive was jealousy – because of the heart.