Chris West

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This article is about the non-fiction, crime and general fiction writer. For the Catholic author, see Christopher West.

Chris West (born 1954) is a British writer. He writes business books under this name. Writing as Christopher West he is author of the China Quartet, four mysteries which, back in the 1990s, were among the first crime novels to be set in the contemporary People's Republic of China.[citation needed]

After studying economics and philosophy at the London School of Economics, West travelled in China, leading to his first book, Journey to the Middle Kingdom in 1991. Following that, he wrote the four crime novels featuring Wang Anzhuang, a mid-ranking detective in the Beijing Xing Zhen Ke (Criminal Investigation Department) and his wife, Rosina Lin, a nurse at the Capital Hospital.

On completing this series, West concentrated on co-authoring books aimed at entrepreneurs and small businesses, the first of which was The Beermat Entrepreneur,[1] co-authored with entrepreneur and speaker Mike Southon.[2] Southon and West were both members of The Oxcentrics, an Oxford-based Dixieland jazz band, in which West played the drums.[3] West's most recent co-authored work is Think like an Entrepreneur with entrepreneur Robbie Steinhouse.

As a solo author he wrote Marketing on a Beermat and a guide to good, clear writing, Perfect Written English.

His most recent book is First Class, a History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps, which uses classic stamps as hooks on which to hang the nation's history since 1840, the date of the Penny Black.

West is married with one daughter and lives near Cambridge.


  • Journey to the Middle Kingdom, Simon and Schuster 1991. Allison and Busby, 2000.
  • Death of a Blue Lantern, Collins Crime 1994, Allison and Busby 1999 and 2008.
  • Death on Black Dragon River, Collins Crime 1995
  • Red Mandarin, Collins Crime 1997
  • The Third Messiah Allison and Busby 2000
  • The Beermat Entrepreneur: Turn a Good Idea into a Great Business, Mike Southon and Chris West. Prentice Hall, 2002. (Reissued several times.)[4]
  • The Boardroom Entrepreneur, Mike Southon and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2005.[5]
  • Sales on a Beermat, Mike Southon and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2005.[5]
  • Finance on a Beermat, Stephen King, Jeff Macklin and Chris West. Random House Business Books, 2006.[5]
  • Marketing on a Beermat, Random House 2008
  • Perfect Written English, Random House 2008
  • Think like an Entrepreneur, Robbie Steinhouse and Chris West, Prentice Hall, 2008.
  • First Class, A History of Britain in 36 Postage Stamps, Square Peg, 2012
  • A History of America in Thirty-six Postage Stamps, Picador, 2014


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