reviews

picShanghai Redemption

"We won't divulge anything further. An intensely pleasurable reading experience awaits." -- Fred Dings, World Literature Today

"For me, reading an advance copy of Qiu Xiaolong's wonderful novel SHANGHAI REDEMPTION was the next best thing to getting on a plane and flying to the most populous city in the world. His crime series featuring Chief Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police Department is full of true-to-life lagniappe woven expertly into the book, reminiscent of Andrea Camilleri's hugely popular Inspector Montalbano series ..." -- Layton Green, the Big Thrill

"Qiu once again movingly and convincingly portrays the plight of an honest cop in a police state, in his ninth novel featuring Insp. Chen Cao (after 2013's The Enigma of China)." -- Publishers Weekly

picEnigma of China

"One of the challenges of writing about China is the country moves fast — sometimes faster than the publishing business. Take Enigma of China, the latest detective novel by Chinese-American author Qiu Xiaolong." -- Frank Langfitt, NPR

"convey such a sense of realism that many people have come to regard him as an expert on the more sordid aspects of the Chinese political and legal systems." -- Dilip Vishwanat, The New York Times

"This installment approaches the levels of Eliot Pattison and James Church's similarly themed novels, and the series has gotten stronger with age." -- Publishers Weekly

"China is a country in flux, with a government determined to retain its communist heritage while also accommodating demands from a technologically advanced citizenry for increased personal liberties. These contradictory impulses birthed "socialism with Chinese characteristics," a unique form of modern government at once rigidly idealistic and deeply pragmatic. Citizens struggle to reconcile political ideology with personal ambitions, taking advantage of the system without letting go of deeply Confucian values of family and face." -- Doreen Sheridan, Criminal Element

"Not a huge fan of cliff hangers, particularly with mystery books, but because the mystery itself is solved in the pages of the book, the uncertainty over Chen's future is not only authentic but pretty easy to swallow." -- anniesgotaclue

picDon't Cry, Tai Lake

"Despite the grim subject matter, the novel is filled with beautiful descriptions and poetry (Chen is poet as well as detective) that reinforce the beauty that is being polluted and lost. Magnificent." -- Connie Fletcher

'Tai Lake': Murder Most Ecological In China -- Maureen Corrigan, NPR

Espionage and mystery in modern-day China -- Mark Schreiber, The Japan Times

Sleuthing China's Environmental Scandals -- Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore, The Wall Street Journal

Novel's polluted lake based on real Chinese problem -- Repps Hudson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Whodunnit gets green twist -- Caterina Bernadini, Shanghai Daily

Qiu Xiaolong's 'Don't Cry, Tai Lake' has a political edge, but endearing innocence -- Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

picYears of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai

"On the one hand, living conditions are much better," says prominent crime novelist Qiu Xiaolong. Qiu sets his books in 1990s Shanghai. "At the same time, people feel kind of lost. In my books, people sit in front of their shikumen [stone gate] houses and talk. Nowadays people are shut-up in air-conditioning. They want things to be better, but they they don't know whether to look forward or back." -- Time

"Xiaolong's latest is a collection of linked stories from the vantage point of the inhabitants of Red Dust Lane in Shanghai depicting China through several tumultuous decades, from 1949 to 2005. Most begin with excerpts from the year-end issue of the Red Dust Lane Blackboard Newsletter, a summary of the year's political changes, which read like a mini history lesson. In "Return of POW 1," the Red Dust Lane residents are told in 1953 that Bai Jie, a nurse in the Chinese People's Volunteers during the Korean War, has been killed. She is mourned and honored until 1954 when, to the Red Dust residents' surprise, she returns after being released from a POW camp. Instead of a hero's welcome, she is greeted with suspicion. "Cricket Fighting," set in 1969, is centered on the neighborhood's eponymous popular sport. The narrator is a young child whose status is briefly elevated after receiving the gift of Big General, a superstar cricket. Xiaolong's writing is transportive, and readers will feel as though they've traveled through China's history. He captures the mood of this fascinating country through its most ordinary citizens." -- Publisher's Weekly

picThe Mao Case

"A great story and there's no shortage of real suspense. Getting an insider's view of modern shanghai and modern Chinese police techniques is just gilding the lily." -- The Globe and Mail (Canada)

"Qiu's most politically insightful and mature effort...a fine story that provides insights into one of the twentieth century's most influential men." -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Chen is a great creation, an honorable man in a world full of deception and treachery." -- the Guardian

"Rich and Evocative." -- New York Times Book Reviews

picRed Mandarin Dress

"Gracefully illuminates many aspects of modern Chinese culture and society for the American reader." -- The Denver Post

"Compelling ... admirably depicts the intriguing struggle of character's grasping a foothold in a new and rising China." -- Times Literary Supplement

"Qiu Xiaolong is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of modern literary crime fiction. His Inspector Chen mysteries dazzle as they entertain." -- Canberra Times

"Vividly details the human cost of a city (the new consumer crazy Shanghai) devouring itself ... Yet even in these dangerous surroundings, culture and beauty and an honest man can still chart a path for good, no matter how perilous." -- the Economist

picA Case of Two Cities

Dark, gorgeous ... feels authentically Chinese and it works like a charm ... a gritty, suspenseful tale." -- The Washington Post Book World

"Morse of the Far East." -- Independent

"One of my favorite ... tells exciting stories while revealing fascinating details of Chinese Life - everything from food and poetry to politics." -- Chicago Tribune

"Dark, gorgeous, feels authentically Chinese and it works like a charm ... a gritty, suspenseful tale." -- Washington Post

"Gripping ... Chen stands in a class with Martin Cruz Smith's Russian Investigator Arkady Renko, and P. D. James's Scotland Yard Inspector, Adam Dalgliesh." -- Publishers Weekly

"Vividly drawn, cracking with energy ... scintillating." -- the Economist

picWhen Red is Black

A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society ... full of thesights, sounds and smell of Shanghai ... A work of real distinction." -- Wall Street Journal

These are mysteries to savor." -- Booklist (starred review)

[A] terrific series ... a cultural twist and unusual directionand one feels Qiu pushing the envelope of the detective series genre." -- The Asian Review of Books

Captivating and intriguing." -- Mystery News

A great read." -- the Guardian

picA Loyal Character Dancer

"A knockout." -- Poisoned Pen Book news

"Engaging realism and charm, even while showing theunderside of China in transition." -- Publishers Weekly

"With A Loyal Character Dancer, Qiu has given us aneven more lyrically written, wide-ranging, bittersweet story." -- S.J.Rozan, -- Mystery News

If you like mysteries with both a brain and a heart, read ALoyal Character Dancer." -- Rocky Mountain News

"Enchanting ... Shanghai under the masterful literary talents of Qiu Xiaolong, is described with breathtaking realism." -- Tampa Tribune

picDeath of a Red Heroine

Stupendous ... It does what detective fiction can do best: Itcaptures the details, the grit of everyday life ... A matchless pearl."  -- MaureenCorrigan, “Fresh Air," -- National Public Radio

"In Death of a Red Heroine China is not only thesetting; it is a major player ... The Party’s attempts to recoup politicallegitimacy form the real setting for this mystery and cast a dark shadow overevery step in its resolution. Raw, naked power is at the core of both themurder and its investigation, but its manifestations are anything butpredictable in this splendid first work." -- RobertE. Hegel, Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, Washington University in St. Louis

"An absolutely exquisite book!"  -- Deadly Pleasure

"A brilliant debut ... I cannot imagine any readers, includingfellow whodunit addicts, who would want to miss this fine novel, which makes astrong bid for a place in lasting literature." -- MonaVan Duyn, U.S. Poet Laureate

"Riveting and convincing." -- FarEastern Economic Review

Review of Death of a Red Heroine by G. Hall