Bringing 1990s Communist China alive, Qiu's masterful fifth Inspector Chen mystery (after 2006's A Case of Two Cities) finds Shanghai terrorized by its first-ever serial killer. The murderer dresses his victims' corpses in fancy red mandarin dresses before leaving them in public places. Insp. Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department has taken a step back from his professional life to pursue an advanced literature course instead of investigating a politically sensitive corruption case, but now he must return to active duty and help in the manhunt. He learns that the symbolic garb may be connected to the corruption scandal, but not before a young female officer falls prey. The solution may strike some as a little pat, but the first-rate characterizations and elegant portrait of a society attempting to move from rigid Maoist ideologies to an accommodation with capitalism will keep readers engaged and eager for more. (Nov.)
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The first-rate characterizations and elegant portrait of a society attempting to move from rigid Maoist ideologies to an accommodation with capitalism will keep readers engaged and eager for more. (Publisher's Weekly)
In this fifth entry in an outstanding series...author Qiu captures the bustling atmosphere of modern China coming to grips with its Communist roots. Patrons who enjoy mysteries set in today's China, such as those by Peter May, will want this one. (Library Journal (starred review))
The author's heady plot highlights his strenghts, elegantly capturing China in transition. A fascinating read. (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
Very interesting. I don't know what I was expecting but the reading of Chinese people with so much the same reactions I expect from fellow Americans surprised me. Read morePublished 4 months ago by seaneen
Red Mandarin Dress is the first Inspector Chen book I read, I was completely captivated!
Marvelously descriptive of life in China at that time; political intrigue; police... Read more
Not every mystery reader will enjoy this book but I found the juxtaposition of poetry and cultural insite a fascinating draw. It was a engaging mystery besides. Good read.Published 14 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is my second book by this author. I fpund it to be a good mystery with a lot of cultural nuances as well as a classic invite to Chinese poetry. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Walter L Baker
Like the authors of the Martin Beck series, Qiu imbues his detective stories with social analysis - reflections of the Cultural Revolution, corruption, the communist party and how... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Katharine Hepburn
A very effective mixture of detection, politics and history. Set in Shanghai where the long term impact of the cultural revolution is still being felt. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Tom
A serial killer is loose and Inspector Chen wends his way through a series of dining experiences and a short vacation while his subordinates do most of the legwork. Read morePublished 17 months ago by READ'NWEEP
Set in Shanghai, it was a good fictional police detective book written with Chinese history and life intertwinned within the mystery.Published 18 months ago by San Diego