Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Buy Used
$4.99
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
Condition: Used: Good
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Mao Case: An Inspector Chen Novel (Inspector Chen Cao) Hardcover – March 3, 2009

4.1 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews
Book 6 of 6 in the Inspector Chen Series

See all 5 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$4.69 $0.01

Books with Buzz
"Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch is a brilliantly plotted, relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller from the author of the bestselling Wayward Pines trilogy. See more
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Inspector Chen of the Shanghai police returns in his sixth book (following Red Mandarin Dress, 2007). Continuing to gain prestige among the party cadre, Chen is assigned a case so delicate he must keep it secret from the Special Case team and even from his dedicated assistant Yu. A young woman with black ancestors, Jiao has suddenly risen from poverty and appears at parties dedicated to reliving the glory days of the 1930s. Internal Security is worried about Jiao’s growing power and especially about her connection to Mao (her grandmother was one of Mao’s lovers), a link that could protect her from any kind of official censure. Using Mao’s poetry and a censored biography, Chen investigates in his leisurely and unconventional style, posing as a rich businessman and aspiring writer. With the assistance of Yu’s father, Old Hunter, Chen delves deep into the murk of the Cultural Revolution, uncovering Jiao’s family history and her real connections to Mao. Full, as always, of crisp detail and vivid atmospherics evoking contemporary Shanghai, this latest installment further establishes the series’ stature on the international crime beat. --Jessica Moyer

Review

"Qiu's deftly paced suspense keeps the reader flipping pages..." --Publisher's Weekly
 
"No one writes about modern China...the way the sensitivity and caring of this author.  For all mystery collections." --Library Journal (starred review)
 
"Stylistically cadenced and charmingly mannered...very clever." --Winnipeg Free Press
 
"Full, as always, of crisp detail and vivid atmospherics..." --Booklist
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Chen Cao (Book 6)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031253874X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312538743
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #242,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have now read in order Xiaolong's entire Detective Chen series. THE MAO CASE may be the series best since the first book, DEATH OF A RED HEROINE which still remains for me the series best. My complaint with the series as it has progressed is that the characters personal lives have not grown. Chen's character has developed to a degree but he still seems frozen in time and in his position as the poetry loving police inspector who has put career over his personal life. The various cases or story lines in each volume seem to take president over the on going development of each character. I for one don't read the books because of the particular case or to find out who done it, but for the setting (China in the 1990s as it turns to capitalism) and characters response to these changes. I thing one handicap is that Xiaolong is only a serviceable writer. His paragraph's and dialog are simple, short and without much descriptive or visual depth. He services the plot more than he is able to embellish it. One often asks if he is just going through the motions now? In the MAO CASE we do see some improvement and get some interesting insights into the Cultural Revolution and it's on going impact on the Chinese population and politics of the 90s as well as some personal information on Chairman Mao. This gets this volume some depth and interest that the first book had. This volume also allows us to enjoy having some of the other major characters involved in the case in some inventive ways although I can not say they have progressed very far in their lives. So overall this is a fast fun read which I recognize it's not great literature and may also be an acquired taste. I personally will continue to look forward to the next Chen book. I have mentioned in my prior reviews of the Chen series that my tastes as a reader are not for mysteries and that this is the only series I have read.
2 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Every Chen mystery is a feast of impressions of the wacky world of present-day China, with its Big Bucks, little secretaries, gangsters - and the scarred survivors of the Cultural Revolution. This book adds to the mix an exploration of the unsavory personal life of Chairman Mao.

Inspector Chen is on the trail of some Mao materials that mighty prove embarrassing to the Party. Three beautiful women, dead and alive, stand between Chen and the solution.

A handsome intellectual with Confucian ethics, Chen has a princely quality that makes him good company in every adventure. When stalled, he ponders snippets of haunting poetry that sometimes prove oddly useful in solving the case.

Some might say there are too many contrivances and coincidences in the plotting of this book, but I'm so enamored of Qiu Xiaolong's writing, I looked the other way.

I recommend reading the whole series, starting with Death of a Red Heroine, to get the full flavor of Chen's character. Every book in the series is delightful.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The Beijing leadership is concerned with the sudden appearance of wealth by a seemingly impoverished young artist living well above her means. Normally no one would think twice of Jiao's affluence, but she is the granddaughter of Xie, a film star who Chairman Mao personally liked; additionally Jiao's mother died during the Cultural Revolution cleansing. Needing expeditious subtly to determine if the painter is peddling "Mao material" five decades old that could embarrass the Party and China, the brass hand the Top Secret case to Shanghai Police Department's Special Case Chief Inspector Chen Cao; known for his success, speed and especially discretion.

Chen begins with the mother whose life was explored in a bestseller. Using Cloud and Rain as access, Chen goes undercover pretending to be an author conducting research into a historical novel. This enables him to meet Jiao and her friends at the still alive Xie's run down home. There the older woman hosts a group who cherishes the pre-Communist culture until murder leave Chen suspecting grandmother and or granddaughter as the killer(s) especially their shared convenient alibi.

The sixth Chen Chinese police procedural (see WHEN RED IS BLACK and RED MANDARIN DRESS) contains a strong investigation, but it is the profound look at the early Mao days in comparison to modern day China that brings the uniqueness to the story line. Chen is at his best with his asides about brass, bureaucrats, and bull as he diligently works the "Mao material" inquiry that turns into a homicide; he is more comfortable with the latter as the former is loaded with pompous interference. Mindful of the Bush Administration concealing Korean War Era documents that have been declassified for years and open to the public in the government archives, fans of the Shanghai inspector will enjoy his latest case as a reluctant Chen knows the penalty of dealing with anything Maoist even decades old.

Harriet Klausner
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As my title suggests this has the feel of a kind of post Mao/Deng Maigret - although the protagonist is anything BUT happily married. An extremely interesting read and whodunnit complete with all the tricks in the book. And doubly interesting in light of the Bo Xilai case.

Nicely written, and the Mao poetry was also translated into English and deciphered nicely too. But although the author's English is good enough to write a very readable book (few can do that in a second language), I can't help thinking he'd increase the reader's pleasure with a professional poetic/literary minded sub-editor. There were some golden chances missed to turn parts of the narrative into much nicer, smoother, indeed even memorable reads. But then I'd notice that as a sub.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it. Why only 3 stars? In the end 5 stars are reserved for the likes of Murakami (the two best known of course), Xiaolu Guo, Ma Jian, Yiyun Li and the like. Let's face it, they write weighty literature in a matching form.

But there's no doubt I'll be reading more Inspector Chen as well!
Comment 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews