Friday, 2 November 2012

X is for Qiu Xiaolong

Finding an author whose name starting with X seemed near impossible when I joined the A to Z author challenge. I was quite excited to find an author not just starting with X but a mystery author too. I have never read a book based in China. Ok. I would have read quite a lot based in Hong Kong but never in Mainland China at least not a crime novel.

When Red is Black by Qiu Xiaolong is set in Shanghai and features Inspector Chen, who is on a vacation, so more or less the case is investigated by Inspector Yu. Former Red Guard and University Professor Yin is murdered in her room in a traditional Chinese house. Who murdered her and why? Is it politically motivated? The story focuses more on the changing China, and its political past than the mystery. Oh! There are too many references to food. What Inspector Chen had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and any other snacks in between. Food and poetry seem to be Xiaolong's two great passions. Ever heard a girl described liked this

"She was a delicious girl with a watermelon-seed-shaped face, almond eyes, and cherry lips."

This is post for Crime Fiction Alphabet X.

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, that's a terrific quote to share! Thank you. I really find it interesting that Qiu Xiaolong is a poet as well as a crime writer. A lot of folks don't make that crossover.

TracyK said...

I have several books by Qiu Xiaolong (all unread) and I am glad to see a review of books by this author to prepare me for what I will be reading. I definitely like reading books set in a different place and culture. I enjoyed your review.