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eBook When Red is Black ePub

eBook When Red is Black ePub

by Qiu Xiaolong

  • ISBN: 0340897562
  • Category: Mystery
  • Subcategory: Suspense and Obscurity
  • Author: Qiu Xiaolong
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Sceptre (2007)
  • Pages: 320
  • ePub book: 1231 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1490 kb
  • Other: rtf azw lrf txt
  • Rating: 4.7
  • Votes: 103



Unirtay Unirtay
This book is to be savored as both a solidly entertaining mystery and a commentary on the newly emerging Shanghai of the early 2000s. Qiu Xiaolong's writing style deftly wraps a murder of a dissident writer into characters' musings about the emerging world of modern China, while reflecting upon the Cultural Revolution of China's past. It's also a pleasure to read about Chinese food, which is succulently portrayed, almost as a minor character, throughout the book. As a resident of Shanghai myself, I really enjoyed reading about the settings of the city I enjoy so much. "When Red is Black" is a well written mystery that clearly makes me want to read more of Qiu Xiaolong's other mysteries, as this was the first I've read of this series. I look forward to spending more time with Chief Inspector Chen and Detective Yu.
Felolak Felolak
First Sentence: Detective Yu Guangming of the Shanghai Police Bureau stood alone, still reeling of the blow.

Inspector Chen Cao is taking time off from his role with the police. He has been asked to translate a business proposal for a triad-related businessman. The proposal is for the construction of a new shopping/residential complex in Shanghai called the New World. Both the salary and the benefits are too good to resist, but Chen ultimately finds everything has strings. With Chen unavailable, Sgt. Yu must take charge of the newest investigation.

Yin was a college teacher and novelist living in a tiny room in a multi-family house. While she wasn't well liked, she kept to herself. With the house locked at night, was she murdered by a neighbor? If so, why did they ransack her room but not take her money?

Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced "chew shao-long") has become one of my favorite authors. He creates such a strong sense of place with wonderful descriptions, from the largest panorama to the smallest detail. The inclusion of both Chinese and western poetry is something I so appreciate and enjoy.

Food plays such a significant role in China. Its inclusion is so well done and, even if some of the particular dishes may not appeal to my western palate, I always end up hungry while reading. There is one particular scene when Chen goes to a restaurant with 1930s European style serving supposedly western food which was very interesting.

I learned so much about life during the Cultural Revolution; a period about which I know virtually nothing. It is interesting to read about the lasting impact on those who lived through it as well as the confusion of living in a rapidly changing China.

I very much enjoy Qui's characters. While I was glad Chen wasn't completely absent from the scene, it was nice to have Yu and his wife, Peiqin, move to the forefront. Not only did I learn more about them and their lives, but saw all the major characters grow and develop as the book progressed.

The story's plot is very effective. I find the difference in the style of questioning fascinating but the process of following the leads is the same in all cultures. My one criticism would be that the confession of the killer seemed abrupt, but that could be a cultural difference as well. I did think the ending was excellent.

I highly recommend "When Red is Black" although, as always, I suggest starting the series at the beginning.

WHEN RED IS BLACK (Pol Proc-Sgt Yu/Insp Chen Cao-Shanghai,
China-Cont/1990s) - VG
Xiaolong, Qiu - 3rd in series
Soho Press, C2004, US Hardcover - ISBN: 1569473692
in waiting in waiting
This is the third book by Mr. Xiaolong in what one might call the Inspector Chen Cao series. Chen is chief of special squad of Shanghai Police and has his trusty right hand man Sergeant Yu. Although still not up to the strength of the first book in this series, Death of a Red Heroine which I highly recommend, this book is much better than the second, A Loyal Character Dancer. The main reason is this book gets back to what is most impressive about the series and it is not the rather routine type case and detective work. But rather, Xiaolong puts his characters into the early 1990 with the hangover from the cultural revolution hanging over the characters past and the new capitalism of Shanghai turning their view of society, culture, and status on it's head. Without giving away the meaning of the title... the Cultural Revolution and the side you took during that era clearly mark your future and view of the new economic order. All fun and interesting stuff. After three books you do feel you know the characters and they are fun to be with and see how they cope. The mystery solved here is interesting in that it sets up a view into the cultural war being fought now in China, but it is not a compelling reason to be drawn to this book. Although the case is fresh in that it is Detective Yu and not Inspector Chen who takes charge and there is a large roll for Yu's wife in all this too. Much fun, and makes you feel your getting to know the politics, culture, and economic situation in Shanghai all through the eyes of some enjoyable characters. And lastly, could the real case being solved in all these books be that of who, why and how Chen comes to grips with the Special Secrets squad that keeps getting in the middle of all his work. I am looking forward to the next in the series and suggest you read these in order.
Urllet Urllet
This is the third book in the series about Chief Inspector Chen, a member of the Communist party. He solves crimes with a political connection along with Detective Yu. I enjoy the detailed descriptions of Shanghai and the meals eaten by characters. Chen is also a poet and frequently cited poetry by famous Chinese poets. Chen is a bachelor but he has an on and off relationship in Beijing with the daughter of a high up Party member.
Malodred Malodred
This detective novel, like others by Qiu Xiaolong, is set in current times and includes the difficulties that many Chinese of this era must share. The older generation have all been through the cultural revolution and both those considered 'black', like capitalists and scholars, and 'red' like the Red Guards and other Maoists who were set to reform them, are injured or troubled by their pasts. These people, having somewhat overcome these traumatic times, now face the move from communist certainty of a job or retirement income for life, to a present in which capitalists become Big Bucks. The detective plots hold your interest but you are also treated to either ancient poetry or some of the author's own. having read two of this author's books, I want to read more.