The fifth novel in the stunning literary crime series that has received international critical acclaim.
Political corruption, capitalist greed and past injustices are all revealed when Inspector Chen investigates a serial killer in Shanghai.
An early morning jogger found her. Clad in nothing but a red mandarin dress, she had been dumped, barely concealed, on a traffic island. The death of a dancing girl was unpleasant but this was particularly unusual in that she had been left openly in the centre of town. She had probably angered one of the Mr Big Bucks that were taking over and transforming Shanghai.
Inspector Chen is an intuitive investigator, a talented poet and an honourable man on the edge of a nervous breakdown. Desperate to find a way to release himself from the perilous police career that had been chosen for him, he takes time off to begin an MA in Literature. Then another girl is found dead . . . With a serial killer on the loose. Chen is pulled back to work and into his most dangerous assignment yet.
[Xiaolong] vividly details the human cost of a city (the new consumer crazy Shanghai) devouring itself . . . Yet even in these dangerous surroundings, culture and beauty endure and an honest man can still chart a path for good, no matter how perilous - Economist
The author's heady plot highlights his strengths, elegantly capturing China in transition. A fascinating read. - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
'Runaway capitalism can be held accountable for a multitude of social sins, but can it be blamed for the acts of a serial killer? That's one of the many intriguing questions posed by the poet and translator Qiu Xiaolong in his latest Inspector Chen mystery, RED MANDARIN DRESS. The erudite Shanghai detective (who writes romantic poetry to clear his head) has to postpone his participation in an intensive course in classical Chinese literature when murder victims wearing identical mandarin dresses begin turning up around the city.
Are these aberrant crimes somehow linked to modern China's struggle to contain the widespread corruption that accompanies unregulated economic growth? You bet. But the novel also contains pertinent references to the huge ideological upheaval of the Cultural Revolution - a subject that's never far from the surface in this intelligent series - along with many poignant hints that once - New York Times
The creation of Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau is a very successful addition to the detective genre . . . a fresh, fast-paced detective thriller that will keep you turning those pages - Sunday Express
A weekly corpse ratchets up the brute pace of Xiaolong's well-crafted pursuit, while Chen's cerebral intuition provides an engrossing process of deduction. A theatrical denouement gives a sharp twist to the storytelling in a thriller that draws together China's trouble political past and burgeoning capitalist present. - Financial Times
Atmospheric and rich in behind the scenes detail, Qiu Xiaolong's mysteries pit the poetry-loving Inspector Chen of Shanghai against criminality and corruption in the new China . . . Morse of the Far East - Independent
Brilliant - NW Magazine, Australia
Qiu gives a fresh perspective on the forces shaping a new China and the influences of the Cultural Revolution and then Tiananmen in 1989. - Sunday Morning Post, Hong Kong
Qiu Xiaolong (pronounced 'Joe Shau-long') was born in Shanghai. The Cultural Revolution began in his last year of elementary school, and out of school, out of job, he studied English by himself in a local park.
In 1977, he began his studies at East China Normal University in Shanghai, and then the Chinese Academy of Social Science in Beijing. After graduation, he worked at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences as an associate research professor, published poems, translations and criticism, and became a member of the Chinese Writers' Association.
In 1988, he came to Washington University in St. Louis, U.S. as a Ford foundation fellow to do a project on Eliot, but after the Tiananmen tragedy of 1989, he decided to stay on. He then obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University and taught there.
Having won several awards for his poetry in English, he moved on to write a novel about contemporary Chinese society in transition, which developed into the critically acclaimed, award-winning Inspector Chen series. The series has been translated into sixteen languages. In addition, Qiu Xiaolong has published a poetry collection, several poetry translations, and a collection of linked stories (also serialized in Le Monde). He lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.