FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10.
Usually dispatched within 2 to 4 weeks.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Dispatch to:
To see addresses, please
Or
Please enter a valid UK postcode.
Or
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping option on this book. Guaranteed very good quality. Used but still in excellent condition for the next owner.
Have one to sell?
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

Death of a Red Heroine: Inspector Chen 1 (As heard on Radio 4) Paperback – 13 Jul 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 40 customer reviews

See all 11 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£8.99
£6.14 £0.01
Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£8.99 FREE UK Delivery on book orders dispatched by Amazon over £10. Usually dispatched within 2 to 4 weeks. Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently bought together

  • Death of a Red Heroine: Inspector Chen 1 (As heard on Radio 4)
  • +
  • A Loyal Character Dancer: Inspector Chen 2 (As heard on Radio 4)
  • +
  • When Red is Black: Inspector Chen 3 (Inspector Chen Cao)
Total price: £26.97
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address 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.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

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



Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Mulholland Books; New Ed edition (13 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340897503
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340897508
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 129,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

Product description

Review

Xiaolong's astute rendering of the many contradictions of contemporary Chinese life centres on the brilliant Inspector Chen . . . A series that might well get you hooked. (Sunday Telegraph)

Atmospheric and rich in behind the scenes detail . . . Morse of the Far East. (Independent)

Chen is a great creation, an honourable man in a world full of deception and treachery. (Guardian)

With strong and subtle characterisation, Qiu Xiaolong draws us into a fascinating world where the greatest mystery revealed is the mystery of present-day China itself. (John Harvey)

The first police whodunnit written by a Chinese author in English and set in contemporary China . . . its quality matches its novelty. (The Times)

The usual enjoyable mix of murder, poetry and contradictions of contemporary Chinese culture. Chen is a splendid creation. (Independent on Sunday)

A vivid portrait of modern Chinese society . . . full of the sights, sounds and smells of Shanghai . . . A work of real distinction. (Wall Street Journal)

Qiu Xiaolong is one of the brightest stars in the firmament of modern literary crime fiction. His Inspector Chen mysteries dazzle as they entertain, combining crime with Chinese philosophy, poetry and food, Triad gangsters and corrupt officials. (Canberra Times, Australia)

Gripping . . . Chen stands in a class with Martin Cruz Smith's Russian investigator, Arkady Renko, and P.D. James's Scotland Yard inspector, Adam Dalgliesh. (Publishers Weekly)

Wonderful. (Washington Post)

Book Description

Prizewinning debut of an extraordinary new voice in crime writing.

See all Product description

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. The setting is so unusual (Shanghai in the 90s) which added to the book's attraction. The storyline is brilliant and had me so absorbed that I finished it in a couple of sittings. I am looking forward to reading the next book.
Comment 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
By DR on 19 Mar. 2017
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Promising debut
Comment 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
By A. Ross TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 21 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
The first book in the Inspector Chen series (followed by A Loyal Character Dancer) is a spellbinding meld detective procedural and portrait of China in transition following the Tiananmen Square massacre. Set in Shanghai in the Spring of 1990, the story starts with the discovery of the body of a "national model worker." The case falls into the hands newly promoted Det. Inspector Chen Cao and his subordinate Detective Yu, who work under the watchful eyes of old Commissar Zhang and Party Secretary Li.
Communist China makes for an instantly compelling and intriguing setting, as the police must wend their way through labyrinthine political considerations in a country where one's standing in the Party is paramount but change is clearly underway. The mystery and investigation proceed in a leisurely fashion, and the true challenge is not identifying the murderer, but being able to gather the necessary evidence and piecing together a motive.
Inspector Chen and Detective Yu are instantly likable and deeply-drawn characters, as is their circle of friends and family. Woven into the story are the their personal lives, which the author uses to paint a vivid picture of China just a decade ago. Most memorable are the cramped housing conditions, the continued reverence for elders, and the many many mouthwatering descriptions of food. Hardest to imagine for Western readers will be the influence of Party standing and its intrusion into personal relationships, especially when it comes to love.
This is a long, but never boring story that deserves wide readership amongst mystery readers as well as those with an interest in China. A well-deserved winner of the Edgar for best first novel.
Comment 29 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: Paperback
On finishing this book, I closed it feeling satisfied. This is generally all I ask of a book, but if I think back, I also remember that it took a good 200 pages for this book to get rolling and for me to really become interested and vested in it.

Part of this is probably do to the fact that I only have a loose understanding of the events surrounding the Cultural Revolution and the subsequent Party politics that play an important part in this book. But it also just has a slow start, which isn't helped a lot by the rather dry tone Chinese literature always seems to have.

In the end, however, what I liked so much about the book is that it's about good men trying, against almost impossible odds, to be good men. I don't mean John McClane type heros, but ordinary men in extraordinary circumstances.

Chen, the main character is a coming to terms with the fact that his life has not turned out the way he hoped. He shows a consistent moral mettle that is impossible not to respect. His partner, Yu, is a man who was given very few choices in life but his dedication to both his job, doing the right thing and his wife are heart melting. It was these men and their character that carried the day for me. I'm glad to have read the book.
Comment 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: Paperback
`Death of a Red Heroine' is set in 1990's Shanghai. A woman's body is found in a canal and it is quickly discovered that she has been sexually assaulted and asphyxiated. Chief Inspector Chen and his assistant, Detective Yu, establish that the woman was a model worker (a poster girl for the Communist Party.) It doesn't take long before the murder investigation is hampered by politics and everyone is open to charges of being influenced by Western Bourgeois or not respecting and looking after the interests of the party.

This is a spectacularly good book, both as a portrait of a culture and country, and as a police procedural novel. The sense of place is overwhelming, the characters are well drawn and complex and the attention to detail is fantastic. If you are one for minimalist literature this probably isn't one for you! Chief Inspector Chen is a wonderful focus for the novel being both a gourmand and a poet and so bringing much of modern China to life.

I loved it. The only thing lacking for me was an author's note on how to pronounce the names.

Wonderful.
Comment One person 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
By Stevie VINE VOICE on 9 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
I bought this book having read a review, but not knowing quite what to expect.

It is more police procedural than golden age. There is a murder, and it is central to the plot, but there is very little real detective work described.

The book is well-written and very discursive: there are descriptions of food, relationships, a great deal about China in the 1990s and how the Party works and - for me the best bit - a great deal of poetry. The main character, Chief Inspector Chen, is a poet (and translator of crime novels) as well as a detective. This creates many opportunities for the author to insert couplets or (rarely) longer excerpts from Chinese poetry in a very natural, charming and unpretentious way. I have certainly sought out Chinese poetry as a result of what I read in this book.

Recommended.
Comment 4 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