Author Review: Qiu Xiaolong

2017 Limelight Reviews
Author Review

Born in Shanghai in 1953, Qiu Xiaolong is a crime novelist and academic currently living in St. Louis, Missouri, with his wife Wang Lijun and daughter Julia Qiu. He originally visited the United States in 1988 to write a book about T. S. Eliot, but following the Tiananmen Square incident he was forced to remain in America to avoid persecution by the Communist Party of China.

Xiaolong has published nine crime-thriller/mystery novels set in Shanghai in the 1990s at the point when the People’s Republic of China is making momentous changes. These include Death of a Red Heroine, and A Loyal Character Dancer. All books feature Chief Inspector Chen Cao, a poetry-quoting cop with integrity, and his sidekick Detective Yu. The books take place during the changes to China itself. Each book features quotes from poets, Confucius, insights into Chinese cuisine, architecture, history, politics, herbology and philosophy as well as criminal procedure.

I first noticed a copy of Enigma of China on a desk at the SMSA and then read the first book in the series Death of a Red Heroine. I have become hooked on the series and am in the process of reading the entire series in order.

Click here for a reading list of Qiu Xiaolong’s novels


Find novels by Qiu Xiaolong in the SMSA Library Catalogue


Tom Thorburn
SMSA Life Member