Death of a Red Heroine: Inspector Chen Mystery

As I described how this Award Winning book won me over earlier, let me offer some practical information on the text and some details.

There is some sex – but it’s SFW.  It’s done well.  There is also some implied NSFW sex as well.  The shadowy world of Karaoke clubs and the girls that come and sing for plays a role in the resolution of the plot – which approaches discussion of prostitution.

Chen notes repeatedly in the series that Confucius said that of the unfilial things a child could do, not having a family was the worst – luckily for Chen for Confucius duty to country comes before family.

This book introduces characters, and a theme of relationships and their importance permeates the book.  This is very Chinese. There is also a borderline Deus ex Machina that  – according to Van Gulik – is very much in the tradition of the Chinese crime mystery.

This book contains the wonderful story about “across the bridge noodles” in Detective Yu’s experiences in Yu-nan.  I loved these when I was in KunMing, the spring city.

Google books does have some reviews, and you can buy the book on Amazon really cheap.  It’s also available in Kindle for under 9$ – and it’s definitely worth the money.  Wikipedia doesn’t have much to say about this book yet, which makes it a promising text to use with students – maybe some could update the stub.