Death of a Red Heroine

Death of a Red Heroine is the first in a series of detective novels featuring Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau.  Set mere months after the Tiananmen Square protests and massacre — Chen must investigate the shocking and politically sensitive murder of a young National Model Worker.  As he gets closer and closer to the killer, it becomes clear that naming the guilty party may ruin his career.

"He stood up, gazing out at the traffic along Fuzhou Road.  In the distance, he saw the neon Volkswagon signs shining with a halo of violet color in the night: the 'violet hour.'  He must have read the phrase somewhere.  It was the time when people hurry back home, throbbing taxis wait in the street, and the city becomes unreal."

Qiu Xiaolong is the author of six novels featuring Inspector Chen and has also published works of poetry and translations.  In 1988, he came to the U.S. to research a book and, after a newspaper reported his efforts to fundraise for Chinese students, was unable to return to China for fear of government persecution.

Published:  2000
Length:  464 pages
Set in:  Shanghai, China