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Qiu Xiaolong books in order

Born in China in 1953, Qiu Xiaolong is an award winning poet, critic, novelist and literary translator.

He initially came to the United States in 1988 as a beneficiary of the Ford Foundation fellowship program, but eventually opted to stay there in order to avoid persecution by the Communist Party of China following the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.

While in America, Qiu began writing in English; going all the way to obtaining a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Washington University.

His books have been published in twenty languages, selling over two million copies across the globe.

Qiu is married and currently lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

More about Qiu Xiaolong

Genre: Thriller

Born: 1953


Non Series

  • Years of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai (2010)

Detective Chen Series

  1. Death of a Red Heroine (2000)
  2. A Loyal Character Dancer (2002)
  3. When Red is Black (2004)
  4. A Case of Two Cities (2006)
  5. Red Mandarin Dress (2007)
  6. The Mao Case (2009)
  7. Enigma of China (2013)
  8. Don't Cry, Tai Lake (2012)
  9. Shanghai Redemption (2015)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Years of Red Dust: Stories of Shanghai

From the birth of the Communist revolution in 1949 to the rapid development in the late 90’s, the collection of stories in Years of Red Dust narrates the tale from the perspective of Red Dust Lane―a small street in Shanghai.

From the optimism that abounded following the end of the Chinese Civil War to the cruelty of the Cultural Revolution, from the death of Mao Zedong to the pro-democracy movement and the riots in Tiananmen Square, these personal and extraordinary recollections are posted from the point of view of one corner of Shanghai.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0312609252
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin

Detective Chen Series

Death of a Red Heroine

When the body of a youthful and promising "national model worker" prominent for her loyalty to the guidelines of the Communist Party is discovered in a Shanghai canal, inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Special Cases Bureau is called in to solve the mystery behind the death.

As Chen races to solve the puzzling web of threads from the victim’s past, he finds himself stepping on the toes of the same political entities that have guided his life him from the time he was born.

But Chen has little option but to creep around his seniors in order to unfurl the mystery behind the crime; a move that will put both his life and career on the line.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-1569472422
Publisher: Soho Crime
A Loyal Character Dancer

Inspector Chen has been entrusted, by his mentor in the Shanghai Police, with the responsibility of escorting Catherine Rohn, a US Marshal. Inspector Rohn is on a delicate mission of bringing Wen—the wife of a witness in an important criminal case—to the United States.

But before Inspector Rohn arrives, Wen inexplicably disappears from her village in Fujian. Did she really disappear or is this what they want him to believe?

Either way, Chen greatly dislikes his role in the case, and he would rather investigate the triad killing in the beauteous Bund Park in Shanghai.

Looking to however save face with Inspector Rohn, he tries to strike a balance between once again becoming a good cop, a good man and a devoted member of the Party.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-1569473412
Publisher: Soho Crime
When Red is Black

Inspector Chen Cao takes some time off in order to go on a vacation. The much needed break is prompted by the fact that he is pissed at his boss Party Secretary Li, and also because Gu, a businessman with triad relations, has presented him with an offer that is too good to refuse.

His task; simply translate a business proposal for the New World with a complex of shops and restaurants to be constructed in Central Shanghai; his reward, a fortune.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-1569473962
Publisher: Soho Crime
A Case of Two Cities

Shanghai Police Department Inspector Chen Cao is called upon to conduct investigations on a crucial figure in a high voltage anti-corruption case; a figure that is in the United States having long fled the Chinese government.

But before he fled, Xing left behind his organization that continues to efficiently run its operations.

As Chen is assigned to root the co-conspirators, he can’t help but wonder whether he is in truth being set up to fail.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0312374662
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Red Mandarin Dress

A serial killer is on the loose in Shanghai. The killer, who only preys on Shanghai’s youthful women,   has a trademark of leaving the body of victims—redressed in a red mandarin dresses—in well trafficked locations.

With the print media running riot over Shanghai's first serial killer, Party officials desperate to bring a quick end to the killings, and the police under overwhelming pressure from all sides, there will reach a breaking point.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0312539696
Publisher: Minotaur Books
The Mao Case

Chen Cao, Chief Inspector of the Shanghai Police Department and head of the Special Case group, is more often than not assigned “politically sensitive" cases, given how he is heavily viewed as reliable by virtue of being a rising party cadre.

A devout policeman, Inspector Chen however utterly and completely refuses to compromise his principles in the line of duty in order to earn political mileage; this despite the compounding pressures from both within and without.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0312601232
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Enigma of China

Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department finds himself in a precarious position.

Placed at the Police Department by the Party soon after his college graduation, Chen’s star continues to grow brighter as he is not only a promising cadre in the party, but is similarly in line to take over the reins of power in the police department.

As one of the most highly regarded policemen in the department, Inspector Chen is invited by the Party to sign off the investigation into the death of Zhou Keng.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-1250048578
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Don't Cry, Tai Lake

Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is treated to a week-long vacation at a lavish resort near Lake Tai by friends and supporters from the Party.

The vacation, which is meant to make him unwind from the monumental demands that come with the job, instead gives him a headache as Lake Tai is a grim shadow of its former self.

The once crystal clear water is covered by fetid algae that have sprouted as a result of the toxic runoff from local manufacturing plants.

When the director of one of the manufacturing plants is found murdered, with the leader of the local ecological group placed as the prime suspect, Inspector Chen has the tough task of delivering justice for both the victim and the accused.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-1250021588
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Shanghai Redemption

As Chief Inspector of Special Investigations at the Shanghai Police Department and the Deputy Party Secretary of the Bureau, Chen Cao has always managed to strike the balance between the demands of his job and the interests of the Communist Party.

He was for the longest time regarded as a prominent rising star in the Party, until far too many controversial cases discredited powerful figures within the Party.

Stripped of his responsibilities under a new yet powerless position disguised as a promotion, it increasingly becomes evident that someone is looking to publicly shame him—or worse.

Author: Qiu Xiaolong
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1250092458
Publisher: Minotaur Books