WildChina Book Club:
Inspector Chen and the Private Kitchen Murder by Qiu Xiaolong (Event #94)
For our December book club, we’ll be reading Inspector Chen and the Private Kitchen Murder in preparation for our chat with the author, Qiu Xiaolong.
Chen Cao has been removed from his chief inspector role, but that doesn’t stop him investigating a ‘private kitchen’ murder that has similarities to a Judge Dee story.
No longer a chief inspector, Chen Cao finds himself as director of the Shanghai Judicial System Reform Office. To outsiders it’s a promotion, but Chen knows he’s being removed from the spotlight as he’s immediately placed on involuntary ‘convalescence leave’ to stop him interfering with any cases. However, with various high-profile crimes making headlines and fears escalating over vigilante reprisals, Chen’s superiors know he must at least appear active.
One case revolves around Min Lihau, a mingyuan, who runs a ‘private kitchen’ for powerful figures in Shanghai. Min’s accused of murdering her assistant, yet Chen is struck by its similarities to a historic case involving the famous Judge Dee. When an acquaintance of his is murdered in connection with Min, Chen knows he can’t stand idly by… but he must act in secret, under the cover of writing a Judge Dee novel.Purchase the book here
Speaker for Inspector Chen and the Private Kitchen Murder
Qiu Xiaolong (裘小龙) was born in Shanghai, China. He is the author of the award-winning Inspector Chen series of mystery novels, Death of a Red Heroine (2000), A Loyal Character Dancer (2002), When Red Is Black (2004), A Case of Two Cities (2006), Red Mandarin Dress (2007), and The Mao Case (2009). He is also the author of two books of poetry translations, Treasury of Chinese Love Poems (2003) and Evoking T’ang (2007), and his own poetry collection, Lines Around China (2003). Qiu’s books have sold over a million copies and have been published in twenty languages. He currently lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.
- Mei ZhangFounder and CEO of WildChina
Mei Zhang is the founder and CEO of WildChina. Under her leadership, WildChina flourished from a small Hutong operation into an award-winning business. Mei’s own expertise has led her to win a number of personal awards, including Travel and Leisure’s A-List of Top Travel Advisors, Condé Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialist, and Wendy Perrin’s #WOW List of Travel Experts. Mei is an Aspen Institute China Fellow and currently serves as a member of Harvard Business School’s Alumni Board.