Mystery Monday book review: Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong

The quite nice cover for this book. There are many awful covers for the reprints of this book. Don't let them put you off

The quite nice cover for this book. There are many awful covers for the reprints of this book. Don't let them put you off

This police procedural is good trash reading. It has many of the essential ingredients: a policeman-poet as hero; a jealous sidekick who is thwarted by The Powers That Be in his own career; and a love interest who continually helps the hero and is obviously into him, but is constantly ignored. The hero cop-poet has a comedic best friend who lightens up descriptions of homicide investigations by calling the hero to regale him with stories about the restaurant he is trying to start, as well as setting Mr Hero up with Ms Love Interest. Mr Hero also has an eldery political patron helping him to rise through the ranks of the police force.

At the start of the book, things are going well for Mr Hero. However, the case he's currently working on is turning political - will this affect his chances of promotion? Will the outcome of this case cast Mr Hero into the abyss of police gulag administration, or will it bring him the reputation of a super cop-poet not to be messed with? Only the 10 other books in the series will let us know.

The victim of the current case is a seemingly perfect political figure... but is she too perfect? Perhaps she has a secret that will blow this whole case wide open.

I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

This is Deng Xiaoping, who looms large in the novel.

This is Deng Xiaoping, who looms large in the novel.