I have just completed reading Xiaolong Qiu's When Red is Black
, a mystery novel that takes place in modern day Shanghai. This author--an Edgar Award nominee and Anthony Award recipient--really gives the reader a lasting impression of regular people living in Shanghai. Foods; housing; medical practice; functioning of the police; all provide a glimpse into the society. In addtion, poems by Chinese poets and Confucian aphorisms are sprinkled throughout the pages.
According to Publishers Weekly
, and I quote,Deftly depicting a China fractured along class and party lines even in matters of love, Qiu also dramatically demonstrates how the past affects the daily lives of Chinese people today.
Qiu's other two mystery novels are Death of a Red Heroine (2000)
and A Loyal Character Dancer (2002).