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The Eye of Jade: A Mei Wang Mystery (A Mei Wang Mystery #1)

2.99  ·  Rating Details ·  725 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
"Having her own detective agency would give her
the independence she had always longed for. It
would also give her the chance to show those people
who shunned her that she could be successful. People
were getting rich. They owned property, money,
business, and cars. With new freedom and opportunities
came new crimes. There would be much that
she could do."

Present day, Be
ebook, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2008 by Simon & Schuster
More Details... edit details

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May 29, 2015 Orna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Though it provides an interesting look at present-day Beijing and the lasting effects of China’s Cultural Revolution, this book left me unsatisfied and was not at all what it was marketed to be. It was mysterious, but hardly enough to classify it as a mystery novel. It read more like a family drama which, though I found interesting, was not what I expected from a book about a girl starting her own detective agency.

The mystery aspect of the novel was second to Mei’s relationship with her mother (
Aug 01, 2007 Tyas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cina layaknya seekor naga raksasa yang terus menggeliat setelah tidur panjangnya. Sebuah masa yang kelam selama satu dasawarsa sejak pertengahan 60-an hingga pertengahan 75-an terjadi Revolusi Kebudayaan, di mana terjadi proses pembersihan dari simbol-simbol kapitalisme. Salah satu dampak sosial masyarakat adalah terjadinya pengasingan kaum intelektual.

Banyak keluarga yang terpaksa terberai, termasuk Mei, sang tokoh dalam novel ini, berpisah dan meninggalkan ayahnya di kamp kerja paksa. Mei akhi
Apr 05, 2009 Juha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people interested in China.
Shelves: fiction, china, asia
Strictly speaking, this is not a very good book. It's supposed to be a mystery, but that plot really is only introduced on page 55. It's supposed to shed light on the moral ambiguities of the Cultural Revolution and while this is hinted to at various points it only comes together at the last twenty pages of the book. The rest is description of life in contemporary Beijing and the protagonist's relationship with her mother who suffers a stroke (in the end, their relationship is portrayed in light ...more
Mar 03, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have found a new author to read. That is always a pleasure. Diane Wei Liang's book, The Eye of Jade, centers around Mei who has quit a prestigious job and started her own detective agency. Her mother disapproves and holds her younger sister (Lu) up to Mei as an example of a successful woman. Mei is given a job to find "the eye of Jade", a supposed expensive artifact of early China. In her investigation, she not only finds "the eye of Jade" but she also finds out the true story of her mother an ...more
Nov 02, 2011 Megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Argh! I was really hoping this would be a new Maltese Falcon noir story set in 21st century China. It starts that way! And then it very very quickly becomes a sort of chick-lit thingy about mother-daughter relationships and sisterly relationships and lost-love regret.

But it had so much promise! The twist on the detective/secretary flirtation; the mysterious missing rare object; the setting! Modern Beijing with a backstory in post-revolutionary craziness; the unexpected family involvement; the da
Kirsten *I support diversity in my reading and my world!"
A very enjoyable first in a mystery series. Set in Beijing, it deals with Chinese social mores and political life, murder, art theft, and a troubled past. The Cultural Revolution and the Capitalist Revolution both make an appearance.

Written by someone who is actually from China, it is fascinating not just for the mystery, but mainly for the feeling of life in Communist China.
Una Tiers
The small amount of Chinese culture was pleasant. Otherwise, this was a political story about corruption. Almost every character is unhappy. The few characters who say they are happy are obsessed with power and money.
C.J. Shane
Nov 19, 2015 C.J. Shane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Diane Liang Wei’s novel “The Eye of Jade” is categorized as a mystery, the first in the Mei Wang series. However, if you are expecting suspense-filled scenes, clues and red herrings, and those plot twists we associate with the traditional mystery, you may be somewhat disappointed.

Private detective Mei Wang has defied tradition, her family, and the law to establish herself as an independent investigator. It is not until deep into the story that we learn why: she had to leave her cushy job in the
Larry Bassett
Is there something good to be said of the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the 1960s? If there is, do not expect Diane Wei Liang to say it. She left China with wounds from that era as well as the experience of Tiananmen Square, another more recent negative event in Chinese history.

The Eye of Jade is the first in what is so far a two book series about a Beijing woman private investigator. More are anticipated. The first quarter of this book focuses on character development of the protagonist and so
Nov 07, 2007 Roos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: novelia
Mata Giok ternyata bukan apa tetapi siapa?

Bercerita mengenai Mei, detektif wanita ( pekerjaan yang jarang di Cina waktu itu )yang baru memulai usahanya, disewa oleh pamannya sendiri untuk mencari Mangkuk Antik dari jaman Dinasti Han...dalam pencariannya Mei menemukan kejanggalan-kejanggalan yang secara langsung berhubungan dengan sejarah keluarganya, bahkan rahasia terbesar Ma-nya terhadap Ba-nya...dan siapa agen intelejen yang berjuluk "Mata Giok"?

Ehm, seru juga ceritanya ada sedikit sejarah Ci
Aug 29, 2014 Iblena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A caballo entre la narrativa y la novela policiaca, El Ojo de Jade cuenta una historia de corrupción, ambición, codicia, y ansías de poder en la China de 1998 en pleno desarrollo capitalista, para ello se vale de su protagonista: Mei Wang una mujer valiente, tenaz y emprendedora que esconde sus debilidades tras una personalidad solitaria, fría e indolente…su modo de ser no le ha permitido rodearse de un buen guanxi o red de contactos, pero es inteligente y ha aprendido que si el Partido tiene es ...more
José Luis Parra
Oct 14, 2013 José Luis Parra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poco policiaca pero interesante

La sensación general tras terminar su lectura es satisfactoria.
Por la sinopsis (y el calificativo en la propia portada), esperaba una novela con más acción, más intriga y, en definitiva, más policiaca.
Por contra, me he encontrado con una novela tranquila, que no aburrida, pero interesante. Desconozco cómo sería la obra original, pero en la traducción me ha gustado mucho cómo está narrada.
Un argumento atrapante que te sumerge perfectamente en el ambiente Chino y,
Christina Winata
Mar 16, 2008 Christina Winata rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like challenge themselves to read a very boring book
I borrowed this book from the library as recommended by Very excited on how easy it is to get it from library, consider that this is a quite new book, I quickly finish the book.

Too bad, I am quite disappointed at the end though. I was expecting that the author would explore more about the Chinnese cultures and traditions, just like the other eastern writer usually.

Pardon me, but I'd like to use the word "blend" to describe the book. It just like a very tasty and appealing
Mar 29, 2015 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mei is a female private investigator in Beijing under a regime where such an occupation is not permitted. A friend of her mother seeks Mei's help in finding an ancient artefact, originally thought to have been destroyed during the Cultural Revolution. Her search however takes a back seat to descriptions of life in Beijing and to the life of Mei and her sister Lu in the aftermath of her mother suffering a stroke and being taken into hospital. This didn't really detract from my enjoyment of the no ...more
Nov 11, 2011 Tali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Puede resultar y resulta interesante el contexto de la historia, las referencias culturales, sociales...pero la historia, el caso que se le presenta para investigar es flojo, le sirve para retratar a la nueva China y poco más.
May 12, 2009 Diane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story was a bit disjointed and even at the end I couldn't figure out how the main character figured out who did what. The author didn't let the reader in.
Разпознах се в главната героиня, затова ми стана интересна.
Sue Hoddinott
Very easy read - found the the story a bit light on but the setting was really interesting as far as getting some insight into chinese culture.
Oct 13, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, china
Private detectives are banned in China but Mei Wang, who once had a stable job in the Ministry of Public Security thought that there was a need for the services she could provide. In Beijing there many small crimes that the police will not involve themselves with and in the new millennium divorce is becoming more common place so Mei could find independence as a business woman. All she had to do was market herself as an Information Consultant.

One of Mei Wang's earliest memories is of her life in
#1 Mei Wang mystery set in modern-day Beijing, China. Mei Wang is a young woman in her twenties who left her job at the Ministry of Security because she refused to play the game and become one of the ministers' mistress. Of course in doing so, she lost face and most of her acquaintances think she 'lost' her job. Now with her own business as an "information consultant" (since private detectives are forbidden by the government) she struggles along to make ends meet and has a hard time getting peop ...more
Mei Wang, a former employee of the Beijing police department, is getting started with her own business as an information service (which is the code language for running a private detective agency in China, where such businesses are illegal). A family friend asks her to track down a priceless heirloom that he believes was stolen from a distant province during the Cultural Revolution and will soon be for sale on the black market. Mei investigates this mystery while navigating some tricky family in ...more
Jul 21, 2010 Stef rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Eye of Jade is a cross between a detective story and a family story.

Although the novel is marketed as a detective story, it doesn't have many of the tropes of a detective story. The investigation is mainly a way into telling the story of a particular family.

Things I liked about this book:

The narrator pronounces Chinese words and phrases with what sounds like an authentic accent. (Note that I don't know enough about the various languages in China to be any kind of expert on this. I just kno
May 20, 2009 Barbara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Interesting novel, a little light on the actual "mystery" and there's really only one dead body, but the mysteries of life for a adult daughter, her mother, those who are connected with her and questions of the past are probably the "bigger" mysteries at work here. A decent story of a woman trying to do alone what's really not been done or even fits well with the complexities of Chinese life, both modern and traditional. Mei is an interesting character, tho' a bit the end, you do come t ...more
Xujun Eberlein
The novel's female detective protagonist, Mei Wang, is a character built up of conflicts between her mindset and reality. She is aloof, "an outsider who never wanted to be in" while in college, but her college friends turn out to be the only ones who truly care about her. Her longing for her mother's love manifests as resentment, and her mother suddenly has a stroke before there is a chance to reconcile. She desperately wants to cure her mother, but she has no money or connections, and those thi ...more
Rob Kitchin
Many detective stories seek to balance the back story and everyday life of the detective with the investigation and the resolution of the mystery. In most cases, the balance veers towards the mystery element of the story, with the main character’s personal life and history taking a back seat. In The Eye of Jade, Diane Wei Liang reverses this balance. The story mostly focuses on the main character, Mei Wang, and her relationship to her mother and sister, and the family’s murky past tied up in the ...more
THE EYE OF JADE (Priv. Invest-Mei Wang-Beijing, China-Cont) – VG
Wei Liang, Diane – 2nd in series
Simon & Schuster, 2008, US Hardcover – ISBN: 1416549552

First Sentence: In the corner of an office in an old-fashioned building in Beijing’s Chongyang District, the fan was humming loudly, like an elderly man angry at his own impotence.

Mei Wang had been dismissed from the Ministry for Public Security and has opened an office as a private investigator. “Uncle” Chen, a family friend, hires her to fin
Paul Pessolano
Although this book is classified as a mystery, I found that could very easily have been classified as fiction/literature. The story takes place in modern day Beijing and involves Mei Wang and her family. Mei Wang who had a good government job suddenly leaves her job and opens a private investigation business. She is asked to find a Han dynasty jade that has great value. The person who hired her is a long time friend of the family, "Uncle" Chen.

Mei's mother has a heart attack and is given prefere
Apr 14, 2008 Donna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though not the most suspenseful of mysteries, what I enjoyed about this first book from Diane Wei Liang is her lyrical writing that brings the city of Beijing to life and allows us to see what the daily living is like for its inhabitants. It's as much a character and important as Mei Wang, who is the main character. Mei is a private investigator, but under Chinese law is now allowed to register as one despite the growth in capitalism there. So she is licensed as an information consultancy. But i ...more
Randall Pratt
This is an unusual mystery book. The story revolves around the relationships between investigator Mei Wang, her mother Ling Bai, and her sister Lu. The mystery (finding a Han dynasty jade) is really just a pretext for discovering some unsettling things about their past and learning how the three Wang women have chosen to live with them.

I was especially interested in the many cultural references to 1990's China. Having spent the summer of 1983 in Shanghai (and dreaming of returning ever since) it
Jul 01, 2008 Cami rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book promotes itself as a mystery, and the main character is a private investigator, but I found the mystery being overshadowed by characterization. You learn more about her family and have flashbacks to her past more than you learn about the so-called plot. I was tremendously disappointed when I reached the "climax" ending and honestly didn't get it. I missed something because it built up and then just ended. I re-read the last couple chapters and decided to give the book away because it w ...more
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Diane Wei Liang was born in Beijing. She spent part of her childhood with her parents in a labor camp in a remote region of China, and the other part in Beijing with her mother when her parents were forced to live and work in different cities. She studied psychology at Peking University. In 1989 she took part in the Student Democracy Movement and was in Tiananmen Square. Later that year, she left ...more
More about Diane Wei Liang...

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