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The Hidden Moon

(The Pingkang Li Mysteries #3)

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A well-bred lady and lowly street hustler team up in a historical murder mystery set during China's glittering Tang Dynasty. Part of the best-selling Lotus Palace series.

Impetuous and well-educated, young Lady Bai has always been the forgotten daughter between two favored sons. However, when Wei-wei's older brother is tasked with investigating a high-profile assassination,
ebook, 340 pages
Published September 1st 2020
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  164 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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K.J. Charles
Oh my goodness I loved this. The Pingkang Li books are among my favourite Jeannie Lins--the historical setting is incredibly well done, the characters are flawed and problematic and come from/live in a brilliantly seedy world of courtesans and crime and everyone scrabbling to make it, the mystery subplots are engaging, the setting is bright and real and vivid, and the romances are stellar.

I have wanted this story painfully since The Liar's Dice which introduces high-born, fiercely intelligent W
2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Non-Regency Historical

A balm to the soul after a hellish month. RTC.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Alice Poon
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
This novel was an enjoyable breezy read, and I was particularly impressed with the sensitive characterization of Wei Wei and Gao, the two protagonists in the story.

A tale of impossible love between Wei Wei, a learned and headstrong maiden from an aristocratic family, and Gao, an illiterate but kind-at-heart street bum, is skillfully braided with the magistrate's investigation of a couple of mysterious and high-profile murders in Chang'An, the glittering capital of the Tang dynasty. The ups and d
nick (the infinite limits of love)

The Hidden Moon came on my radar thanks to Aarya on Twitter. I immediately put a hold on it at the library and what a great decision that was. The Hidden Moon was just as lovely as the stunning cover. I'm so excited to have discovered a new author whose backlist I have the opportunity to read.

The shining star of The Hidden Moon was the protagonist, Wei-wei, a smart and perceptive young woman, who has grown up being outshined by her brothers. She has helped both her older and younger brothers in
What jubilee and excitement I felt when I learned of The Hidden Moon's release! I have been wanting this story since meeting Wei Wei and Gao in The Liar's Dice novella. Set in the historical Tang Dynasty of China, author Jeannie Lin masterfully weaves an enchanting forbidden romance and a clever mystery that make one reluctantly set down her book for mundane matters.

The Hidden Moon is the fourth entry in the Lotus Palace Mysteries (sometimes referred to as the Pingkang Li Mysteries). The Hidden
Elizabeth S.
So happy that I could return to the world of this series. I've read and re-read the other two books multiple times and I imagine this one will be the same. It's a sweet romance with fascinating characters and I loved it. Also, the dedication at the end got me a little verklempt. ...more
Rosemary K
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wei-Wei feels trapped. As a daughter she can only honor her family by making an advantageous marriage even though she is well educated. Her focus has always been to help her brothers find a good position in the Imperial government, but our heroine has a rebellious streak and often sneaks out to explore the city. On her adventures she often sees Gao, a street hustler. He's a dangerous man who uses his wiles to survive. These two form an unlikely friendship. Wei-Wei is from a wealthy and prosperou ...more
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin is the third in the Pingkang Li Mysteries series, set in Tang Dynasty China. While Liar's Dice is a terrific prequel to this story, it isn't required to fully appreciate and enjoy The Hidden Moon on its own.

Lady Bai is a well-bred, well-educated woman who's reaching spinsterhood, which she is quite eager to embrace. As a middle child sandwiched between two cherished sons, she's quite aware that her role will never be as the star or even as the understudy but as the
Like the previous books in this very enjoyable series, this is a cross-class romance weaved with a mystery set in Tang Dynasty (9th century) China.
Wei-Wei was crying out for her own book and I loved how complex and realistic her situation felt. She’s very clever and feels constrained and bound by society and filial duty. This, combined with her recklessness and naivety, leads to her getting into all manner of trouble. The street thug, Gao, was a good foil for her, and I liked his redemption arc,
Peak historical romance + mystery
Janine Ballard
4 stars / 4.25 stars

Gao and Wei-wei’s romance, which began in The Liar's Dice (review here), continues in The Hidden Moon. The story here concerns a body that washes up in the river. A street boy, Fu Lin, finds a jade object on the body that he turns over to Gao. Wei-wei, once again braving the Pinkang Li (this time on a half-errand, half-excuse) runs into Gao and identifies the object as an imperial seal. Together they turn the seal over to the magistrate. The theft is covered up, though, and w
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
It is 849 A.D. in Tang dynasty, China. As the only daughter of the aristocratic Bai family, Bai Wei-ling (Wei-wei) is often forgotten, sandwiched between 2 favoured sons. She knows her only duty is to marry well, but having had the privilege of education, she yearns for something more than being a dutiful wife in a loveless arranged marriage. When her elder brother, Bai Huang, was tasked with the investigations of a high-profile murder, she is eager to put her clever mind to use. But it is neith ...more
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The third installment in the Pingkang Li series features another gripping mystery while allowing readers to become reacquainted with all of their favorite characters from past books. In spite of these familiar tie-ins, The Hidden Moon doesn't quite measure up to its predecessors. It's still a lot of fun, but it mostly caters to long-time fans of the author. New readers might have a little difficulty getting into it.

In the earlier books, the mystery was still gripping, but the romance took center
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

The Characters: Wei-Wei is a character introduced in the previous Lotus Palace books. To be honest, Wei-Wei had been one of my favorite characters. Highly educated, outspoken, and breaking the accepted behavior for a woman of her time, Wei-Wei was always interesting. I had hoped that one day she would get her own book.
In The Hidden Moon, readers get a look at Wei-Wei's thought processes and desires. Still wanting more than marriage and babies, s
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was shocked that I missed this addition to the Pingkang Li Mysteries series and I was even more upset after I read it since this book was so damn good - possibly the best in the series. Jeannie Lin is truly a hidden gem.

I love the upper-class-lady-and-street-rat trope as much as anyone else (thank you, Aladdin, for awakening this in us) but can we all just admit that historical fiction rarely does this trope justice. The class differences are often secondary in the author's consideration. Howe
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

At long last, another installment in the Lotus Palace/Pingkang Li series with The Hidden Moon! And while it hasn’t been as long for me between books as it has for everyone else (and, oops, I somehow still haven’t read The Jade Temptress…not that you have to have read any of the prior books to understand this one), it’s still wonderful to see the love story between Wei-wei and Gao first teased in The Liar’
Kristel Kristel
Want a historical romance murder-mystery set in China's Tang Dynasty? Then check this one out! The vivid atmosphere of life in the ancient capital of Chang'an sets this novel apart from the books I've read in this genre: the vibrant culture, the traditions... It was like watching those Chinese movies. Add the romantic rich-girl-poor-boy trope and boom... move over, Regency romance.

It tells the story of Wei-wei, who comes from a respectable and illustrious Bai family. Through her brother Huang an
May 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
This was great. It is a historical M/F that is set in China in 849 A.D so the setting was very foreign to me but there was a strong sense of place so it worked well. It can definitely be read as a standalone. There is a mystery that was easy to follow and engaging. The main couple was impossible because of a social class conflict that was done well. Wei-Wei's situation really felt claustrophobic but she was cunning and smart enough to make do and fight for what she wanted. Gao was a complex char ...more
Emma Rigby
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've been looking forward to Wei-Wei and Gao's story since reading the Liar''s Dice and it was worth the wait. I spent the whole book on tenterhooks, wondering how these two would find their happily ever after given how different their backgrounds are (and how constrained Wei-Wei is by her status as a high-born woman), but, I'm sure it's not a spoiler to say, the ending doesn't disappoint. 

One thing I really enjoy about this series is the glimpse it gives into life in the Tang Dynasty. This book
I've enjoyed the Lotus Palace Mysteries for their glimpse into a world very different from the usual European or US settings of historical romance. We saw glimmers of a potential relationship between the street hustler Gao and Lady Bai (Wei-Wei) in earlier books, but what I loved most about this story of theirs was feeling they'd never find their HEA. Society was too hidebound, the risks of family disgrace too high, not at all like the more common Western response of "Love conquers all."

But Lin
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5/5 heart-melting stars

I already fell in love with Wei-wei and Gao in The Liar's Dice, and I was overjoyed to finally see them get their HEA. Their story gave me ALL THE FEELS! I laughed, I cried, I swooned (don't get me started on the swoons... gah!), and I loved every single page of this book - even the ones that broke my heart.

I absolutely adore "obediently wild" Wei-wei, who is fierce, and loyal, and lovely, and smart, and funny... *le sigh* And Gao - rational, street-smart, dangerous, all-
Angel Graham
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-books
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

As usual, when it's a Jeannie Lin book, I know it'll be good. I still don't normally read historical, but there's something different about Jeannie's Asian Historicals.

This book continues the story of Wei-Wei and Gao. Bit of a mystery with a hint of romance. Even if you haven't read the other books before this, you should have no problem figuring it out. Yes, it's more complete with the others, but can be read as a stand alone.

Sorry this isn't
Sep 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Hidden Moon was an entertaining read with the perfect blend of romance and mystery. It was satisfying to see Wei-Wei and Gao's story unravel. I would have preferred if Gao had expressed his love with more patience by proving himself worthy for her hand to her family because of their difference in societal status. Even if this is a historical fiction, in the ancient times a person's status was very distinguished. Overall, the novel was an enjoyable quick afternoon read. The narrative and desc ...more
Oct 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
A high 4, maybe 4.5 stars?

I really enjoyed this - definitely read Liar's Dice first, where Wei-wei and Gao first meet though. Even though I think this would stand alone it's a good story and sets up the two MCs really well. This novel is very similar to Liar's Dice both in tone and in the great balance of mystery and romance. I love a forbidden romance and this hit all the right notes for me - she's above his station, they know they can never be together but somehow they keep finding each other
I'm so happy I was able to read The Hidden Moon. The author's note regarding the role of readers' messages etc. (one of which I sent) was quite touching. As for the book itself, We-wei and Gao were a great couple, and I really enjoyed their different perspectives and reading their inner thoughts. The recurring red silk ribbon was lovely. The mystery and suspense were also well done and I liked learning more about the Tang period in Chinese history. I also located a map of Chang'an to refer to wh ...more
May 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I think this is probably the first actual romance novel I’ve ever read, though I suppose it is a mystery as well. I’m glad I didn’t judge this one by it’s cover!! I really loved the MC and the fact that it was set during the Tang Dynasty in China made it perfectly escapist for me. Easy and enjoyable read :) live laugh love star crossed lovers <3 I’m going to have to read some more books from this author!!
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked Wei-wei in The Liar's Dice, and was delighted that she has a full-length story! I love this book! It has the combination of murder mystery and romance I really enjoyed in The Lotus Palace and The Jade Temptress. Wei-wei and Gao's slowburn-ish romance worked really well for me! It was also neat to see Yue-ying and Mingyu again. ...more
Jan 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I was surprised by how much I loved this. Both the mystery and romance plots were well developed. Wei-wei might be my favorite heroine ever and her hero Gao is fully up to the challenge. I'm not familiar with the Tang Dynasty at all but Lin added just enough exposition to keep me clued in without it being clunky at all. Seriously so fun!! ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this novel a lot - this is an interesting time period, which I'd like to learn more about. And it was great to get a glimpse of previous characters from this series in this book (especially Mingyu and Wu Kaifeng, who are favourites of mine). ...more
Ellen Parker
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical
Step back to 9th century China.
Murder. Mystery. Forbidden love. Ms. Lin combines all of these and more in the most recent Lotus Palace Mystery. Follow Wei-wei as she sees places and meets people far different from her rich, aristocratic family.

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USA TODAY Bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first romance while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. After four years of trying to break into publishing with ...more

Other books in the series

The Pingkang Li Mysteries (3 books)
  • The Lotus Palace (The Pingkang Li Mysteries, #1)
  • The Jade Temptress (The Pingkang Li Mysteries, #2)

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