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The Mao Case
 
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Qiu Xiaolong
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The Mao Case (Inspector Chen Cao #6)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,009 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Department is the head of the Special Case group and is often put in charge of those cases that are considered politically "sensitive" since, as a rising party cadre, he's regarded by many as reliable. But Inspector Chen, though a poet by inclination and avocation, takes his job as a policeman very seriously, despite the pres ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published June 29th 2011 by Not Avail (first published 2009)
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Grace Tjan
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Warning: possible spoilers ahead


As a whodunit, the sixth Inspector Chen novel is a vast improvement on the first book. The first book already has elements that elevate it above the usual police procedural ---- vivid, at times noir-ish portrait of Shanghai and other Chinese locales; intimate, occasionally gritty observation of the daily lives of Chinese people from all walks of life; commentaries on the oppresive, self-censoring political climate under the Party ---- but the mystery plot felt ten
...more
Gerund
Mar 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the sixth novel starring Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau, and as fans of the series will know, China-born American author Qiu Xiaolong isn’t interested in a simple whodunnit.

Let’s make it clear first that this is a page-turning mystery, involving murder and a gripping, high-stakes climax. However, this mystery is also a springboard for Qiu to explore the ethos of contemporary China in general and Shanghai in particular.

This is a place ruled in the name of communis
...more
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
Cultural Revolution, Red guards, Triads, jaded film stars and crumbling mansions, backstreets, noodle shops, old ramshackle streets contrasting with the new Shanghai. A society that, on the surface, appears to be undergoing great changes, an apparent liberation. People relax and swim in their illusions - the yellow brick road leads to tanks on Tianaman Square and to the gulag.
Now, I may be overdressing the cake a bit too much but I cannot help the thoughts this book inspired. It is full of peopl
...more
Catherine
This feels like the heftiest of the Chen novels so far - the one with the greatest direct criticisms to make of China's history since 1949, and the most complex examination of who was being taken care of, and who was being left behind, in the upheaval of the 1990s. There was a lot here to feast on - the reminiscences of 1930s Shanghai; the details of how different groups were treated during the Cultural Revolution; the fortunes of those who rode high with Mao; the effects of his policies on Chin ...more
El Cuaderno de Chris
El Caso Mao es un libro que llegué a conocer por un grupo de lectura, fue una lectura inesperada pero satisfactoria. Chen es el protagonista de esta historia que se desarrolla en China (este detective es el protagonista de esta serie de libros, de los que creo no hay que seguir necesariamente un orden). La historia comienza con Chen en una reunión del partido discutiendo sobre el materialismo que se ha propagado. Chen recibe una llamada de una amiga que le informa que su novia (una pareja con la ...more
LuisAdri
Un autor nuevo para mi, una recomendación.
Un libro con varios datos y descripciones sobre lugares, comidas, poesías, menciones a una época de la china guiada por el presidente Mao, la representación de este en la vida de la chian, para el momento vivo y ese imaginario que se mantiene en la actualidad, donde aun existen miles de referencias a él y su legado, o su ilusión de cambio.

Es una trama lenta, las descripciones y alusiones poéticas, no logran crear un escenario para el argumento que sien
...more
Ram Kaushik
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A solid effort in the excellent Chen series! Qiu Xiaolong explores the complexities of modern China with the deftness and nuance it deserves. His explorations of the Cultural Revolution and the atrocities that Mao & his entourage wreaked are gut-wrenching. As is the sinking feeling that judging history through hindsight is the prerogative of the well-fed and secure. The mystery itself progresses nicely through Chen's brooding persona and the finale is satisfying. My guess is that the Chinese ...more
icaro
Nov 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
C'è un ragazzino che un giorno cattura per strada un granchio. Bigia la scuola e si mangia il granchio. Suo nonno si arrabbia per questo. Uno scrittore in disgrazia che ama i granchi ma non può permetterseli perché costano troppo ha scritto quella storia. Un ispettore di polizia che ha ricevuto in regalo un cesto di granchi vivi li porta allo scrittore che li cucina. I due squartano e degustano perlacee ovaia di granchio disquisendo a lungo sul possibile doppio senso erotico di alcuni versi di u ...more
Radine Nehring
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Marvelous novel! This Inspector Chen story took me to Shanghai, and taught me so much about Chinese culture and politics. The writing is poetic and complex, not unexpected from Qiu Xiaolong, a former resident of Shanghai and also an accomplished poet in both Chinese and English. The story involves the lives of three women, mother, daughter, and granddaughter. The mother was one of Mao's "favored women" and Chinese security today believes she passed on an item or secrets that might damage Mao's r ...more
Dennis Fischman
I enjoy the character of Chief Inspector Chen (and even more, Detective Yu, his wife Peiqin, and his father, Old Hunter). I am grateful for the insights into Chinese society that Qiu Xiaolong always gives us. In this case, however, I found the plot far-fetched and the motive unconvincing.
Mila
Mar 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chinese
Shanghai, década de los 90. China ya reformó su economía hacia un capitalismo occidental pero el retrato de Mao sigue en su sitio en la plaza Tiananmen.
En ese contexto esquizofrénico, la novela de Qiu Xialong se enfrenta a la cuestión del estatus de Mao en la China pos-Deng Xiaoping y se desenvuelve en una exploración de la personalidad del gran timonel a través de sus relaciones con las mujeres y de su poesía.
El inspector Chen en cargo de la investigación sobre un misterioso objeto pertenecient
...more
Brendan
The Mao Case relates another adventure of Chief Inspector Chen, an inspector in the modern Shanghai police force. It does a great job of helping explain the complex dynamics of a society trying to be both capitalist and communist at the same time. The mystery involves a young woman whose grandmother had an illicit affair with Mao. The young woman may have inherited some damaging "Mao material" that the party wants investigated, confiscated, and suppressed. Inspector Chen has to navigate a comple ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This time we don't start with a body; nobody dies (in the first instance) until about halfway through the book. At first I wasn't sure what it was all about, or where the story was going--but then, neither is Chen Cao when he gets handed a "cold case" that's at least 40 years old! He starts by investigating a girl's grandmother's notorious past--never mind that grandmother and mother have both been dead for decades. At the same time, Chen discovers that his old flame has finally gone out--and ma ...more
Jorge Mendez
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good!

In line of what you will expect from this saga about Inspector Chen and his team. The end,thought is quite interesting
Sara
Oct 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's see, a month since I read this, and my memory has dimmed!
There is the usual Qiu theme:
"In these days of increasingly rampant corruption and an ever-enlarging gap between the rich and poor, some were beginning to miss Mao, imagining that they had had better days under him. The utopian society of egalitarianism as advocated by Mao remained attractive to a lot of people."

In this book we hear about the darker private side of Mao - "a man of snake and spider heart" who got rid of his wife Kaihu
...more
R.
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A writer friend of mine, Joan Drury (she owns Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais, MN) recommended this book to me during a recent trip. She said Qiu is one of her new favorite authors. It was a great recommendation!

The book is actually sixth in a detective series set in Shanghai, China with the main character, Chief Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police Bureau. The book’s author, Xiaolong, is a translator and poet who lives in the states now. This book includes many quotations of classic Chinese p
...more
Carl R.
Oct 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This time it's The Mao Case, and it drags us deeper than ever into Qiu Xiaolong's exploration of the Chinese dilemma with its Maoist history. There are the usual dilemmas here for Chen, his ambivalence about how to exist as both a cop and a poet, how to be in but not of the establishment, how to balance his contempt for the upper cadre of the party with his dependence on them both for his career and his identity.

In the case at hand, it appears that some unknown something that might discredit Mao
...more
Mark Drew
This novel started out to be one of the more daring entries in the series with Chen handed his most politically sensitive case to date - but in the final reel, almost all proved to be nothing but empty air.

Chen started out as a series where the crime was just a plot device for the political machinations necessary to satisfy Chen's sense of morality and/or justice, but as the series has progressed it has morphed into pretty much SOP detective stories - so in that light:

Qiu Xiaolong herein violat
...more
Booknblues
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, rats! I don't have any more Chief Inspector Chen mysteries to read, so I hope that Qiu Xiaolong soon completes another one. I love the characters Chen of course who is torn between a police inspector and an intellectual who wants to be a filial son to his mother, but seems too much of a confirmed bachelor to provide her with grandchildren.

Yu his humble partner who is canny like his father, Old Hunter also a policeman. Yu deeply loves his smart and hardworking wife Pequin who does her best
...more
Fiona Van
Oct 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my sixth Inspector Chen novel. To someone from the West who reads a lot of detective fiction, these books are a revelation. I have been fixed on them, since coming across Death of a Red Heroine, because of the fascinating insight into Chinese police procedure. Chen is an English graduate, who has published a thesis on T S Elliot. He is a policeman because he was instructed to join the police on graduation. He has risen to a position where he is specially assigned to politically sensitive ...more
Mike
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Chen gets a politically important case connected to Mao to solve. This one is kind of vague at the beginning, with a classic MacGuffin and everything. Yu and Old Hunter make appearances, though regrettably there is no Overseas Chinese Lu. But the supporting characters don't seem to have all that much to do.

As usual, Chen works to solve the case with his usual combination of doggedness in the face of duty, guangxi and thinking about poetry.

Chen finds himself stuck in small rooms from time to time
...more
Norma
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good read from Qiu Xiaolong a resident of St Louis, MO.

Chief Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police Department is assigned a politically sensitive case by the Minister of Public Security. Jiao is the grandaughter of a woman that was a "special friend" of Mao. The girl has gone from poverty to living a life of luxury. Jiao has also developed new friendships with individuals that were part of pre-communist Shanghai society. All of this leads to questions about her sudden change in lifestyl
...more
Susan
Mar 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, china
Inspector Chen returns, delighting in good food but seldom able to finish a meal, preoccupied with his aging mother but unable to exit his bachelor status, a cell phone victim smoking like a fiend. As ever, Qiu is looking at the long shadow of the Cultural Revolution. Packed with poetry and ample with aphorisms, THE MAO CASE is more cruel and more intellectually challenging than Qiu's earlier crime novels as Mao's shadow insinuates itself, striking at Inspector Chen and continuing a cycle of vio ...more
Ian Tymms
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I'm surprised this book doesn't get better reviews. It's much more than a detective novel but I wonder if its dominant grounding in the detective genre is clouding the view of reviewers. As a detective novel, it works well but doesn't stand out; as a highly engaging exploration of the psychology of power and the history of totalitarian leadership in China, it is, I think, outstanding. The mix of poetry, Confucian ethics, history and a rollicking yarn to boot made this one of my best reads of the ...more
Jessica
Feb 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Interesting. I liked all the poetry in it.
Miriam Holsinger
Each one of these I reads seems a bit darker than the last. At times I struggle with the animal cruelty described in some of the food scenes as well. This book also seemed to have a vague and dark ending that cast an odd light on the protagonist - especially odd because I've read the next book and it doesn't show up there at all. I wonder if the author got negative feedback on book 6 so decided to lighten up a bit on book 7 (which was the first book from this series that I read and possibly the ...more
Peter
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A mixed read with much of interest particularly on the impact of the Cultural Revolution, but also an unconvincing climax, in a plot in which Shanghai Inspector Chen, a published poet, is required by Beijing to establish the changed circumstances of the granddaughter of one of Mao’s former lovers persecuted to death in the late-1960s. Several subsidiary characters are well-drawn and Chinese life nicely portrayed as a girl is murdered in the gardens of an old mansion and another killing follows, ...more
Sergio Palomares
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
El caso Mao

Interesante en su ubicación histórica y en el aspecto detectivezco. No había leído nada del autor y creo que volveré a leer alguno de sus títulos. En resume me ha gustado, a pesar de que se puede concebir un cierto grado de tono político anti sistema de la China actual
Stephanie Tanton
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another intriguing mystery set in current day China. It was interesting that this story features the mystique of Mao just as the current Chairman of China is taking the same title.
Inspector Chen finds himself stepping carefully between the political and business world as he searches for possible Mao memorabilia among Mao’s mistress’ granddaughter’s possessions.
A surprise ending as always.
Theodore Kinni
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First Inspector Chen mystery I've read. Chen is great-cop who is also poet/translator. Good story with lots of historical and cultural nuance.
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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 E ...more
More about Qiu Xiaolong

Other books in the series

Inspector Chen Cao (10 books)
  • Death of a Red Heroine (Inspector Chen Cao #1)
  • A Loyal Character Dancer (Inspector Chen Cao #2)
  • When Red Is Black (Inspector Chen Cao #3)
  • A Case of Two Cities (Inspector Chen Cao #4)
  • Red Mandarin Dress (Inspector Chen Cao #5)
  • Don't Cry, Tai Lake (Inspector Chen Cao #7)
  • Enigma of China (Inspector Chen Cao #8)
  • Shanghai Redemption (Inspector Chen Cao #9)
  • Il était une fois l'inspecteur Chen

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“Tripes, poumons, coeur de porc, etc., tout cela cuit à la vapeur avec du vin de riz.” 3 likes
“Quizá la identidad de una persona sólo pueda definirse en relación a las identidades de los demás. O quizá cualquier identidad no sea más que una interpretación de los demás” 1 likes
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