Jade Dragon Mountain: A Mystery

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Macmillan, 2015 - Fiction - 336 pages
8 Reviews

On the mountainous border of China and Tibet in 1708, a detective must learn what a killer already knows: that empires rise and fall on the strength of the stories they tell.

Li Du was an imperial librarian. Now he is an exile. Arriving in Dayan, the last Chinese town before the Tibetan border, he is surprised to find it teeming with travelers, soldiers, and merchants. All have come for a spectacle unprecedented in this remote province: an eclipse of the sun commanded by the Emperor himself.

When a Jesuit astronomer is found murdered in the home of the local magistrate, blame is hastily placed on Tibetan bandits. But Li Du suspects this was no random killing. Everyone has secrets: the ambitious magistrate, the powerful consort, the bitter servant, the irreproachable secretary, the East India Company merchant, the nervous missionary, and the traveling storyteller who can't keep his own story straight.

Beyond the sloping roofs and festival banners, Li Du can see the mountain pass that will take him out of China forever. He must choose whether to leave, and embrace his exile, or to stay, and investigate a murder that the town of Dayan seems all too willing to forget.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Vicki_Weisfeld - LibraryThing

This charming debut mystery hits my personal buttons, set as it is in China, 1708, and incorporating many of the conventions of novels of Old China. Elsewhere I’ve written about my admiration of the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Amelia_Smith - LibraryThing

I picked up this book because I spent some time in Western Sichuan, in the same general cultural zone as Dayan (border of China and Tibet), and you don't see a lot of books from those parts. It was ... Read full review

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About the author (2015)

ELSA HART was born in Rome, Italy, but her earliest memories are of Moscow, where her family lived until 1991. Since then she has lived in the Czech Republic, the U.S.A., and China. She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She wrote Jade Dragon Mountain in Lijiang, the city that has grown up around the old town of Dayan. It is her first novel.

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