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Never stop reading. (Content originally posted at Blogger.)

Jade Dragon Mountain, by Elsa Hart

Jade Dragon Mountain - Elsa Hart

Li Du, former librarian and official exile, has a lot in common with a number of other detectives from across the mystery genre. He is a reluctant investigator. He is highly observant, able to reconstruct timelines based on a few pieces of physical evidence. Most of all, he is more concerned with finding out the truth that with practicing realpolitik. This last characteristic might not have been such a problem if Li Du hadn’t landed smack in the middle of the murder of a foreigner in Dayan (the Old Town of Lijiang) barely a week before the Kangxi Emperor will arrive for the triumphant conclusion of his year-long progress through the Qing Empire. Jade Dragon Mountain, by Elsa Hart, plays out over that week almost in the style of a classic Golden Age British mystery. Obscure knowledge frequently comes into play. The detective astonishes other characters with seemingly psychic revelations. Even though Jade Dragon Mountain is set in 1708 and Li Du used to be an imperial librarian, I think he would have been good company for Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes—though he is much more polite than either of these gentlemen...


Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type.