Becoming Inspector Chen
by Qiu Xiaolong

Inspector Chen is excluded from a poetry case as he awaits possible disciplinary action, leaving him to reflect on his career . . . but does his past hold a clue to the poetry case?

After a number of grueling cases Chief Inspector Chen is facing mounting pressure from his superiors, many of whom are concerned with where his loyalties lie. What’s more, he is excluded from an investigation into an incendiary poem posted on an online forum.

Wracked with self-doubt and facing an anxious wait to discover the fate of his career, Chen is left to reflect on the events that have led to where he is now – from his amateur investigations as a child during the Cultural Revolution, to his very first case on the Shanghai Police Force.

Has fighting for the Chinese people and the morals he believes in put him in conflict with the Party? Why is he being kept away from the new case? As well as his career, is his life now also at risk?


Qiu deepens his Dalgliesh-like series lead in his superior 11th novel featuring Shanghai policeman and poet Chen Cao … While series fans will be delighted at the background Qiu provides, this is an accessible starting point for newcomers interested in a dogged, honest cop who must battle his own government to do his job

Publishers Weekly Starred Review

Gripping … Chen’s memories of the brutalities practiced on people regarded as intellectuals under Mao, like Chen’s father (a teacher), are achingly vivid. The latest Chen is both a scathing indictment of contemporary China and an explanation of how poet Chen came to be Chief Inspector Chen


Another elegant mix of recent history and literary embellishments and a richer Chen backstory … Qiu’s stylish hybrid is half fictional literary memoir and half crisp whodunit

Kirkus Reviews

Outstanding ... Fans of mysteries about honest cops working for compromised regimes won’t want to miss this one

Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Hold Your Breath, China

Fascinating ... Xiaolong writes with both urgency and grace about modern China in another well-crafted mystery

Booklist Starred Review of Hold Your Breath, China

Inspector Chen’s 10th mystery effectively uses the genre to explore China’s current pollution crisis

Kirkus Reviews on Hold Your Breath, China

Another superb entry in an always-outstanding series

Booklist Starred Review of Shanghai Redemption

Qiu Xiaolong

Anthony Award winning author Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai and moved to Washington University in St Louis, US, to complete a PhD degree in comparative literature. After the Tiananmen tragedy in 1989 he stayed on in St Louis where he still lives with his wife. Qiu’s sold over two million copies of his Inspector Chen mysteries worldwide and been published in twenty languages. On top of his fiction, he is a prize-winning writer of poetry.All the titles in the Inspector Chen series, including Hold Your Breath, China, have been dramatized in BBC Radio 4 productions.

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Becoming Inspector Chen by Qiu Xiaolong is available in the following formats

Hardback97807278904432nd March 2021147 X 225mm224$28.99
Hardback978072789044331st December 2020147 X 225mm224£20.99
Ebook97814483049121st February 2021N/A224$14.99
Ebook97814483049121st February 2021N/A224£12.99
Paperback978178029753831st August 2021140 X 215mm224$17.95
Paperback978178029753830th June 2021140 X 215mm224£13.99
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