The Shadow of the Empire
by Qiu Xiaolong

The legendary Judge Dee Renjie investigates a high-profile murder case in this intriguing companion novel to Inspector Chen and the Private Kitchen Murder set in seventh-century China.

Judge Dee Renjie, Empress Wu’s newly appointed Imperial Circuit Supervisor for the Tang Empire, is visiting provinces surrounding the grand capital of Chang’an. One night a knife is thrown through his window with a cryptic note attached: ‘A high-flying dragon will have something to regret!

Minutes after the ominous warning appears, Judge Dee is approached by an emissary of Internal Minister Wu, Empress Wu’s nephew. Minister Wu wants Judge Dee to investigate a high-profile murder supposedly committed by the well-known poetess and courtesan, Xuanji, who locals believe is possessed by the spirit of a black fox.

Why is Minister Wu interested in Xuanji? Despite Xuanji confessing to the murder, is there more to the case than first appears? With the mysterious warning and a fierce power struggle playing out at the imperial court, Judge Dee knows he must tread carefully . . .


“While series fans will be delighted at the background Qiu provides, this is an accessible starting point for newcomers ... in his superior 11th novel featuring Shanghai policeman and poet Chen Cao”

Publishers Weekly Starred Review of Becoming Inspector Chen

“Qiu’s stylish hybrid is half fictional literary memoir and half crisp whodunit”

Kirkus Reviews on Becoming Inspector Chen

“The latest Chen is both a scathing indictment of contemporary China and an explanation of how poet Chen came to be Chief Inspector Chen. Gripping”

Booklist on Becoming Inspector Chen

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

Library Journal Starred Review of Hold Your Breath, China


Publishers Weekly on Hold Your Breath, China

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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The Shadow of the Empire by Qiu Xiaolong is available in the following formats

Ebook97814483073881st January 2022N/A192$14.99
Ebook97814483073881st January 2022N/A192£12.99
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The Judge Dee Investigation Series