Jade Dragon Mountain

Jade Dragon Mountain

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
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"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"--
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250072320
1250072328
Branch Call Number: HART E
Hart, E
Characteristics: 321 pages ; 25 cm

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a
anndubois1
Mar 21, 2017

Li Du is the former imperial librarian who has been exiled and has wandered through China for several years. His story places us on the Tibetan border in the year 1708 on the eve of a solar eclipse. In this richly told tale, we learn of a murder and layers of intrigue involving a fascinating cast of characters including Jesuits, the East India Company bearing treasures for the emperor, a fluid tongued story teller and many more. The book is very well written and paced and holds one surprise after another for the reader. I look forward to reading other books by this author.

s
SandraLH
Mar 11, 2017

Engaging, well-written historical style fiction. I very much enjoyed Lisa Hart's first novel, as well as her writing style, and look forward to her next book.

l
laphampeak
Dec 11, 2016

Time for tea and tales of murder! Jade Dragon Mountain is about an exiled librarian, Li Du, who passes through Dayan around the time of the infamous eclipse. The story slowly builds on the elements that come to focus on the murder of an astronomer. replete with poison, traditions, Jesuits, librarians, foreign merchants...... all of the components of a Chinese Agatha Christie whodunnit.

g
gusmcrae
Dec 14, 2015

I really enjoyed this mystery a lot and hope it might possibly be the first in a series. Li Du is a great impromptu detective--he has shades of Sherlock and Poirot in him. (He's also a librarian, which pleases me to no end!) Author Elsa Hart is a beautiful writer who captured that distant corner of China in vivid, jewel-toned imagery. It was an engaging read all-around. I highly recommend it.

r
Roundcat
Oct 27, 2015

What do you do when your archaeologist husband is busy on a dig on Jade Dragon Mountain? You submerge yourself in the culture he's digging up and write a mystery, of course. Fortunately, Elsa Hart is adept at weaving strands of culture, history, and characters into a mystery that keeps us interested even after the mystery is solved and some of the loose ends are as interesting as the mystery.

l
lostintheshelves
Oct 08, 2015

This unusually well-written and well-constructed historical mystery makes for a fast fun read. Though the author's Western bias (toward "good" foreigners who want to understand China rather than exploit it, among other things) is often visible, the characters, setting, and plot are delivered with rare skill. I especially loved the falling action, which provides several exciting developments after the murderer has been unmasked, ties the book's themes together, and provides some excellent character touches. Unlike most mysteries, this novel's structure is cleverly tied to its plot.

c
csut2
Sep 12, 2015

Tom Nolan wsj step 12-13,2015

JCLGreggW Jul 08, 2015

A riveting and elegant historical mystery set in 1700s China, this novel finds Li Du, an exiled librarian from the Forbidden City, in a remote province and is pulled into a nest of political and cultural intrigue when - on the eve of an Imperial visit to mark an eclipse - a Jesuit priest, who specializes in astronomy, is murdered. Lyrical and superbly written with wonderful historical details, this will appeal to a broad range of readers.

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