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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.
In The White Mirror, the follow-up to Elsa Hart’s critically acclaimed debut, Jade Dragon Mountain, Li Du, an imperial librarian and former exile in 18th century China, is now an independent traveler. He is journeying with a trade caravan bound for Lhasa when a detour brings them to a valley hidden between mountain passes. On the icy planks of a wooden bridge, a monk sits in contemplation. Closer inspection reveals that the monk is dead, apparently of a self-inflicted wound. His robes are rent, revealing a strange symbol painted on his chest. When the rain turns to snow, the caravan is forced to seek hospitality from the local lord while they wait for the storm to pass. The dead monk, Li Du soon learns, was a reclusive painter. According to the family, his bizarre suicide is not surprising, given his obsession with the demon world. But Li Du is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why did the caravan leader detour to this particular valley? Why does the lord’s heir sleep in the barn like a servant? And who is the mysterious woman traveling through the mountain wilds? Trapped in the snow, surrounded by secrets and an unexplained grief that haunts the manor, Li Du cannot distract himself from memories he’s tried to leave behind. As he discovers irrefutable evidence of the painter’s murder and pieces together the dark circumstances of his death, Li Du must face the reason he will not go home and, ultimately, the reason why he must.
One of 2018’s Best Mysteries by Publisher’s Weekly One of the Best Audiobooks to Listen to in October by The Washington Post “This entry solidifies her status as a top-notch historical mystery author.” – Publisher's Weekly (starred review) “Richly detailed novel of life and crime in 18th century China.” –The Wall Street Journal Following the enthralling 18th century Chinese mysteries Jade Dragon Mountain and White Mirror, comes the next Li Du adventure in City of Ink. Li Du was prepared to travel anywhere in the world except for one place: home. But to unravel the mystery that surrounds his mentor’s execution, that’s exactly where he must go. Plunged into the painful memories and teeming streets of Beijing, Li Du obtains a humble clerkship that offers anonymity and access to the records he needs. He is beginning to make progress when his search for answers buried in the past is interrupted by murder in the present. The wife of a local factory owner is found dead, along with a man who appears to have been her lover, and the most likely suspect is the husband. But what Li Du’s superiors at the North Borough Office are willing to accept as a crime of passion strikes Li Du as something more calculated. As past and present intertwine, Li Du’s investigations reveal that many of Beijing’s residents — foreign and Chinese, artisan and official, scholar and soldier — have secrets they would kill to protect. When the threats begin, Li Du must decide how much he is willing to sacrifice to discover the truth in a city bent on concealing it, a city where the stroke of a brush on paper can alter the past, change the future, prolong a life, or end one.
Have you ever wished you could tell your favourite books just what they mean to you? Or wanted to give a piece of your mind to the ‘must-read’ book that you wish you hadn’t? Librarian Annie Spence has done just that, writing letters to the books under her care, from love letters to Matilda and The Goldfinch, to snarky break-up notes to Fifty Shades of Grey and The Hobbit. Annie’s letters will make you laugh, remind you why you love your favourite books, and give you lots of new entries for your reading list. She’s also on-hand to help out with your bookish dilemmas: recommendations for lazy readers; excuses to tell your friends when you’d rather stay home reading; and how to turn your lover into a reader. Hilarious, compassionate and smart, Dear Fahrenheit 451 is the consummate book-lover's book.
"Taiping Guangji" (太平广记) is the first collection of ancient classical Chinese documentary novels. The book has 500 volumes with 10 catalogues . It is a kind of book based on the documentary stories of the Han Dynasty and the Song Dynasty. 14 people including Li Fang, Hu Mongolian ﹑ Li Mu , Xu Xuan , Wangke Zhen , Song white , Lv Wenzhong worked under Song Taizong Emperor’s command for the compilation. It began in the second year of Taiping Xingguo (977 A.D) and was completed in the following year (978 Ad.). This book is basically a collection of ancient stories compiled by category. The book is divided into 92 categories according to the theme, and is divided into more than 150 details. The story of the gods and spirits in the book accounts for the largest proportion, such as the fifty-five volumes of the gods, the fifteen volumes of the female fairy, the twenty-five volumes of the gods, the forty volumes of the ghosts, plus the Taoism, the alchemist, the aliens, the dissidents, the interpretation and Spirit vegetation of birds and so on, basically belong to the weird story of nature, represents the mainstream of Chinese classical story. The book includes the Volume of Talents and Skills (Vol. 197 – 232) from Tai Ping Guang Ji.
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