Thursday, August 13, 2015

Review: A Loyal Character Dancer

A Loyal Character DancerA Loyal Character Dancer by Qiu Xiaolong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second novel featuring Inspector Chen Cao of the Shanghai Police Bureau. It is a wonderful blend of history, poetry, politics, and food with a police procedural. This adventure includes a U.S. Marshall which provided an opportunity for explaining cultural information to the reader.
I love that Xiaolong always describes the food.
So Chen ordered a portion of fried mini-buns with minced pork stuffing, shrimp dumplings with transparent skin, sticks of fermented tofu, rice porridge with a thousand-year-egg, pickled white squash, salted duck, and Guilin bean curd with chopped green scallions. All in small dishes.
"It's like a banquet," she said.
"It costs less than a continental breakfast at the hotel," he said.
The tofu came first, tiny pieces on bamboo sticks like shish kebabs. In spite of a wild, sharp flavor, she started to like it after the first few bites. (p. 62)
I am counting this my "book set in Asia" for the ReadHarder challenge.

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