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Paper Butterfly
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- International phenomenon: Diane Wei Liang is the ideal international author: a native of China, she has lived and taught in the U.S. and the UK. Her compelling detective series, like Alexander McCall Smith's The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, has already captured attention around the globe.. - An authentic and skillful storyteller: Diane Wei Liang fled Tiananmen Square in June 1989 and returned to Beijing six years later to find the sweetheart she lost when the troops rolled in, separating them but never severing their bond. In the Mei Wang mystery series, she draws deeply from her life story, filling her books with vivid details that only someone who has lived it firsthand can know.. - An unusual heroine with a growing reputation: Mei Wang is the first successful female private detective in Beijing, and after capturing readers' hearts in The Eye of Jade, a Book Sense Pick for February 2008, she now turns her attention to the next challenge. When beloved Chinese pop music star Kaili disappears, Mei must unravel a mystery filled with family secrets and the shadowy truth behind China's labor camps. As Mei follows a trail of clues, Wei Liang takes readers on an adventure through China that will leave them looking forward to part three..
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Two narratives drive Liang's absorbing second mystery to feature PI Wang Mei, who once worked for the ministry of public security (after 2008's The Eye of Jade): Mei's search for a missing pop singer, Kaili, and a subplot that begins nine years earlier with the imprisonment of a student, Lin, for participating in the student demonstrations in Tiananmen Square. Mei's investigation is slowed by the absence of her assistant, Gupin, but as she travels among many Beijing settings, including open-air markets, a big record company's offices, isolated construction areas and migrant workers' housing, the city's astonishing diversity and energy come alive. Fueled by innumerable tidbits about Chinese culture and daily life, the story is refreshingly low on Western-centric references. While the bias is clear, Liang, who left China after taking part in the Tiananmen Square protests, presents the politics with minimal dogma. A twist ending redeems a somewhat thin plot. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

A high-ranking Beijing cop-turned-PI, Mei Wang (The Eye of Jade) is hired to find a missing singer. At the same time, a leader of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising is released from the prison camp where he has been brutalized for years. Memories of Mei's own traumatic past (her father died in a labor camp) return as she reads the letters found in the young singer's apartment. The author, who spent her childhood in a labor camp and escaped China in 1989 after taking part in the student uprising, uses recent Chinese history as a catalyst for a haunting mystery that leaves readers with an intense sadness. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 1/09.] Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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