In this Anthony Award-winning debut, Inspector Chen of the Shanghai Police must find the murderer of a National Model worker, and then risk his own life and career to see that justice is done.
It won the Anthony Award for best first novel in 2001. The Guardian has named it #1 in its list of top 10 Asian crime novels. The Wall Street Journal says it's one of the top 5 political novels. Longitude Books describes it:
Marvelously evocative of Shanghai, and tremendously informative about China's transition towards a market economy in the 1990's, this award-winning debut of Inspector Chen of the Shanghai police is also a real page-turner.
I also have the second in the series -A Loyal Character Dancer, having found them at the same time in my favorite used book store. I had never heard of them before.