Red Mandarin Dress by Qiu Xiaolong is the 5th book in the Detective Chen series. I've enjoyed the taste of China in this series and have found the characters interesting.
from the dust jacket:
Chief Inspector Chen Cao of the Shaghai Police Department is often put in charge of politically sensitive cases. So it is no surprise when he receives a call at home asking him to look into aspects of a sensitive corruption case. ealizing this case is likely to be trouble, and having recently ruffled more than a few official feathers, Chen takes immediate action -and goes on leave from work.Kirkus Reviews closes with this: "The author’s heady plot highlights his strengths, elegantly capturing China in transition. A fascinating read." Publishers Weekly calls it "masterful" and concludes, "the first-rate characterizations and elegant portrait of a society attempting to move from rigid Maoist ideologies to an accommodation with capitalism will keep readers engaged and eager for more."
At the same time, a serial killer is apparently stalking Shanghai. The killer's calling card is a series of murdered young women, their bodies left in well-trafficked locations, each of them redressed in precisely the same style of red mandarin dress. With the newspapers screaming about Shanghai's first serial killer, Party officials eager to resolve the murders quickly, and the police under pressure from all sides, something has to give. Despite being officially on leave from the department, Chen finds himself in the midst of his most dangerous and sensitive case to date, one whose roots reach back to the country's tumultuous recent past.
I've read these others from the series: