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City of Ink: A Mystery

Li Du Series, Book 3
By: Elsa Hart
Narrated by: David Shih
Series: Li Du, Book 3
Length: 12 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following the enthralling 18th-century Chinese mysteries Jade Dragon Mountain and White Mirror, comes Elsa Hart's 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.

©2018 Elsa Hart (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"As always, Hart excels at making even walk-on characters fully realized and at combining a gripping whodunit plot with a vivid evocation of the period. This entry solidifies her status as a top-notch historical mystery author." (Publishers Weekly)

"Rich in period detail, a sharply rendered exotic setting, and a web of well-crafted plots, Li Du’s third novel will appeal to fans of historical mysteries by Lisa See, Laura Joh Rowland, and Abir Mukherjee." (Booklist)

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Loved all three books!

Colorful characters, purposeful storytelling and the intrigue of old imperial China. David Shih perfectly portrays the personalities of inteligent, mild-mannered Li Du and the lovable Hamsa, teller of tales. I look forward to many more mysteries by Elsa Hart!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful