Regular price: $27.99

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

On the mountainous border of China and Tibet in 1708, a detective must learn what a killer already knows: that empires rise and fall on the strength of the stories they tell.

Li Du was an imperial librarian. Now he is an exile. Arriving in Dayan, the last Chinese town before the Tibetan border, he is surprised to find it teeming with travelers, soldiers, and merchants. All have come for a spectacle unprecedented in this remote province: an eclipse of the sun commanded by the emperor himself.

When a Jesuit astronomer is found murdered in the home of the local magistrate, blame is hastily placed on Tibetan bandits. But Li Du suspects this was no random killing. Everyone has secrets: the ambitious magistrate, the powerful consort, the bitter servant, the irreproachable secretary, the East India Company merchant, the nervous missionary, and the traveling storyteller who can't keep his own story straight.

Beyond the sloping roofs and festival banners, Li Du can see the mountain pass that will take him out of China forever. He must choose whether to leave and embrace his exile or to stay and investigate a murder that the town of Dayan seems all too willing to forget.

©2015 Elsa Hart (P)2015 Macmillan Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    5

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    68
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    12
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    5
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Intriguing Mystery, Richly Woven

There is a richness to this story that moves it beyond a typical mystery. The setting is as detailed as a Chinese scroll. The characters' modes of thought are as varied as their backgrounds. Delicious bits of culture and history are revealed in every scene.
Behind the hard-won solution to the primary mystery lies another, more dangerous mystery. The golden, jewel-encrusted clockwork solar system that lies at the heart of the story is an intellectually challenging puzzle as well as a beautiful cultural artifact. If that type of thing intrigues you, so will this book. The performance by David Shih is excellent.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Terrible narration obscures the story

How could the performance have been better?

The performance is dreadful. Some characters unlistenable.

Any additional comments?

The author is done a terrible injustice with the awful narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good mystery

You are given the same clues as the protagonist, more or less, and the setting is interesting

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Loved this book

I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. I liked the references to Chinese history and customs. I liked the story involving Judge Dee. I am a big fan of Robert van Gulik books. The narrator was awesome. He had fitting and distinctive voices for each character. I hope the author writes more of these stories.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting story

I came across this book when I was looking for something similar to the Judge Dee mystery stories.

I found this story interesting to listen to. It takes place during the early 1700's. The main character is Li Du, who was an imperial librarian. He arrives in the Dayan on the Tibetian border in time for a solar eclipse. A Jesuit priest is found murdered and the story takes off.

The story line flowed well and you learn a little about the chinese culture in the area where the story takes place. A very good read. An "Audible 20 Review Sweepstakes entry"

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

excellent

I really enjoyed this book. Fascinating from a historical aspect and thrilling from a mystery aspect

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A a different twist on a murder mystery

I enjoyed this subtle twist on a murder mystery set in a different country and time. it is not fast paced but you slowly get pulled into the story and plot and before too long you will hate to stop listening.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent

this was a delightfully written and narrated mystery. The connection with a culture unknown to me was also delightful.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • M.
  • Chesapeake, VA, United States
  • 05-25-16

enjoyable, entertaining!

full of twists, just when I figure one thing out, twist - ah should have known.
a detective story set amid early china and beautifully done. loved the history and descriptive narrative. will be buying the second one!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A First Class Mystery

I did not really know what to expect with this book. However, I always enjoy a good mystery and this did not disappoint. The cast of characters is manageable for the reader/listener to manage, the narration is good (at times a tiny bit tedious) and the final plot twist is a logical conclusion. I look forward to other works by this author.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful