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Extended Audio Sample The Eye of Jade Audiobook, by Diane Wei Liang Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.45 out of 52.45 out of 52.45 out of 52.45 out of 52.45 out of 5 2.45 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Diane Wei Liang Narrator: Cindy Cheung Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Mei Wang Mysteries Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9781482977486
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Modern, independent Mei Wang runs her own PI business in Beijing; she even has that most modern of commodities, a male secretary. When a family friend asks her to locate a Han dynasty jade of great value that was taken from its museum during the years of the Cultural Revolution when Red Guards seized many relics, her investigation reveals a story that has more to do with the past and her own family history than she ever expected. To solve the case, Mei must delve into that dark, brutal part of China’s history, Mao’s labor camps, and the countless deaths for which no one was ever held responsible. It exposes the agonizing choices made during the Revolution, to kill or be killed, to love or to live. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Diane Wei Liang takes what seems to be a clever gimmick—the first female private investigator in Beijing—and infuses it with a poignant mediation on being an outsider who suddenly wants to find her way back in…Liang’s clear, inviting prose already portends a strong future in the genre.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “In Diane Wei Liang’s first novel, The Eye of Jade, chick lit meets crime fiction…It’s less a racy thriller and more a slice-of-life portrayal of a thoughtful, independent, contemporary Chinese woman who also happens to be a private detective.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “[Diane Wei Liang] evokes Beijing beautifully and her excellent novel is crammed with fascinating detail.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “An exquisitely written book, with the added bonus of a great plot and an engaging leading lady.”

    Sun-Herald (Australia)

  • “Liang kicks off her new series by…focus[ing] on social, family, and feminist issues. Not your typical mystery, but written with subtle intelligence and heart.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “We’ve all heard of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith’s bestselling novels about a female private detective from Botswana. Now it’s China’s turn. On the surface The Eye of Jade is a classic detective fiction with lots of underworld contacts and hushed conversations in noodle bars, but underneath, Liang, who fled China after her involvement in the student protests in Tiananmen Square, is doing something much more than an examination of China old and new. There’s an incredible tension between old Communist China and a new capitalist future; this tension is at the heart of the novel. This novel takes on subjects that in the past would have been censored.”

    BBC

  • “This first novel brings the dizzying pace of modern Beijing vividly to life.”

    Weekend Australian

  • “Chinese exile Liang, who fled her country after participating in the Tiananmen Square protests, makes an impressive debut with this understated mystery set in the late 1990s…Readers familiar with Jacqueline Winspear’s Maisie Dobbs will find many parallels between that independent and unconventional PI and Mei. Mei’s challenging family life nicely complements the puzzle of the missing jade and the shifting Chinese political climate.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Diane Wei Liang has captured the vibrancy of Beijing, certainly one of the world’s most fascinating cities, and overlaid a tale rich with history and filled with complex and entertaining characters. The novel is billed as the first in a new series; I hope the second installment arrives quickly.”

    BookPage

  • “With her snappy intelligence and sharp intuition, Diane Wei Liang’s private investigator Mei could give Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency a run for its money. Set in Beijing, this lively mystery, the first in a series, provides a glimpse of modern China, both the bright sheen of economic growth and the corruption beneath.”

    South China Morning Post

  • “This may start out as a straightforward mystery but it expands to encompass a meditation on the nature of love and justice in extraordinary circumstances.”

    Herald Sun (Australia)

  • A 2009 Shamus Award Nominee for Best First Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 cristol | 2/11/2014

    " Entertaining enough story but poorly written. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joanne | 2/2/2014

    " Thought this would be an interesting new mystery from China, but it was as boring as can be. It's also very choppily written, which I could tolerate if the book had been translated from Chinese, but as far as I can tell, it wasn't. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Refmonster | 1/26/2014

    " This novel has a really good feel for the place and time. The writer's style is wonderful in the way it depicts a culture. Slight in plot. I enjoyed reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 1/19/2014

    " only ok -- I read for my trip to China. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Choco-cat | 1/17/2014

    " I read this book for book group. It was okay, but nothing to write home about (wait, isn't that what i'm doing right now). It'll give you a light overview of current Chinese culture and a mystery of sorts. It's a very quick read and, i would say, entertaining while you read it - but not memorable afterwards. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 1/15/2014

    " I am fascinated by China, and this book is an excellent peek at the Chinese society. The mystery isn't the major part of this book, rather the story of family secrets and why they're held. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 1/11/2014

    " Pretty cool book for those who want a view into Chinese culture. Not very fast-paced, but a pleasant read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/9/2014

    " This book has great ingredients - a dynamic setting on present day Beijing, an interesting heroine "information consultant" (since PIs are illegal in China), and an edgy plot. Somehow the ingredients never come together and Mei Wang doesn't seem to spend much time either detecting or consulting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bunga Mawar | 12/25/2013

    " Mmm.. sebenarnya mau ngasih 2,5 bintang aja. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 MaryNell | 10/10/2013

    " Not as good as I hoped. interesting to me to learn more about the generation born to the Red Guard of the Cultural Revolution. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Helen Kelly | 7/8/2013

    " No mystery and very different than what I expected from reading the cover. Light reading with little plot and even that was somewhat confusing. Only interesting parts were the bits of Chinese culture that were sprinkled here and there. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marla | 5/26/2013

    " Just an ok book. Interesting family history but not a lot of plot. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 AP | 1/15/2012

    " Ms. Liang writes well and depicts the vivid emotional life of her heroine Mei Wang. The main strength comes from how the author navigates family politics and dynamics with great skill and truth. For a mystery-- the dramatic tension and "whodunnit" part are weak. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 12/10/2011

    " It was pretty good, but the mystery wasn't that mysterious and the historical/place information wasn't that informative. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 11/11/2011

    " Thought this was going to be just a crime novel set in China, but turned out to be a bit more than that - more a view of the new China post the Cultural Revolution. Characters interesting and setting in China very enlightening. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 9/20/2011

    " The family relationships and commentary on a changing China was fare more interesting than the actual mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 8/5/2011

    " I wanted to like it- but I found it super clunky. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wendy Baxter | 7/23/2011

    " I didn't even bother finishing it. It's supposed to be a mystery and pardon me if I don't care about the detective's "troubled" past that has no relevance to whatever the mystery is going to be. Plus, the sentences were all odd, as though written by someone who doesn't actually speak English. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/20/2011

    " The best part of this book was a look at modern china and the effects of the cultural revolution. The mystery was just so-so. Still, it was an interesting read, without a lot of charm. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 H.s. | 6/16/2011

    " love the cover, a decent mystery. I learned a lot about China and politics in China. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Annick | 6/7/2011

    " This book is not really a mystery/detective so if you're expecting that, you'll probably be disappointed. The story was very focused on the main character and her family/friends.

    I enjoyed this book but I felt the ending was a bit lacking, that's why I gave it 3 stars, not 4.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Estrella | 3/13/2011

    " Its good! I thought the Eye of Jade is an item but its a person! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsten | 11/5/2010

    " I wanted to love this new sleuth but the writing was terrible. "She shook her tiny heiny" Are you kidding me? The local color details were interesting but the mystery had zero cleverness or surprise. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 8/6/2010

    " I wanted to like it- but I found it super clunky. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amweatherill | 1/4/2010

    " Lttle short on mystery but very interesting about the culture. I would like to read the next one to see if there is more of a mystery. Maybe the author was setting up the series with this first book. I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Joan | 1/2/2010

    " Poorly written. Poorly plotted. Wooden characters. I started out giving it two stars and realized just how little I thought of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 12/9/2009

    " It was pretty good, but the mystery wasn't that mysterious and the historical/place information wasn't that informative. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Glynn | 12/4/2009

    "
    I found it very readable and it moved quickly. I enjoyed the odd similes and metaphors,and I liked the author's prose style. As a mystery, though, it lacked in plot. After finishing the book I was surprised by how lukewarm I felt about it... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Refmonster | 11/23/2009

    " This novel has a really good feel for the place and time. The writer's style is wonderful in the way it depicts a culture. Slight in plot. I enjoyed reading it. "

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About the Author

Diane Wei Liang was born in Beijing. She spent part of her childhood with her parents in a labor camp in a remote region of China. In 1989 she took part in the Student Democracy Movement and protested in Tiananmen Square. She is a graduate of Peking University. She has a PhD in business administration from Carnegie Mellon University and was a professor of business in the US and the U.K. for more than ten years. She now writes full-time and lives in London with her husband and their two children.

About the Narrator

Cindy Cheung is an actress whose credits include the films Lady in the Water and Spiderman 2 and the television shows Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: SVU, and Sex and the City. Cindy’s theater experience includes Lincoln Center and New York Theatre Workshop. She lives in New York.