Inspector Chen is a poet as well as a member of the Shanghai Police Department. He also supplements his meager income as a police officer in China by translating mystery books. The book includes digressions about poetry, which Chen quotes at times, and Chen's knowledge of Chinese literature informs his approach to the job. Though liberal, he is a member of the Chinese Communist party and I enjoyed how that influenced the narrative. If you insist on a fast pace and skim parts of books without conflict you may not enjoy this one, but a couple of bodies do pile up and Chen keeps his dignity intact without being a superhero.
It's beach reading for Comparative Literature majors and their like-minded brethren.