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The White Mirror: Book summary and reviews of The White Mirror by Elsa Hart

The White Mirror

A Li Du Mystery

by Elsa Hart

The White Mirror by Elsa Hart X
The White Mirror by Elsa Hart
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  • Published Sep 2016
    320 pages
    Genre: Mysteries

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Book Summary

When a sudden snowstorm forces his trade caravan to seek shelter, Li Du discovers that the apparent suicide of a monk they encountered is not what it seems...

In The White Mirror, the follow-up to Elsa Hart's critically acclaimed debut, Jade Dragon Mountain, Li Du, an imperial librarian and former exile in 18th century China, is now an independent traveler. He is journeying with a trade caravan bound for Lhasa when a detour brings them to a valley hidden between mountain passes. On the icy planks of a wooden bridge, a monk sits in contemplation. Closer inspection reveals that the monk is dead, apparently of a self-inflicted wound. His robes are rent, revealing a strange symbol painted on his chest.

When the rain turns to snow, the caravan is forced to seek hospitality from the local lord while they wait for the storm to pass. The dead monk, Li Du soon learns, was a reclusive painter. According to the family, his bizarre suicide is not surprising, given his obsession with the demon world. But Li Du is convinced that all is not as it seems. Why did the caravan leader detour to this particular valley? Why does the lord's heir sleep in the barn like a servant? And who is the mysterious woman traveling through the mountain wilds?

Trapped in the snow, surrounded by secrets and an unexplained grief that haunts the manor, Li Du cannot distract himself from memories he's tried to leave behind. As he discovers irrefutable evidence of the painter's murder and pieces together the dark circumstances of his death, Li Du must face the reason he will not go home and, ultimately, the reason why he must.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. The isolated and eerie manor setting is reminiscent of a classic golden age puzzle mystery, and Hart populates it with well-rounded characters." - Publishers Weekly

"The second appearance for Hart's hero (Jade Dragon Mountain, 2015) rests firmly on romantic notions of the solitary scholar and intellectual curiosity. Elegantly written, though not to all tastes." - Kirkus

This information about The White Mirror was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Elsa Hart Author Biography

Photo: Jason Gray

Elsa Hart was born in Rome, Italy, but her earliest memories are of Moscow, where her family lived until 1991. Since then she has lived in the Czech Republic, the U.S.A., and China. She earned a B.A. from Swarthmore College and a J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. She wrote her first novel, Jade Dragon Mountain, in the mountain borderlands of Southwest China.

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Other books by Elsa Hart at BookBrowse
  • Jade Dragon Mountain jacket
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