I’ve had a few Cocktail Talks from the Inspector Chen series by Qiu Xiaolong – if you haven’t seen them, well, you probably want to go check them out. In the same way, if you haven’t read the Chief Inspector Chen books, then you should check them out too, as they’re not only good mysteries, but great portraits of a China going through huge changes from the 90s on a bit. They’re also packed with poetry (Chen’s a poet, too), and an incredible array of food (he’s a gourmet as well). Good stuff. I’ve recently been re-reading the lot of them, in order. Right now, I’m in the middle of The Mao Case, and came across a poem written by the Chief Inspector himself (if I can get a little meta), part of which I thought would make a good Cocktail Talk:
The fragrance of jasmine in your hair
and then in my teacup, that evening,
when you thought me drunk, an orange
pinwheel turning at the rice paper window.
– Qiu Xiaolong, The Mao Case