Spiderline Imprint Logo

The Princeling of Nanjing

Written by Ian Hamilton

Series Title: An Ava Lee Novel

  • 368 Pages
  • 9781770899537
  • 8" x 5.25"
  • FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths



Publication Date January 12, 2016

Ava is in Shanghai for the launch of the PÖ clothing line. She has invited Xu, and over the course of the glitzy event and a late-night dinner, she detects a certain hesitancy in him. He confides that the Tsai family, headed by Tsai Lian, the governor of Jiangsu Province and a “princeling” — he is the son of a general who was on the Long March with Mao and a member of China’s power elite — is trying to force him and his Triad organization back into the drug business. Xu is already paying millions of dollars a year to various Tsai businesses, but the family wants more and thinks the new venture can deliver it. Xu believes this move would lead to his eventual destruction and feels he has nowhere to turn. If he opposes them, they will crush him. If he goes along with them, he thinks that inevitably the police and military will hunt him down.

Ava sets out to help Xu deter the Tsai family. As she digs into the breadth and depth of the family’s wealth and corruption, she gets caught up in a huge tangled web, extending all the way to the U.S. and the U.K., where it reaches the top echelons of political power.


Ian Hamilton

IAN HAMILTON is the author of the Ava Lee series. The books have been shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Arthur Ellis Award, the Barry Award, and the Lambda Literary Prize, and are national bestsellers. The Water Rat of Wanchai was the winner of the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel and was named a best book of the year by Amazon.ca, the Toronto Star, and Quill & Quire. BBC Culture named Hamilton “One of the Ten Mystery/Crime Writers from the Last Thirty Years That Should Be on Your Bookshelf.” The series is being adapted for television.


"Hamilton uses his people and plot to examine Chinese class and power structures that open opportunities for massive depravities and corruptions" London Free Press

"the reader is offered plenty of Ava in full flower as the Chinese-Canadian glamour puss who happens to be gay, whip smart and unafraid of whatever dangers come her way." Toronto Star

"…one of those grip tight novels that makes one read “just one more chapter” and you discover it’s 3am.The novel is built on complicated webs artfully woven into clear, magnetic story-telling. Author Ian Hamilton delivers the intrigue within complex and relentless webs in high style and once again proves that everyone, once in their lives, needs an Ava Lee at their backs." Canadian Mystery Reviews

"…like the best series writers – Ian Rankin and Peter Robinson come to mind – Hamilton manages to…keep the Ava Lee books fresh…a compulsive read, a page-turner of the old school…The Princeling of Nanjing is a welcome return of an old favourite, and bodes well for future books." Quill and Quire

"The only thing scarier than being ripped off for a few million bucks is being the guy who took it and having Ava Lee on your tail. If Hamilton’s kick-ass forensic accountant has your number, it’s up." Linwood Barclay

"Ava Lee has a new business, a new look, and, most important, a new Triad boss to appreciate her particular financial talents….We know that Ava will come up with a plan and Hamilton will come up with a twist." The Globe and Mail

"As usual with a Hamilton-Lee novel, matters take a decided twist as the plot unrolls" Owen Sound Sun Times

"…a terrific addition to the Ava Lee canon, a must read" CBC Home Run

"Ava is a wonderful character, smart, resourceful, and not afraid to kick ass, and you, sir, remain a top-drawer storyteller, and I devour each word you write. like countless others, cannot wait to see what happens with Ava next." The Mind Reels

"[an] exotic thriller that also offers a fascinating inside look at fiscal misconduct in China...Hamilton’s heroine is one of a kind. Ava is gay, a diminutive five-foot-three, a ruthless martial-arts adversary, a brilliant forensic accountant and a woman whose own unique moral code sometimes has her operating on the fringes of the law - but only, we would like to believe, in order to deal with the really bad guys…As a unique character, she's become indispensable." Calgary Herald