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The Willow Pattern by Robert van Gulik
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Solid Judge Dee mystery about three cases in the plague-stricken imperial capital. I think he solves one of the mysteries too easily, but there are cool things such as the art of "loaded sleeves." ( )
  rameau | Aug 10, 2011 |
#10 in the Judge Dee series. In this episode, Magistrate Dee is in the capital of the Empire where the plague has broken out. Not only that, but while there, he has to get to the root of 2 murders. As always, each subplot ties together, and it is fun watching Judge Dee figure it all out and unravel the case. This series is one of my absolute favorites in my library.

Highly recommended; if you haven't tried this series yet you may not wish to start here, but rather with the first. If you like historical mysteries, you may wish to give Van Gulik's work a try. ( )
  bcquinnsmom | Jun 13, 2006 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226848752, Paperback)

Judge Dee has been appointed emergency governor of the plague- and drought-ridden Imperial City. As his guards help the city fend off a popular uprising, an aristocrat from one of the oldest families in China suffers an "accident" in a deserted mansion.

In The Willow Pattern, the illustrious judge uses his trademark expertise to unravel the mysteries of the nobleman, a shattered vase, and a dead bondmaid. Along the way he encounters a woman who fights with loaded sleeves, a nearly drowned courtesan, and an elaborate trap set for a murderer. Packed with suspense, violence, and romance, The Willow Pattern won’t disappoint Judge Dee’s legions of loyal fans.

"The China of old, in Mr. van Gulik’s skilled hands, comes vividly alive again."—Allen J. Hubin, New York Times Book Review

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:17 -0400)

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