THE LACQUER SCREEN Author:ROBERT VAN GULIK Judge Dee actually lived from 630 to 700 AD and became renowned among the Chinese as an expert on solving crimes. Robert van Gulik , an expert on the Tank dynasty, wrote a series of murder mysteries about him. They follow the traditional form of Chinese detective stories. Three murders have to be solved. As the city magistrate (with the titt... more »le of judge, but in charge of all bureaus of city government) works on the three they become increasingly complicated and intertwined. Van Gulik's stories include the stock figures in the traditional detective story - the perverted nobimen and the chivalrous bandits who rob only the rich.
In THE WILLOW PATERN, plague has seized the capitol. Most of the imperial officials have fled, leaving Dee, as President of the Metropolitan Court, temporarily in charge. A wealthy merchant is found murdered in his office. A philanthropist dies of a supposedly accidental. And a servant girl is found whipped to death, with suspicion falling on two of the nobility.« less