Robert van Gulik – The Chinese Lake Murders (1960)


Vintage Silver Age Mystery
Just the Facts Category: When — A historical crime
Cloak and Dagger Challenge #98
TBR #68
Date Finished: July 7, 2018

Judge Dee arrives in the provincial town of Han-yuan in 666 A.D. and encounters several murders and crimes, beginning with the drowning of a well-known courtesan and dancer shortly after she had entertained the dinner held in the Judge’s honor aboard a boat on the lake. While investigating that case, he also becomes involved with the disappearance of a young bride, the suicide of her husband, the murder of their carpenter, and a huge plot to overthrow the Chinese emperor.

An interesting setting of time and place, exploring the various customs and events of Imperial China, all the while encountering scheming business leaders, criminal underclasses, and other humans that do not differ much in character or circumstance from modern types. The main difficulty for me was keeping the various names straight and motivating myself to read the sometimes dense prose. It became a rewarding read once I devoted myself to it.

Just the Facts Silver Card 2018-07-07

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