Judge Dee has been appointed emergency governor of the plague- and drought-ridden Imperial urban. As his guards aid the town fend off a favored rebellion, an aristocrat from one of many oldest households in China suffers an "accident" in a abandoned mansion.
In The Willow Pattern, the illustrious pass judgement on makes use of his trademark services to solve the mysteries of the nobleman, a shattered vase, and a useless bondmaid. alongside the best way he encounters a girl who fights with loaded sleeves, a virtually drowned courtesan, and an complex capture set for a assassin. filled with suspense, violence, and romance, The Willow Pattern won’t disappoint pass judgement on Dee’s legions of dependable fans.
"The China of outdated, in Mr. van Gulik’s expert fingers, comes vividly alive again."—Allen J. Hubin, New York occasions e-book Review
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Additional resources for The Willow Pattern: A Judge Dee Mystery (Judge Dee Mystery Series)
There has been just one significant crime, almost about an hour in the past. A sordid affair. 4 scavengers who were known as to the home of a captain who had died of the plague, violated the widow and her daughters. thankfully their cries attracted the eye of a patrol that used to be passing via, and the scoundrels have been arrested. in keeping with your directions, sir, I had the army police take them instantaneously to the sq. of the communal pyre, the place many of the scavengers assemble. There they have been beheaded, with black hoods and all. ' pass judgement on Dee nodded. 'I belief it will function a caution. what percentage of these scavengers are there at this time? ' approximately 3 thousand are registered with the municipality, sir. Numbered id tags are issued to them, and on displaying these they're paid their wage per week. It has to be feared, even if, that many scoundrels joined their ranks, simply by placing on a black cloak and hood; no longer for the wage, yet for pilfering and committing different offences unpunished. ' The pass judgement on set down his teacup challenging. 'We want inspectors to envision them,' he acknowledged. 'But nobody loves to cross close to these males, and with our scarcity of manpower . . . ' The door opened and Ma Joong got here in, by way of Tao Gan. 'I have information approximately Hoo, sir! ' Ma Joong introduced with a cheerful grin. He sat down and instructed the pass judgement on approximately his night's experience. superb tale! ' pass judgement on Dee exclaimed. 'Evidently it was once she whom Hoo was once looking forward to if you happen to, Tao Gan, and that i paid him our shock stopover at final evening. ' He gave Ma Joong a willing glance and requested : 'Are you particularly yes her tale was once at the point? ' 'You don't believe she jumped stark bare into the canal for a pleasant fit swim, sir? ' Ma Joong requested indignantly. 'Hardly that,' the pass judgement on admitted. He idea for a second or , then resumed : 'That woman needs to let us know extra approximately Hoo's family members along with her father. are you aware the place to discover them? ' Ma Joong seemed embarrassed. 'Somewhere in the back of the Taoist temple, sir. yet I shall meet her at midday, the following day. ' pass judgement on Dee shot him a clever glance. 'I see,' he acknowledged. 'Well, after that assembly you deliver her the following. with her father. at the least, now we have a distinct cost opposed to Hoo, specifically the capital certainly one of tried rape. And that is available in very convenient. ' He went over to his table and chosen an reputable shape. He stuffed it out speedily along with his pink writing-brush. Impressing the big crimson seal of the excessive courtroom on it, he instructed his 3 lieutenants: 'With Hoo correctly lower than lock and key, we will acquire extra proof approximately Yee's assassin. ' He clapped his palms. He gave the warrant to the orderly who got here in, and acknowledged: 'Hand this to a captain of the defend immediately, and inform him to influence the arrest with 4 males. Hoo may possibly publish resistance, yet i would like him alive, and with an entire pores and skin, brain you! ' The orderly saluted neatly. speeding out, he approximately collided with the senior scribe, who instructed the pass judgement on: 'A Mr Fang asks for an viewers, my lord. He belongs to the, ah . . . specified providers of the municipality. ' Tao Gan bent over to the pass judgement on and whispered: 'He is the executive of the part charged with the supervision of brothels and playing homes, sir.