All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

Judge Dee Returns…Courtesy of Qiu Xialong

Posted: December 1st, 2021 | No Comments »

Qiu Xiaolong – the Shanghai-born/US resident author of the Inspector Chen (1990s Shanghai) series – has decided to revive Judge Dee, the Robert van Gulik series about a Tang Dynasty magistrate that he began writing during World War Two. The first in Qiu’s new series is just out…A Shadow of the Empire….

Judge Dee Renjie, Empress Wu’s newly appointed Imperial Circuit Supervisor for the Tang Empire, is visiting provinces surrounding the grand capital of Chang’an. One night a knife is thrown through his window with a cryptic note attached: ‘A high-flying dragon will have something to regret!

Minutes after the ominous warning appears, Judge Dee is approached by an emissary of Internal Minister Wu, Empress Wu’s nephew. Minister Wu wants Judge Dee to investigate a high-profile murder supposedly committed by the well-known poetess and courtesan, Xuanji, who locals believe is possessed by the spirit of a black fox.

Why is Minister Wu interested in Xuanji? Despite Xuanji confessing to the murder, is there more to the case than first appears? With the mysterious warning and a fierce power struggle playing out at the imperial court, Judge Dee knows he must tread carefully . . .

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