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"
"Entertaining, instructive and oddly impressive." - Times Literary Supplement "A tense and exotic mystery." - Publishers Weekly"