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 lifeless bondmaid. alongside the way in which he encounters a lady who fights with loaded sleeves, a virtually drowned courtesan, and an problematic seize set for a assassin. filled with suspense, violence, and romance, The Willow Pattern won’t disappoint pass judgement on Dee’s legions of unswerving fans.
"The China of outdated, in Mr. van Gulik’s expert arms, comes vividly alive again."—Allen J. Hubin, New York occasions publication Review
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Extra info for The Willow Pattern: A Judge Dee Mystery (Judge Dee Mystery Series)
He had just one daughter, whom he had promised in marriage to an aged colleague of his, additionally a truly wealthy guy. The daughter, even though, had fallen in love along with her father's secretary, a bad younger pupil. the daddy came across their mystery love-affair. They desired to flee, yet he pursued them around the bridge. a few models say that the younger fanatics then drowned themselves in depression, and that their souls have been turned into a couple of swallows or mandarin geese. Others say they'd a small boat mendacity moored less than the pavilion, and succeeded in escaping. They settled down in a part of the rustic, and lived fortunately ever after. ' pass judgement on Dee shrugged his shoulders. 'A great romantic story. i will not see whatever in it that will frighten a special girl. even though, she is especially disenchanted approximately her husband's twist of fate, after all. what's your hurry, Ma Joong? ' Ma Joong, who were arising the marble stairs 3 at a time, speedy stepped directly to the terrace. 'Mr Yee has been murdered, sir! ' he introduced. 'In his personal residence. Chiao Tai is there now. ' 'Yee? Do you suggest the so-called Marquis Yee? ' 'Indeed sir. Brother Chiao and that i met his doorman on our method downtown. ' 'I shall swap and cross there instantly, with Tao Gan. You wait right here for Chiao Tai, Ma Joong. then you definitely see approximately these sewers, that's pressing too. Get me a skinny cotton gown, Tao Gan. ' VIII The 4 squaddies placed pass judgement on Dee's sedan chair down in entrance of the towering gatehouse, and the pass judgement on and Tao Gan descended into the useless quiet road. on the head of a flight of large stone steps they observed a big iron-studded double gate. within the correct panel used to be a slender door, slightly wide sufficient to permit via one guy. 'When passing by means of here,' pass judgement on Dee advised Tao Gan, 'I usually puzzled why this mansion, situated within the centre of town, is outfitted like a fort. ' 'In the olden days, sir, a few century in the past, this position marked the doorway to town. The Marquis Yee, then the self-styled ruler of this a part of the rustic, exacted toll from each vessel passing beneath the Halfmoon Bridge. The canal was once then the outer moat of the town. ' The small door within the iron gate opened and Chiao Tai seemed, the younger doorman in the back of him. 'It used to be homicide okay, sir,' Chiao Tai pronounced. 'Yee used to be struck down within the gallery that runs all alongside the again of the home, overlooking the canal. This boy's mom stumbled on him, she is the outdated lady's maid. I searched the complete position, yet there wasn't a hint of the assassin. He should have are available in and slipped out back, all by way of this comparable door. For there is no different go out. ' Pointing on the excessive, crenelated wall that loomed above them, he went on : 'This wall surrounds the valuables on 3 facets. The fourth is secure via the canal. ' He led them directly to a spacious paved courtyard. It was once lit by way of a unmarried lantern suspended over the gate of the doorman's hotel, at the correct. 'The small door within the gate,' Chiao Tai resumed, 'is closed through a latch. From the skin it might in basic terms be opened through the use of a distinct key, yet at the inside of you could carry the latch together with your finger.