I really liked this mystery set in 18th century China. It was fresh and well written, and it tied up every loose end without feeling contrived. An exiled librarian– whose deductive prowess is acute– investigates the murder of a Jesuit priest in the court of his cousin the magistrate, during a visit by the emperor. The unravelling is multifaceted, and the book offers a perceptive look into a culture we do not glimpse very often. The novel highlights the role of astronomy in that place and age too, which was interesting. Especially diverting are the stories within the story, since the main character is friends with a storyteller.
This book is apparently the first of a series, and I definitely liked it enough to read the next one. You might want to read this unique murder mystery set in Qing Dynasty!
I give it 4 stars.