I must admit that this novel is a personal favourite of mine and I was more than happy finding it now available for the kindle, and with the original illustrations. If you have never read a Judge Dee novel before then you can't really go wrong if you start with this, one of the best in the series.
Judge Dee, with one of his lieutenants, Ma Joong, are going to stay the night on Paradise Island, an adult pleasure place, full of gambling and brothels, along with eateries and antique dealers. Meeting an old friend and judge of this particular province Dee is asked if he would do a favour and just finish off the formalities on a suicide investigation. A simple enough request you may think, but not where Judge Dee is concerned. After finding he is staying in the same rooms as the suicide took place, he soon finds a naked woman also dead in these rooms. Both these deaths happened in a locked bedroom, and then Dee finds out that a similar death occurred thirty years before, in the same room.
Surely not three deaths in the same locked room could all have been results of suicide? Dee doesn't think so, and is thus on the case, with his trusted lieutenant. Well written this book brings the main characters to life, as well as the actual location. As with all the Judge Dee stories this is fast paced and quickly draws you in. In this particular story which takes in greed, lust and envy there is more than enough for you to get your teeth into, and I must admit that I never tire of this particular book, usually taking it in in more or less one sitting. Really this book is ideal for anyone who loves a good mystery.