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The Willow Pattern (Judge Dee (Chronological order) #16)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  682 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews

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 sha

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Published July 15th 2010 by University of Chicago Press (first published 1965)
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Ivonne Rovira
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Willow Pattern takes placed in A.D. 677, when Judge Dee’s official magisterial career has ended and he’s been elevated to Lord Chief Justice of the Imperial capital, Chang-An (modern day Xi'an). (His faithful sergeants, Ma Joong and Chao Tai, have been promoted to colonels of the guards.) The entire city has been thrust into an uproar by a plague and the ensuing flights of the well-to-do and the corpses of the stricken.

In this confusion, Judge Dee must solve the murders of the heads of two
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Robert van Gulik (1910-1967) was a scholar who was intensely interested in Asian history and culture. The Judge Dee mysteries are based on a real person named Di Renjie, who lived during the earlier part of the Tang Dynasty (600-900). After translating the original stories, van Gulik started to write his own Judge Dee stories.

The Willow Pattern fascinated me because of the characters, the intricate plot, and for introducing me to a type of weapon I'd never heard of before: loaded sleeves. That
Mar 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hörspiele
China im 7. Jahrhundert: Richter Di vertritt den Abwesenden Kaiser in der Hauptstadt in einer Hitze- und Pestperiode in Doppelfunktion als Präsident des obersten Gerichts und Gouverneur. Straßenkehrer ziehen vermummt in ihre Pestgewänder randalierend und plündernd durch die Straßen. Sie stehlen und plündern und wiegeln das Volk auf. Als wäre das nicht genug, ereignen sich drei Mordfällen im Kreise dreier alter, verfeindeter adeligen Familien: Mei, Hu und Yi. Der Kaufmann Mei, stürzt in seinem Ha ...more
Nancy Oakes
#10 in the Judge Dee series. In this episode, Magistrate Dee is in the capital of the Empire where the plague has broken out. Not only that, but while there, he has to get to the root of 2 murders. As always, each subplot ties together, and it is fun watching Judge Dee figure it all out and unravel the case. This series is one of my absolute favorites in my library.

Highly recommended; if you haven't tried this series yet you may not wish to start here, but rather with the first. If you like hist
Nov 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Good. AlwYs enjoy the culture and the multiple plot lines. Learned about the willow pattern and how the “legend” was actually an English creation
Mazeli Dee
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is where Ma Joong met the woman who tamed him. Hihih.
Jun 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
For my full review click the link below:
This wasn't my favorite Judge Deebook. I usually don't figure the mysteries out before the judge does, but I had this one pegged early on. There were several murders that needed solving this time, so it should have been difficult to figure these mysteries out. It really wasn't.

I also thought this book had a much heavier element of sexuality than many of the other Judge Dee books. There is often some sexual component to a Judge Dee novel, but I've not noticed such a heavy use of sex in the books
Dec 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story from late in Di's career. He is charged to maintain law and order in the capitol during a period of the plague. While this forms the background to the novel, the focus of the novel are the murders of two well-known and formerly very influential men, members of the oldest families of the empire.

All of Gulik's books feature female protagonists, and this is no different. Once more, at the center of this story is a woman who was trained in the art of seduction, a beautiful courtesan who
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judge Dee mysteries are set in Tang China. Dee was a historical person, who lived in the 7th century, various stories have been written about him. Gulik translated some and made up some of his own. This story he made up and despite the anachronistic use of the willow pattern, I think it was my favourite mystery so far. It's set with the plague ravaging the city. There are martial arts, acrobatic heroines, the avenging of women wronged, courtesans, and an evil cult. I don't read many mysteries be ...more
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Robert Hans van Gulik was a Dutch diplomat best known for his Judge Dee stories. His first published book, The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, was a translation of an eighteenth-century Chinese murder mystery by an unknown author; he went on to write new mysteries for Judge Dee, a character based on a historical figure from the seventh century. He also wrote academic books, mostly on Chinese histor ...more
More about Robert van Gulik...

Other Books in the Series

Judge Dee (Chronological order) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An)
  • The Chinese Gold Murders
  • The Lacquer Screen
  • Judge Dee at Work: Eight Chinese Detective Stories
  • The Chinese Lake Murders
  • The Monkey and The Tiger
  • The Haunted Monastery
  • The Chinese Bell Murders
  • The Red Pavilion
  • The Emperor's Pearl