Judge Lu's Case Files

Stories of Crime & Mystery in Imperial China

Fiction - Anthology
175 Pages
Reviewed on 09/29/2020
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite

Judge Lu’s Case Files by P.A. De Voe presents us with the Chinese detective genre in a series of related short stories about Lu, a new magistrate presiding over a province in Imperial China. Judge Lu is an interesting character, charged with being the detective investigating each case, the jury, and most importantly, the judge. On top of solving crimes, Lu also has to contend with local politics, bribery, corruption and his not always so helpful younger brother who acts as his assistant. Any potential failure on Lu’s part as a magistrate also comes with the threat of bringing dishonor to his family. However, Lu is a ‘by the book’ sleuth, who isn’t prepared to let anything get in the way of justice.

Judge Lu’s Case Files: Stories of Crime & Mystery in Imperial China is solidly written. Personally, I would have liked more descriptive writing, particularly as these stories are set in an exotic time period and location. However, I understand the need to keep the pace up as these stories are principally driven by dialogue. Each episode is certainly very entertaining, especially with the additional complications Lu has with saving face as well as solving crimes. What adds further interest to each case is the means to which he goes about getting justice, sometimes by deduction, more often by outwitting his opponents with guile and cunning. I think these stories will be very appealing for fans of crime and detective fiction, offering a different spin on the crime genre in easy to read installments.