Book Title: The Chinese Nail Murders : A Judge Dee Detective Story
Author: Robert van Gulik
Format: Paperback | 256 pages
Publication Date: 01 Mar 2005
Judge Dee and his four helpers solve the murders of an honored merchant, a kindly boxing master, and a paper merchant's wife, whose corpse has no head. They succeed in spite of strong pressure on Judge Dee from higher-ups to bring his investigation, which has temporarily generated unrest among the populace, rapidly to an end or face dismissal or serious punishment. The case of the headless corpse is based on a thirteenth-century Chinese casebook; the nail murder, one of the most famous motifs in Chinese crime literature, is first described in the same text.