The Temple of Yongzhou

A villager was struck down in his own home.
A lecher bled out on the street, his face ripped to shreds.
Young boys vanished from a forsaken temple.
And this was just my first week as the Magistrate of Taihe County.
Could it really be the acts of an angry god, as the villagers claimed? Or was someone using the curse of the temple to cover up their nefarious schemes? More
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About the Series: Judge Chen
1022, Song Dynasty.

As the Magistrate of Taihe County, Chen Boyu had to investigate all sorts of cases: robbery, sorcery, adultery, demon possession, human sacrifice, and of course, murder.

The perpetrators weren’t always human. Offended gods, invisible spirits, man-eating trees, and occasionally, hopping zombies had made Chen question his knowledge, his belief, and sometimes, his sanity.

The ragtag group under his command wasn’t much help: a part-time coroner who was a full-time gambler, a steward who might be equal parts friend and foe, a blushing maidservant who could talk his ear off, and a bunch of constables who’d rather be anywhere else.

Fingerprint analysis wouldn’t be invented for another 900 years. DNA was as alien a concept as, well, aliens. Forensics were often limited to guessing whether a man or woman had left those shoeprints.

Confucius’s teachings were as useful to crime solving as a spoon in a sinking boat. Unconventional crimes required unconventional approaches.

Brothel madam, travelling monk, street urchin . . . Chen teamed up with these unlikely characters, and forged ahead with one goal in mind:


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