Judge Dee #10: “The Emperor’s Pearl” by Robert van Gulik. Based on a real magistrate of Poo-yang district in central China during the 6th or 7th century, he was China’s equivalent of Sherlock Holmes. Along with his adviser, Sergeant Hoong, solves baffling mysteries. In “The Emperor’s Pearl” several murders involving people in the antique business. Perhaps a great jewel belonging to the house of the emperor is at stake, but the master detective senses there is also a sexual maniac torturing young slave girls at the bottom of the case, and the killer/maniac may be someone high and respected in the community. This is my first encounter with the Judge Dee mysteries, and overall it is a good mystery, and has interesting characters. Written in the style of Sherlock Homes and Watson, Judge Dee and Sergeant Hoong match wits with wily criminals, bringing the case to a surprising end in dramatic style. A bit of fun reading.