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 shattered vase, and a dead bondmaid. Along the way he encounters a woman who fights with loaded sleeves, a nearly drowned courtesan, and an elaborate trap set for a murderer. Packed with suspense, violence, and romance, "The Willow Pattern" won't disappoint Judge Dee's legions of loyal fans.