Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Judge Dee and the Three Deaths of Count Werdenfels: A Original (Judge Dee), by Lavie Tidhar

Tor Books, February 2021

This isn't Judge Dee, the 7th century Tang dynasty Chinese magistrate and statesman. This is another Judge Dee, a fictional vampire judge, wandering medieval Europe, enforcing the law as vampires see it--which is mostly making sure vampires don't do things that attract too much human attention. Anything that would cause humans to become aware and alarmed enough to endanger vampire-kind. It's not about protecting humans; it's about protecting vampires from humans.

Judge Dee is accompanied by a young man named Jonathan, a human whom he rescued from underneath a pile of dead bodies for entirely practical, even selfish, reasons. He needed directions. Then he decided that Jonathan was useful, and kept him. Mostly he takes good care of Jonathan, but sometimes he forgets that his human servant needs food, and gets cold.

In this case, Judge Dee has been summoned to a mountainous region in the Holy Roman Empire. Count Werdenfels, a vampire, has been murdered. The killer must be found.

They arrive at the count's castle, and discover that they don't have a killer seeking to hide their guilt. They have three people claiming to be the killer, Each of the claimed killers is happy to explain how they did it, show them the place where the killing happened.

None of them can produce a corpse.

Yes, there's a reason they're competing to be recognized as the killer.

It's an interesting puzzle.

I bought this book.

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