This is a reread of a series associated with happiness and joy. I was a bit reluctant to reread these again. Well, I was worried for nothing. It's still captivates me, makes me smile, laugh and angry a bit too (there's plot point in this novel I didn't remember and now many years later makes me cringe. That plot point aside, I liked the friendships between Judge Dee and his staff, the way Dee finds the answers and solves the puzzles are usually crafty and cunning. I liked it them, I like it now despite the use of the 'bad', crazy woman. it's not recent (Van Gulik writes in the post-script that it was used in the traditional detective stories in China forever) it's just it gets tiresome to make the vilain of the story a gay character. Single White Female in medieval China.