Murder in the Forbidden City
Qing Dynasty Mysteries Book 1
by Amanda Roberts
Genre: Historical Mystery
When one of the Empress’s ladies-in-waiting is killed in the Forbidden City, she orders Inspector Gong to find the killer. Unfortunately, as a man, he is forbidden from entering the Inner Court. How is he supposed to solve a murder when he cannot visit the scene of the crime or talk to the women in the victim’s life? He won’t be able to solve this crime alone.
The widowed Lady Li is devastated when she finds out about the murder of her sister-in-law, who was serving as the Empress’s lady-in-waiting. She is determined to discover who killed her, even if it means assisting the rude and obnoxious Inspector Gong and going undercover in the Forbidden City.
Together, will Lady Li and Inspector Gong be able to find the murderer before he – or she – strikes again?
Murder in the British Quarter
Qing Dynasty Mysteries Book 2
When a young Chinese woman is murdered within the British Quarter of the foreign legation, Inspector Gong is ordered by the Imperial Court to solve the crime before the incident escalates into war between China and the foreign powers. The only problem? Inspector Gong doesn’t speak English. And he is hardly the type of man to be accepted by the British elite living in Peking.
Once again, he must turn to the one woman who can help him. The woman he can’t stop thinking about.
Lady Li is trying to forget about Inspector Gong. He’s a danger to herself, her position, and her children’s future. But when he comes once again knocking on her door and asking for her assistance in solving a case, she can’t resist, despite her better judgment.
Lady Li’s language and diplomatic abilities allow her to freely enter the world of the Western visitors, but tensions between the foreigners and local people are increasing by the hour.
Will Lady Li and Inspector Gong be able to solve the crime without the answer leading China to war?
“What are your orders, Your Highness?” the inspector asked.
“Find the killer,” he said.
The inspector sighed. “In a walled city where I don’t speak the language?” he asked, only half-joking.
“Well, you do know one person who speaks English, aside from me,” the prince said.
“Who is that?”
Inspector Gong felt his breath hitch in his throat. Lady Li. She had helped him solve a case a couple of months previously. Her sister-in-law had been murdered in the Inner Court, the court of the ladies, in the Forbidden City. As a man, he could not be permitted into the Inner Court. However, Lady Li agreed to help him and went in his stead.
They had solved the crime and also discovered a passion for one another, spending one incredible night together in her quarters in the Forbidden City. But he had not seen her since her sister-in-law was formally laid to rest after they solved the crime. He wanted to see her, and had fought the urge to call on her many times, but nothing could ever come of it. She was Manchu; he was Han. Legally, they could not marry. Plus, she was a widow, and society dictated she remain as such for the rest of her life in reverence to her husband, even though she was only in her twenties. There were other considerations as well, but they all added up to the same thing—Lady Li was a woman he should stay away from, for both their sakes.
“Are you suggesting I ask Lady Li for her help?” Inspector Gong finally asked. “Again?”
“You worked well together last time,” the prince said, without a hint of irony. The prince knew that Inspector Gong and Lady Li spent the night together, and he knew that they could not have a future together. So why was he so quick to encourage Inspector Gong to call on her?
“Is there something else going on here?” the inspector asked.
The prince shook his head. “It was only a suggestion. I suppose I could find another translator for you…”
“I didn’t say you needed to do that,” the inspector interrupted.
Prince Kung smiled. “I just think she can help you in more ways than as just a translator.”
“What do you mean?” the inspector asked.
“Just call on her,” the prince said. “You won’t be disappointed.”
Amanda Roberts is a writer and editor who has been living in China since 2010. Amanda has an MA in English from the University of Central Missouri. She has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies around the world and she regularly contributes to numerous blogs. Amanda can be found all over the Internet, but her home is TwoAmericansinChina.com.
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