There was an awkward silence.
It was the sort of awkward silence that always happens at a dinner party when one of the guests bursts open and explodes into a puddle of stinking goo.
i am always thrilled when a new judge dee story shows up on the free tor short page, and not only for those amazing red nose studio “covers.”
this is the third adventure of the undead arbiter of vampire crime and his hungry hungry human helper jonathan, after Judge Dee and the Limits of the Law and Judge Dee and the Three Deaths of Count Werdenfels, and it’s another excellent romp; a bloodsucking homage to an agatha christie-style drawing room mystery, in which a poisoning occurs at a dinner party where, instead of circulating on little round trays, the cocktails are served straight outta the veins of folks weaving through the vampiric partygoers. it sounds like a very efficient process with no pesky glassware to wash afterwards, but when one of the serving vessels/human beings is poisoned, causing several bloody imbibers to, well, explode, the resulting mess is…significant.
vampires have the luxury of playing a very long game, nursing centuries-long grudges where revenge can be served as cold as a corpse, and all the guests have motives and means, even our beloved judge dee.
read it for yourself here: