#305: Murder in the Red Chamber (2004) by Ashibe Taku [trans. Tyran C. Grillo 2012]

Murder in the Red ChamberIt’s been quite some time since I looked at a really meaty impossible crime novel here on The Invisible Event, and a recent sweep through some Eastern treasures thanks to Locked Room International’s The Realm of the Impossible whetted my appetite for something from that culture.  This “Western crime fiction based on a Chinese classic” — that being Dream of the Red Chamber (1791), which itself runs to  multiple volumes and several thousand pages — seemed tailor-made, then.  A powerful dynasty, multitudinous impossibilities, and a dose of historical context sounded perfect; so I’m a little sorry to report that it didn’t quite work for me.  Go ahead, roll your eyes if you like; I’ll explain below.

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