Eight Skilled Gentlemen
Locus Award nominee 1992.
World Fantasy Award-winner Barry Hugart combines historic folklore, and fantasy to create a work of enchantment set in ancient China that never was... but should have been. Once again the sleuthing team of Master Li and Number Ten Ox investigate mayhem and murder – in the mystery of the "Eight Skilled Gentlemen."
Deep in the heart of the Forbidden City, respected mandarins are being murdered... and the only suspects, incredibly, are eight bloodthirsty demons straight out of Chinese legend. Accompanied only by a scarred puppeteer and his bewitchingly lovely shamanka daughter, Master Li and Number Ten Ox plunge into a deadly and horrifying netherworld. They're gambling for the fate of all China – in an apocalyptic battle with long-dead demons who've got nothing to lose.
Barry Hughart (born 1934) is an American author.
Master Li consists of three primary books, and includes one additional book that complement the series but is not considered mandatory reads. The current recommended reading order for the series is provided below.