Title:The Spring and Autumn Murders
Author: Laura Seeber
Published: December 7, 2012
Blurb from Goodreads:
Set in a time of uneasy peace and opportunistic alliances in ancient China, The Spring and Autumn Murders tell the story of three friends, Hai, Lei and Zian. With a friendship forged in military training and battle, they are sent from their home kingdom of Zhou to a village in the northern area of Jin to help patrol the border against barbarians from the surrounding mountains under the direction of Lord Nianzu, the local magistrate. It appears to be a normal assignment, but the three friends soon discover that nothing about this new detail is routine.
While Hai and Lei make their first nightly patrols in the area, Zian is surprised in camp by a panic stricken, bloody Hua, fiancé of their employer’s son. Zian sets out to find his comrades, and returns with them, only to find Hua missing, and mercenary soldiers riding into their camp intent on finding the murders who have terrorized the village below, killing to only son of Lord Nianzu.
Now it’s a race to find Hua and the truth between the three friends, the military that is chasing them, the grief stricken Lord Nianzu, and the real killer, who each have their own motives for finding the girl. The trails lead each group through quite a number of surprises, uneasy alliances, the ever present spirit world, and more bloodshed to find the truth that sometimes even the most quiet of villages hide the darkest secret imaginable.
I like reading books about other cultures, especially in times gone by. The author did a very good job of portraying how life was in those times. I liked certain aspects of the books, like the friendship, trust and staying true to your friends, no matter what. I also liked the way that they portrayed how superstitious people were of little things.
What I did not like was the “cheap” way they made a case against Zian. Yes, I understand things were against him, I totally get that. But just when things were all worked out they find a body and what do they do? STILL claim it’s him. And then suddenly there is believe in him again? I don’t get that. If there was put just a little more thought in the accusation or the things leading up to it, I would’ve enjoyed this book so much more. The real culprit was a suprise though. This tells me that the author is more than able to think this true. I wonder why her beta readers and editor did not see this.