Eight Skilled Gentlemen is the third and last instalment of the Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox written by Barry Hughart.
When people in high places start dying inexplicably, Master Li and Number Ten Ox are on the case. But what kind of case involves mysterious cages, a puppeteer, a serial killer, the Celestial Master, demons and eight skilled gentlemen?
Like the two previous books, the case if complex and only starts making sense near the end of the book, but getting there is what makes it so much fun! Master Li is his brilliant self again, and Number Ten Ox is his…well…his simple self, but they work together so well.
There are heaps of colourful and hilarious characters, as well as great villains, and the adventure doesn’t stop until the last page. There’s plenty to remind you that thought it might look and feel like ancient China, it’s still a China that never truly was.
Hughart did a great job with these books. I’m sad the adventures are over.