Title: The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane
Author: B E L Coulson
Genre: Medieval mystery, Crime thriller
First Publication: 2022
Book Summary: The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane by B E L Coulson
Qing is a young naval officer in the service of Chinese Imperial Admiral Zheng He on his voyages of exploration in the fifteenth century of the Western calendar. Their travels take them to the coast of what we now call Mexico, where they chance upon a village on the outskirts of Tarascan territory, one of the largest Mesoamerican empires.
A terrible crime occurs. Qing, who has already shown an aptitude for solving mysteries, is ordered by his captain to work with the village shaman, an elderly, rather cynical, woman named Xmucane to discover who perpetrated the crime. They are successful, but in the process, uncover a conspiracy against the Tarascan empire. They are ordered to the capital, to pursue justice and solve mysteries large and small in the service of the Tarascan court. The two detectives and their comrades discover truths, not only about the conspiracy but about themselves.
Book Review: The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane by B E L Coulson
I have a weird addiction to historical and medieval mysteries, and as a result, when I discovered this book written by B. E. L. Coulson, I was beyond happy. I can’t even begin to describe how thrilled I was. The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane is a historical mystery with style; the historical aspects and ambiance of the middle ages are depicted flawlessly, which is something we can only expect from a skilled writer.
The events of the novel, The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane, take place during the fifteenth century of the Western calendar, and we are introduced to Ensign Qing, a young naval officer who serves in the fleet of Chinese Imperial Admiral Zheng He during his adventurous voyages. The story follows Ensign Qing as he makes his way across the ocean. Qing and the other officers went on several expeditions together, travelling all the way from Africa to the Middle East and beyond. Because Qing was intelligent and had a natural talent for unravelling mysteries through investigation and analysis, he proved to be an invaluable asset to his captain.
During one of their journeys, they found themselves on the coast of what is now known as Mexico. There, they stumbled upon a settlement that was located on the fringes of Tarascan territory, which was home to one of the most powerful Mesoamerican empires. Though the fleet had anticipated encountering nothing but animals or barbarians upon arrival in Tarascan territory, they were pleasantly surprised to find human beings who quickly became allies. Unfortunately, matters take a turn for the worse when a heinous crime is committed among the Tarascans, and Qing, who has already demonstrated a knack for uncovering mysteries, is asked for help in solving the case. And so the adventure and new job as a detective begins.
The captain has given him orders to investigate the incident along with the local shaman, Xmucane, an elderly and fairly sceptical woman. Their goal is to figure out who is responsible for the crime. They were able to unearth the truth between them, which ultimately led them to the revelation of schemes that were a danger to the Tarascan empire. They are commanded to report to the capital, where they will work to bring about justice and investigate mysteries both big and small on behalf of the Tarascan court. During the course of their investigation into the conspiracy, the two detectives and their allies come across some surprising truths concerning themselves.
Ensign Qing is an outstanding and fascinating fictional detective. Because he has an endearing personality that puts people at ease right away. He is excellent at decision-making and communication and has an uncanny ability to see right through to the core of the problem. He also has a strong intuition for human nature, which puts him in a prime position for tactfully manipulating people out of trouble.
The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane is an outstanding example of the classic whodunit genre; it is very well written and has an original setting, in addition to a cast of memorable characters. I had a lot of fun speculating about who was responsible for the crime and keeping my fingers crossed that things would turn out well in the end for both of the investigators. Readers will need to be patient as the author gradually increases the tension leading up to the mystery, but once it’s revealed, the plot moves quickly and steadily towards its inevitable conclusion. This narrative is considerably different from the forensics-based murder mysteries that are so prevalent in today’s market, but the fact that it is so unusual is one of the things that makes it so interesting.
The Casebook of Qing and Xmucane was a passion project for the three members of the Coulson family that make up B.E.L. Coulson. Linda Coulson works as a lab technician in the field of archaeology. Edward Coulson is an economics professor and also a Jeopardy winner. Their son, Brendan Coulson, is an English as a Second Language instructor.