Judge Dee is ordered by empress Wu to investigate the murder of an apothecary. The accused is a courtesan who confronts Dee with a mystery that baffles him. It even makes him doubt his own ability to serve in his current position. In another case the judge has to solve a double murder while in the background an unknown and feared official moves silently around. The ensuing tension threatens the harmonious family life of Dee and his wives – and First Lady proves she is more than a match for Dee. Two more gripping mysteries to be solved by the famous staunch Confucian detective of ancient China – Judge Dee.