The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An), as translated by Robert van Gulik.
The Chinese invented the mystery story fully two centuries before westerners did; this is van Gulik’s translation of a Chinese mystery story. Van Gulik went on to write a series of Judge Dee mysteries based on the characters in Dee Goong An which does indeed absolutely rock.
I first encountered van Gulik’s novels in a little bookstore on 33rd Street across from Madison Square Garden (which, ironically, is round) when I was on a long-term assignment in New York City many years ago.
I’ve read them all. Now I’m reading them again. They are better the second time around.