Everyone should at least read Robert van Gulik’s The Chinese Gold Murders. And The Chinese Lake Murders, Bell Murders, Maze Murders and Nail Murders. And actually also the other eleven books in the Judge Dee series. But definitely the Gold Murders (and my particular favourite is the Maze Murders).
I’ve been reading the books since I was ten. They’re amazingly written whodunits set in ancient China (around the T’ang dynasty), about a Chinese magistrate who solves mysteries and crimes with his helpers. Not only are the books historically accurate (van Gulik was a sinologist), they provide you with a perfect mix of the ordinary and the uncanny, leaving you with goosebumps while you try to figure out what has actually happened.
There is nothing I can say that will do enough justice to the books, but take my advice and read them if you get the chance. You won’t regret it if you love detective novels, historical novels, ancient China, or just a good read. I’ve read them all at least seven or eight times, and they do not bore.