Even when home on holiday, Mao Mao can’t catch a break- mysteries have a way of finding her. Luckily for the involved parties, she can use CPR which was pretty cool because I had no idea they used CPR in those days, but according to historical sources, an early form of CPR was indeed used in ancient China. One of the things I find really fascinating is the usage of things I associate with modern medicine or just modern life in general (like straws), and subsequently learning that such things are far, far older than I assumed.
This week’s case is the poisoning of a customer and a prostitute. The customer is a repeat problem at that brothel, deceiving prostitutes into thinking his love is for real and often ending in murder attempts. You’d think he’d learn his lesson after being almost stabbed and poisoned multiple times, but nope. That was right dastardly of the customer, though, to falsely promise to free the woman and then go back on his word the day of.
We can see where Mao Mao learned some of her deduction skills from (of course, a large part is also due to talent). Her father is quite the master of it and even now still takes the opportunity to teach her a few pointers in the course of the investigation, like with that part about water dilution and tobacco leaves. He also appears to be too kind for his own good, almost refusing the payment, until Mao Mao forced him to take it for the rent.
Normally Mao Mao seems to be a font of wisdom, the expert at the palace. It was interesting to see her here in the role of a student, which was refreshing to see her in a new light (not that I dislike the way we usually see her- that also is good). The way the straw was used was foreshadowed during the cookies and tea chat with the brothel matron, then later incorporated was a smart touch. It was rather clever, the basic chemistry 101 of mixing different densities to reduce the prostitute’s poison intake while luring the customer into drinking the full dose of poison.
As for Jinshi, I get that he’s clearly got a thing for Mao Mao. But… that gives him no right to be annoyed with her or grill her on her trip home. It’s none of his fucking business what she did or who she hangs out with. Although- that expression on his face when he misunderstood Mao Mao’s statement “I gave him a night of pleasure” was priceless.