The Red Palace by June Hur – Anticipated Reads of 2022 // a historical korean murder mystery

A historical fiction novel?

Set in 1758 Korea??

With a quadruple homicide to solve?


(Young?) Adult, Mystery, Korean-Rep

The Red Palace
by June Hur

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, eighteen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

Expected Publication: January 25, 2022

I’ve only read one of June Hur’s books before (currently reading The Forest of Stolen Girls after a recommendation from Ele, which thank you!), and that was The Silence of Bones. I really enjoyed that because of the historical Korean rep, and I loved the complexity of the characters and how they grew as the story unfolded. It was also very interesting to see the culture of Korea at the time and learn about the customs, conflict with religion, and the kind of life that some people lived during that time.

And now, June Hur has yet another historical Korean murder mystery, and I am so excited to delve into the past with her amazing story-telling all over again. There’s something about historical murder mysteries that is just so much more fascinating than modern mysteries (probably because it’s interesting to see/learn how they would be solved without modern tools to help), and adding a new setting and culture instantly makes it 10 times more exciting.

You know, I actually took some notes when I read The Silence of Bones because I liked it so much and I wanted to remember some details so I could write a review…but I never actually did write one which is a serious shame. I might type up those notes and post them anyway, perhaps as a mini review since I don’t fully remember the book to write a more fleshed out review.

What I know for sure is, this time around with The Red Palace, I’m going to take notes and I will make sure to actually write a review at least that’s the plan. Hopefully this book will become a favorite and I’ll be screaming at kindly explaining to you guys all the reasons why you should pick it up immediately πŸ™‚

Some questions for you:

  • Have you heard of The Red Palace? Are you looking forward to reading it?
  • Have you read any of June Hur’s books before? What did you think?
  • Do you have any recommendations for books set in Korea (contemporary or historical)?

Chat with me in the comments below!

21 thoughts on “The Red Palace by June Hur – Anticipated Reads of 2022 // a historical korean murder mystery

    1. I hope you love it and that it makes you interested in trying out more historical mysteries! In my very humble opinion, the genre is fantastic, and June Hur and Joan He (Descendant of the Crane) were my introduction to historical mysteries set in Asia. The mix of culture, history, and of course wonderful murder/mystery vibes makes for a very interesting read πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m really excited to read this one! I’ve also only read Silence of the Bones and I enjoyed it so muchβ€”it was such a refreshing historical murder mystery! I can’t wait to read Forest of Stolen Girls (hope you’re enjoying it) and this one when it comes out! πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really interested in this one too because of the historical Korean setting. I’m already familiar with some aspects of the culture at this time from watching historical kdramas so I have high hopes it’ll be interesting. I haven’t read anything else by her yet, but I’ve been recommended The Forest of Stolen Girls so I might read it as well!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I watch a little bit of every genre so you’ll get a few different recommendations. My absolute favorite is the movie Midnight Runners (comedy) but I also recommend: Crash Landing On You, Live, Itaewon Class, Hospital Playlist, Mr. Queen, Tale of the Nine Tales, Extracurricular, Sweet Home, Alive (movie).


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