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The Chinese Gold Murders [Paperback]

Robert Hans Van Gulik
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1979 Judge Dee Mysteries
Soon after taking up his first magisterial post in the godforsaken district of Peng-lai, Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearnce of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner.

"The China of old, in Mr. van Gulik's skilled hands, comes vividly alive
again."—Allen J. Hubin, New York Times Book Review

"If you have not yet discovered Judge Dee, I envy you that initial
pleasure . . . the discovery of a great detective story. For the
magistrate of Poo-yan belongs in that select group headed by Sherlock
Holmes."—Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times

Robert van Gulik (1910-67), a Dutch diplomat and an authority on Chinese
history and culture, drew his plots from the popular detective novels
that appeared in seventeenth-century China.

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Product Description

About the Author

Robert Van Gulik was born in the Netherlands in 1910. He was educated at the Universities of Leyden and Utrecht, and served in the Dutch diplomatic service in China and Japan for many years. His interest in Asian languages and art led him to the discovery of Chinese detective novels and to the historical character of Judge Dee, famous in ancient Chinese annals as a scholar-magistrate. Van Gulik subsequently began writing the Judge Dee series of novels that have so captivated mystery readers ever since. He died of cancer in 1967.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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THREE MEN WERE SILENTLY SIPPING THEIR WINE ON THE top floor of the Pavilion of Joy and Sadness, overlooking the highway crossing outside the north gate of the imperial capital. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great opening entry to a fascinating series! May 11 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is the first of a series of Judge Dee novels set in seventh-century China. Judge Dee is an Imperial Magistrate who in the course of his job, is posted all over the Imperial Chinese Empire. He has a keen interest in solving crimes and is interested in interacting actively with the people around him. The novel opens with Dee leaving the imperial capital for the district of Peng-lai, near the Korean border. This is his first posting as District Magistrate. He leaves accompanied by his adviser Sergeant Hoong and on the way, meets two highwaymen, Ma Joong and Chiao Tai. Impressed by his forceful personality, the two men decide to give up their life of crime and become officers of the tribunal under Judge Dee. Upon arrival in Peng-lai, Judge Dee has to deal with multiple crimes; his predecessor was murdered, the wife of a prominent businessman has disappeared, a tiger is terrorizing the locals, the judge's chief clerk has gone missing and there are suspicions that Peng-lai is a center for gold smuggling into Korea! Into this hotbed of crime, comes Judge Dee who is able to pull all the threads together and solve the crimes. I loved the wealth of historical detail in the book as well as the actual mysteries, and Judge Dee himself is refreshingly human and is amused by the antics of his underlings! Would highly recommend the book to all those interested in historical mysteries - it's great fun!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for historical mystery fans May 17 2000
Format:Paperback
Long before Brother Cadfael, there was Judge Dee. The series started in the 1950s but they are modelled after Judge Dee mysteries written in early China. In this adventure, Judge Dee arrives at a new post and must solve the murder of his predecessor. As with all of his adventures, there are several side mysteries to unravel. Well written and skillfully plotted, the Judge Dee mysteries are must reads.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars another reader Dec 28 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have all of Van Gulik's Chinese murder mysteries and this is the one to start out with. Not only is the book entertaining on its own merits as a mystery but you learn about a historical Chinese culture. The plot twists and villains are clever and Judge Dee is the bomb.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  20 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great opening entry to a fascinating series! May 11 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first of a series of Judge Dee novels set in seventh-century China. Judge Dee is an Imperial Magistrate who in the course of his job, is posted all over the Imperial Chinese Empire. He has a keen interest in solving crimes and is interested in interacting actively with the people around him. The novel opens with Dee leaving the imperial capital for the district of Peng-lai, near the Korean border. This is his first posting as District Magistrate. He leaves accompanied by his adviser Sergeant Hoong and on the way, meets two highwaymen, Ma Joong and Chiao Tai. Impressed by his forceful personality, the two men decide to give up their life of crime and become officers of the tribunal under Judge Dee. Upon arrival in Peng-lai, Judge Dee has to deal with multiple crimes; his predecessor was murdered, the wife of a prominent businessman has disappeared, a tiger is terrorizing the locals, the judge's chief clerk has gone missing and there are suspicions that Peng-lai is a center for gold smuggling into Korea! Into this hotbed of crime, comes Judge Dee who is able to pull all the threads together and solve the crimes. I loved the wealth of historical detail in the book as well as the actual mysteries, and Judge Dee himself is refreshingly human and is amused by the antics of his underlings! Would highly recommend the book to all those interested in historical mysteries - it's great fun!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars another reader Dec 28 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have all of Van Gulik's Chinese murder mysteries and this is the one to start out with. Not only is the book entertaining on its own merits as a mystery but you learn about a historical Chinese culture. The plot twists and villains are clever and Judge Dee is the bomb.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for historical mystery fans May 17 2000
By Larry Eischen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Long before Brother Cadfael, there was Judge Dee. The series started in the 1950s but they are modelled after Judge Dee mysteries written in early China. In this adventure, Judge Dee arrives at a new post and must solve the murder of his predecessor. As with all of his adventures, there are several side mysteries to unravel. Well written and skillfully plotted, the Judge Dee mysteries are must reads.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb Asian-flavored mystery March 10 2005
By Rebecca Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Rebeccasreads highly recommends THE CHINESE GOLD MURDERS in which Judge Dee Dee investigates the murder of his predecessor -- a Magistrate who now stalks the neighborhood as a ghost.

Judge Dee-Jen Dijeh (630-700 A.D.) was a Magistrate known for his wisdom & wit in China, & his stories were a part of the local folklore. Robert Van Gulik, who had a historian's interest in China in the early 1950s, was fascinated by the tales of this judge, & finally collected & fictionalized them into four volumes.

The wit, ingenuity, & genius of Judge Dee is well reflected. Remember the old tales of King Solomon the Just -- well, give them an Asian flavor, a touch of Old China -- & you get Judge Dee.

All of Judge Dee's books are most pleasurable - - worthy of 10 stars!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Re: ebook: This is *not* the genuine article April 16 2012
By kleine Mocha - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Please see my review of the Kindle version of this book.

I have long been a fan of the Judge Dee mysteries, and the Chinese Gold Murders is particularly important to the series since it shows Judge Dee meeting the two "Green Woodsman" who become his retainers and accompany him to his other postings. The original Van Gulik books are also characterized by the original prints from woodblocks that the author created as illustrations.

I own this book in paperback but have been collecting all the Judge Dee books for my Kindle as they are published. The Kindle version of The Chinese Gold Murders presently being sold on Amazon is NOT the original version. I was surprised when I purchased it to see a Chinese publisher and introductory material in (what I must assume is) Chinese before the beginning of the story. At first I thought, perhaps a Chinese publishing company has brought out a new edition under some kind of licensing agreement with the publisher. However, I now doubt that is the case.
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