counter create hit The Chinese Bell Murders (Judge Dee - Download Free eBook
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Chinese Bell Murders (Judge Dee

Availability: Ready to download

A.D. 668 Meet Judge Dee, the detective lauded as the "Sherlock Holmes of ancient China" — Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series will thrill to this reissue of the first volume in Robert van Gulik's classic Chinese Murders series. The Chinese Bell Murders introduces the great Judge Dee, a magistrate of the city of Poo-yang in ancient China. In A.D. 668 Meet Judge Dee, the detective lauded as the "Sherlock Holmes of ancient China" — Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series will thrill to this reissue of the first volume in Robert van Gulik's classic Chinese Murders series. The Chinese Bell Murders introduces the great Judge Dee, a magistrate of the city of Poo-yang in ancient China. In the spirit of ancient Chinese detective novels, Judge Dee is challenged by three cases. First, he must solve the mysterious murder of Pure Jade, a young girl living on Half Moon Street. All the evidence points to the guilt of her lover, but Judge Dee has his doubts. Dee also solves the mystery of a deserted temple and that of a group of monks' terrific success with a cure for barren women.


Compare
Ads Banner

A.D. 668 Meet Judge Dee, the detective lauded as the "Sherlock Holmes of ancient China" — Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series will thrill to this reissue of the first volume in Robert van Gulik's classic Chinese Murders series. The Chinese Bell Murders introduces the great Judge Dee, a magistrate of the city of Poo-yang in ancient China. In A.D. 668 Meet Judge Dee, the detective lauded as the "Sherlock Holmes of ancient China" — Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series will thrill to this reissue of the first volume in Robert van Gulik's classic Chinese Murders series. The Chinese Bell Murders introduces the great Judge Dee, a magistrate of the city of Poo-yang in ancient China. In the spirit of ancient Chinese detective novels, Judge Dee is challenged by three cases. First, he must solve the mysterious murder of Pure Jade, a young girl living on Half Moon Street. All the evidence points to the guilt of her lover, but Judge Dee has his doubts. Dee also solves the mystery of a deserted temple and that of a group of monks' terrific success with a cure for barren women.

30 review for The Chinese Bell Murders (Judge Dee

  1. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    All looks calm in the apparently little, peaceful, beautiful walled northern town of Poo-yang, by the Great Canal as the new magistrate Judge Dee his three wives, numerous children, four cunning lieutenants Hoong Liang, Ma Joong, Chiago Tai , Tao Gan and loyal servants arrive there. After the usual formal celebrations , meetings, a grand banquet held, seeing the leading citizens and taking over from his able predecessor Judge Feng, only one murder case active . Still that has been solved already All looks calm in the apparently little, peaceful, beautiful walled northern town of Poo-yang, by the Great Canal as the new magistrate Judge Dee his three wives, numerous children, four cunning lieutenants Hoong Liang, Ma Joong, Chiago Tai , Tao Gan and loyal servants arrive there. After the usual formal celebrations , meetings, a grand banquet held, seeing the leading citizens and taking over from his able predecessor Judge Feng, only one murder case active . Still that has been solved already, just the just decision, a death penalty punishment to be carried out ( cutting off his head). The Tang dynasty of China in the seventh century, demands lots of paperwork, ( the Chinese invented this useful material, in this ancient land hundreds of years before) everything in its proper procedural way, the Empire and Emperor demands it, Dee has many documents to read and write. The new magistrate spends the first night studying them, two big candles illuminating the crowded desk, in his private tribunal office, drinking many cups of hot tea, eating cake, hour after hour alone until past midnight. Nevertheless the careful judge feels somewhat uncomfortable, Wang Hsien-djoong an unwise student the imprisoned, suspected killer of his lover Pure Jade, the daughter of a poor butcher, on shabby Half Moon Street claims he's innocent, but they all say that ... A curious, vastly wealthy Buddhist Temple of Boundless Mercy has attractive many rumors, something doesn't seem proper, they the monks say that a statue of a goddess on the premise, will bring children to infertile married women visitors, the grateful couple sends an appropriate gift of value when a miracle occurs. The abbot Spiritual Virtue, tries to bribe the honest judge with six heavy bars of gold and silver when Dee begins investigating the nervous monks, his lieutenants feel uneasy. Another temple, this time a deserted Taoist religious structure with a demonic reputation, needs to be looked at thoroughly, Transcendental Wisdom. Some weird sounds at night are heard often, chilling screams, unnatural, inhuman voices, apparitions seen, ghostly, moving lights appearing ....the towns citizens are quite reasonably scared to enter the haunted building, even criminals. A rich merchant from Canton, Lin Fan, with a dubious background has been living in this provincial city for five years, why? An old woman gives the tired Judge Dee, aged manuscripts, written by her Mrs. Liang, of the brutal crimes committed by Lin but are they genuine... a blood feud between the Liang and Lin families, has continued for decades. The bright judge with the help of his friends, have much work to do cleaning up this "quiet city"... The never dull but always very interesting Judge Dee detective books, by Robert van Gulik a Dutch diplomat and scholar, has written a superb story, it is no surprise...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ming Wei

    A sort of far east version of UK Sherlock Holmes, as allot to offer the reader, a well detailed detective theme novel, that takes place within a very interesting period in time, I was surprised how quickly I began to enjoy this book, I could tell after the 1st 20 pages that I had made the right choice to read it, really well written, detective Dee (China), Sherlock Holmes (UK), Inspector K (Korea) all roles into one, the outcome of the story is not disclosed until the end (usually half way throu A sort of far east version of UK Sherlock Holmes, as allot to offer the reader, a well detailed detective theme novel, that takes place within a very interesting period in time, I was surprised how quickly I began to enjoy this book, I could tell after the 1st 20 pages that I had made the right choice to read it, really well written, detective Dee (China), Sherlock Holmes (UK), Inspector K (Korea) all roles into one, the outcome of the story is not disclosed until the end (usually half way through a book, the reader knows the direction in which a story will finish, but not this story). No editorial issues, excellent book cover, very good book. really liked it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    Excellent period mystery that draws on the Chinese detective story legacy and diplomat van Gulik's extensive scholarship. Reading this book was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back in time to imperial China, so well realised is van Gulik's portrayal of the era. Judge Dee, a magistrate, is given a new posting and proceeds to clean up the town. Cerebral and often downright inscrutable, he is aided by a cohort of close associates who range from a stalwart sergeant to a former con m Excellent period mystery that draws on the Chinese detective story legacy and diplomat van Gulik's extensive scholarship. Reading this book was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back in time to imperial China, so well realised is van Gulik's portrayal of the era. Judge Dee, a magistrate, is given a new posting and proceeds to clean up the town. Cerebral and often downright inscrutable, he is aided by a cohort of close associates who range from a stalwart sergeant to a former con man and is not above a bit of roughhouse himself in a pinch. Imagine a less vain Hercule Poirot with Holmes' brawling skills and you have a good idea of the character of Dee. Each mystery is brought to a satisfactory conclusion and much time is spent exploring the seedier sides of like in 7th century China. I loved this book and look forward to reading more, although it's going to be a long quest as this whole series is out of print.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    Yes, I missed these completely. All of these Judge Dee books written 70 years ago or more. But I won't refrain from reading any I can presently find. This is Northern China in the 6th and 7th centuries and the Magistrate of the District is Judge Dee. The characterizations are spectacular and the nuance for the period and the context of the Chinese under the Confucian structures just phenomenal. THE DETAIL! And yet every personality differs and has dozens of surfaces to moment and placement. Fairne Yes, I missed these completely. All of these Judge Dee books written 70 years ago or more. But I won't refrain from reading any I can presently find. This is Northern China in the 6th and 7th centuries and the Magistrate of the District is Judge Dee. The characterizations are spectacular and the nuance for the period and the context of the Chinese under the Confucian structures just phenomenal. THE DETAIL! And yet every personality differs and has dozens of surfaces to moment and placement. Fairness! Justice! Fighting the foul, evil deeded and more than both of those- the corrupt payments toward fraud and slimy allegiance. Judge Dee with his trusted mentor/assistant and his three main "lieutenants". Very good and highly entertaining reads. Translated from the Dutch, and if you find them? Do enjoy! Be warned. The punishments are quite apace to those of Renaissance Europe. Both creative and horrifically torturous.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Christmas Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂

    I loved van Gulik's elegant prose & the simple illustrations that were with this book. I found the construction of the book's plot a bit hard (there are actually 3 different crimes) but will be prepared for that if I read another book in this series. One criticism is that it would be very hard for the reader to solve the crime. I loved van Gulik's elegant prose & the simple illustrations that were with this book. I found the construction of the book's plot a bit hard (there are actually 3 different crimes) but will be prepared for that if I read another book in this series. One criticism is that it would be very hard for the reader to solve the crime.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mila

    3,75 stars I quite enjoyed reading about these various mysteries but I think the one about a feud between two families took too much space and got repetitive.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ivonne Rovira

    Admirers of Robert van Gulik's always delightful Judge Dee mysteries have another treat in store with The Chinese Bell Murders. In this novel, Judge Dee is newly arrived in the city of Poo-Yang, and he begins by re-investigating a case that his predecessor, Judge Feng, could not complete since Feng had had to leave when he was reassigned to a new posting. In that case, an impoverished literary candidate named Wang was on the verge of being executed for the rape and murder of a butcher's daughter Admirers of Robert van Gulik's always delightful Judge Dee mysteries have another treat in store with The Chinese Bell Murders. In this novel, Judge Dee is newly arrived in the city of Poo-Yang, and he begins by re-investigating a case that his predecessor, Judge Feng, could not complete since Feng had had to leave when he was reassigned to a new posting. In that case, an impoverished literary candidate named Wang was on the verge of being executed for the rape and murder of a butcher's daughter; however, Judge Dee cleverly and immediately realizes that the real culprit was someone else! As in all Judge Dee novels, there are two more mysteries for Judge Dee to solve before the reader happily comes to the end: the case of a decades-long feud between two families who hail from Canton and some nefarious goings-on at a Buddhist temple. At the Temple of Boundless Mercy, barren women who spend the night, as often as not, later conceive. While the temple's abbot, who goes by the name of Spiritual Virtue, gives credit to the goddess Kwan Yin, Judge Dee suspects otherwise. Although in most Judge Dee novels the three mysteries are intertwined, in The Chinese Bell Murders, the mysteries stand alone and are solved consecutively. In solving all three crimes, Judge Dee is ably assisted by his loyal and enterprising staff: a longtime family servant turned sergeant, Hoong; two former highwaymen, Ma Joong and Chiao Tai (whom Judge Dee first met in The Chinese Gold Murders) and the former conman, Tao Gan (who joined Judge Dee in The Chinese Lake Murders). What a pleasure to meet up with Judge Dee and his lieutenants again! While The Chinese Bell Murders was the third book that van Gulik wrote, the novel ranks eighth chronologically. None of that matters, however, as -- unlike with some mystery series, which must be read in order so as to make sense -- readers will enjoy Judge Dee novels in whatever order they read them. Unlike most Judge Dee mysteries, The Chinese Bell Murders begins with an odd supernatural set-up. Readers new to Judge Dee should not let that put them off. The mysteries aren't the least bit twee, and all of the novels provide an illuminating glimpse into the 7th century China. Judge Dee is based on a real-life Chinese magistrate during the T'ang Dynasty named Ti Jen-chieh, a name van Gulik simplified to Judge Dee Jen-djieh. Van Gulik first introduced Judge Dee to the West in Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, first published in 1949 (although not translated into English until 1976). As in the other novels, for the three cases in The Chinese Bell Murders, van Gulik took his inspiration from original ancient Chinese cases and 18th century Chinese detective stories, although van Gulik changes the case enough, removing much of the coincidence and supernatural elements so that he makes the stories his own.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Yibbie

    I did no research before I got this book, absolutely none. I picked it off the shelf and thought it sounded so interesting that I was willing to risk wasting my money on a terrible book for the chance to read it. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a book of traditional Chinese detective stories? Then I read the introduction by Donald F. Lach. Mostly that introduction was about the author, Robert van Gulik. I wish I hadn’t learned so much about his other literary efforts. He chose to republish, for a I did no research before I got this book, absolutely none. I picked it off the shelf and thought it sounded so interesting that I was willing to risk wasting my money on a terrible book for the chance to read it. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by a book of traditional Chinese detective stories? Then I read the introduction by Donald F. Lach. Mostly that introduction was about the author, Robert van Gulik. I wish I hadn’t learned so much about his other literary efforts. He chose to republish, for a select audience, ancient smut. And then my book flopped open to a very immodest picture. So I was starting to regret my hasty decision but warily forged ahead. The stories, as it’s really three mysteries all tangled together, were really very well done. They all handled to some degree tales of rape, murder, pillage, fraud or treachery, but it was all handled so delicately that I really began to enjoy them as cozy mysteries. The setting was so very unlike anything I had read before that I didn’t mind the rather stock characters. It was a fun glimpse into ancient Chinese customs. So after fixing the pictures and realizing that the stories would be relatively clean, I really enjoyed reading it. I really appreciated the author’s postscript. He shares with us the traditional Chinese sources and practices that he used to build the characters and stories. That was most informative and explained some points of procedure that confused me throughout the story.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Oakes

    Second in a series featuring the Tang Magistrate Judge Dee, based on a real magistrate during that dynasty. Dee has a series of retainers who assist him in his work. It is the case throughout the series that when Dee comes to a new town, mysteries present themselves for him and his friends to solve. Generally there are several mysteries that seem to be linked together somehow, and I take the utmost in pleasure to watch the crimes unravel. In his first case, Judge Dee finds himself in the Poo-yan Second in a series featuring the Tang Magistrate Judge Dee, based on a real magistrate during that dynasty. Dee has a series of retainers who assist him in his work. It is the case throughout the series that when Dee comes to a new town, mysteries present themselves for him and his friends to solve. Generally there are several mysteries that seem to be linked together somehow, and I take the utmost in pleasure to watch the crimes unravel. In his first case, Judge Dee finds himself in the Poo-yang district. Thinking himself lucky because there seems to be very little crime in this area, he is somewhat taken aback when he and his retainers have to deal with a rape/murder as well as several crimes all linked back to a feud between two of the district''s merchant families. But wait! There's more: it seems that there is some concern about certain Buddhist monks who are trying to swindle women who cannot get pregnant. If they give money to the temple, the women will supposedly conceive. No strand of the story is left undone; Dee's detection skills, along with the help of his group of friends, ensures that there will be no crime left unsolved whenever the magistrate comes into a new area. Highly recommended; do start with book 1 (the Haunted Maze) before you read the rest of the series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Natalia

    Oh, this book was great fun. I am unfamiliar with the history of Chinese detective novels (Actually, I was completely unaware China had a history of detective stories at all - Though come to think of it, why not? Every society has crime, and sometimes there are mysteries that need solving.) I liked that there were 3 crimes solved in the book and that the timelines kind of overlapped. It felt much more realistic. In the real world, crimes don't happen one at a time, waiting for a magistrate to sol Oh, this book was great fun. I am unfamiliar with the history of Chinese detective novels (Actually, I was completely unaware China had a history of detective stories at all - Though come to think of it, why not? Every society has crime, and sometimes there are mysteries that need solving.) I liked that there were 3 crimes solved in the book and that the timelines kind of overlapped. It felt much more realistic. In the real world, crimes don't happen one at a time, waiting for a magistrate to solve one before the next one occurs. I also really enjoyed Judge Dee's entourage - a little unsavory, but their motives are good. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes police procedurals, but is feeling a little bored with novels about contemporary police detectives. It's a nice change of pace.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donna LaValley

    This is one of at least 4 books about Judge Dee, a magistrate in ancient China who moonlights as a detective when cases brought to him in the tribunal, or court, puzzle him and he can’t rule in good conscience. The great distance in time and place make for interesting reading in this century. There was a real Judge Dee, Judge Dee-Jen Dijeh, who lived from 630 – 700 AD. He was a Confucian scholar whose wisdom was widely known. His cleverly solved cases and appropriate judgments became stories tha This is one of at least 4 books about Judge Dee, a magistrate in ancient China who moonlights as a detective when cases brought to him in the tribunal, or court, puzzle him and he can’t rule in good conscience. The great distance in time and place make for interesting reading in this century. There was a real Judge Dee, Judge Dee-Jen Dijeh, who lived from 630 – 700 AD. He was a Confucian scholar whose wisdom was widely known. His cleverly solved cases and appropriate judgments became stories that entered Chinese folklore. A Dutch diplomat to the Orient, Robert Van Gulick, was so taken with the Judge Dee folklore that he researched the actual cases of the Judge. His 1950’s books are the result of his translations and although they are labeled “fiction,” they are based on Van Gulick's research. In this volume, Judge Dee looks into 3 cases. As the overall theme is social justice in Imperial China, the victims or criminals are from the poor classes as well as the wealthy. Using investigative techniques of the time, he employs help from members of the Beggar’s Guild, some dancing girls, and upstanding citizens. He trusts his mostly reformed “lieutenants” Ma Joong and Tao Gan. Dee applies Confucian wisdom when working out a problem. Dee, who had no patience with Buddhism or Taoism, exposed mysterious clerics who were schemers, and libidinous monks who guaranteed a pregnancy to wives who stayed overnight at their temple. Judge Dee is a great hero for his time. He lived in Poo Yang with 3 wives and was a faithful husband. In solving his legal mysteries, he is clever, brave, and circumspect. Although he believed that justice outweighs human life, he was compassionate. The reader will admire him, and the author, and the amazing culture of ancient China, which was “civilized” so long before Europe. I recommend it! I've read it twice.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Cathy Cole

    Back in the 1980s, my mother read all Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee books and loved them. I knew that, sooner or later, I would have to read at least one of them myself. Much, much later, I have finally done so, and I can see why Mom enjoyed them so much. Three of Judge Dee's cases are covered in The Chinese Bell Murders: "Rape Murder in Half Moon Street," "The Secret Door of the Buddhist Temple," and "The Case of the Skeleton Under the Bell." Judge Dee is often called the Sherlock Holmes of ancie Back in the 1980s, my mother read all Robert van Gulik's Judge Dee books and loved them. I knew that, sooner or later, I would have to read at least one of them myself. Much, much later, I have finally done so, and I can see why Mom enjoyed them so much. Three of Judge Dee's cases are covered in The Chinese Bell Murders: "Rape Murder in Half Moon Street," "The Secret Door of the Buddhist Temple," and "The Case of the Skeleton Under the Bell." Judge Dee is often called the Sherlock Holmes of ancient China, and it's easy to see why. These cases are all about their ingenious mysteries, all about solving the puzzles. Judge Dee thinks nothing of donning disguises to get at the truth, and he is scrupulous at upholding the law, although not all of his able assistants are. I also appreciated the glimpse into the life and culture of 7th-century China. This is a series that I feel I can come back to once in a while when I'm in the mood for a "Just the facts, ma'am" mystery. Even though I am a bone-deep character-driven reader, there is something to be said for occasionally solving a concise puzzle or two.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Penny

    I really enjoyed this book, the first Judge Dee mystery I have read. The setting of Tang era China and the range of characters are all beautifully drawn and show the extent of van Gulik's scholarship and depth of his knowledge. There is none of the artificially historical in the place of the characters, the mystery is paramount and the setting, both time and place, just add to the enjoyment. Each of these interlinked mysteries is well plotted and enjoyable, everything is not what it seems at fir I really enjoyed this book, the first Judge Dee mystery I have read. The setting of Tang era China and the range of characters are all beautifully drawn and show the extent of van Gulik's scholarship and depth of his knowledge. There is none of the artificially historical in the place of the characters, the mystery is paramount and the setting, both time and place, just add to the enjoyment. Each of these interlinked mysteries is well plotted and enjoyable, everything is not what it seems at first and Judge Dee's intelligence and skill as he solves them makes them fun to read. He is a great character, thoughtful and intelligent, and his companions and family are also beautiful drawn.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    One of the best in the series. Judge Dee and his four assistants, Sergeant Hoong, Chiao Tao, Ma Joong, and Tao Gan, investigate three cases: a 20-year-old feud between two Cantonese families, a suspiciously wealthy Buddhist temple, and the murder of a young girl. Science fiction writers could learn a thing or two from how van Gulik subtly conveys to the reader how the world of ancient China works.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    Love the reasoning he uses to solve the crimes and the peek into life in 7th century China. Good character building.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Frank

    Excellent historical mystery. I couldn't put it down. Plenty of twists and turns and great puzzles solved by the magistrate with the evil-doers getting their just desserts.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Acacia

    This book is an amazing read! The way the plot is intricately woven around dynamic characters ought to be heralded as an example for mystery writers everywhere.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandi

    Have read 2 Judge Dee mysteries. The Chinese Bell Murders is the first of the series. Have really enjoyed both books!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jimmy Lee

    In 1974, I saw a movie on TV about an 18th century Chinese detective. What with the exciting mix of costumes, mystery, and history, the plot didn't stick with me, but the concept did. So I was thrilled to discover, in my stack of pending mysteries, that I had a book starring 18th century Chinese Judge (and as a result, detective) Dee. Van Gulik, according to the preface in my book, began writing the Judge Dee stories, based on Tang dynasty historical figure/magistrate and statesman Di Renjie, to In 1974, I saw a movie on TV about an 18th century Chinese detective. What with the exciting mix of costumes, mystery, and history, the plot didn't stick with me, but the concept did. So I was thrilled to discover, in my stack of pending mysteries, that I had a book starring 18th century Chinese Judge (and as a result, detective) Dee. Van Gulik, according to the preface in my book, began writing the Judge Dee stories, based on Tang dynasty historical figure/magistrate and statesman Di Renjie, to present Chinese-style detective novels that show the Chinese as they describe themselves in their own crime literature. This is in contrast (as he himself noted) to the stereotypical opium-addicted Mandarins with pigtails that appear in nineteenth-century literature. With the Chinese Bell Murders, we have not just the titular murder - one that has to do with a generations-long family feud encompassing multiple victims. There is also the rape and murder of a young unmarried girl that greets Judge Dee upon his arrival in Poo-yang; a murder seemingly solved to the satisfaction of all but the Judge, who must delay until he can find a perpetrator more to his liking. And there is an interesting local Buddhist Temple that is guaranteeing the birth of a child to any wife who spends the night on their grounds... which seems suspicious, to say the least. I could figure out the temple story, but the judge's solutions to these challenges were ingenious. Most enjoyable.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Franz

    The best of the three Judge Dee books read so far. Maybe my comments about the language (of the first book read earlier in the month) had to do with the fact that it has been a while that I read in German, as I had less of a problem with the flow of words here ... on the other hand, the language of "Mord im Labyrinth" did feel unpolished and abrupt to a point of being at times irritating ... but not enough to make me stop reading ... I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and I did like that The best of the three Judge Dee books read so far. Maybe my comments about the language (of the first book read earlier in the month) had to do with the fact that it has been a while that I read in German, as I had less of a problem with the flow of words here ... on the other hand, the language of "Mord im Labyrinth" did feel unpolished and abrupt to a point of being at times irritating ... but not enough to make me stop reading ... I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and I did like that the author granted a glimpse into Judge Dee's personal life which made him much more "human". The last crime solved was particularly interesting as I did not really anticipate the relationship between two of the characters involved. Again, my copy is from the mid-80s. I do like the cover art of my edition much better - the black and yellow artwork by the author himself is striking. Of course, the mid-80s edition contains numerous illustrations by the author which add greatly to the books. Re-reading the books after maybe 30 years is fun ... as much fun if not more as I remember it to have been then ... I wonder if the new edition is a reprint only adorned with cover art that is more current state, or if the books have been re-translated from the originals ...

  21. 5 out of 5

    GrabAsia

    Another nice book in this series. By now the trend is familiar. Judge Dee arrives in his latest post and is confronted with an immediate case where the culprit seems clear, but the Judge disagrees. Along with this arrive 2 other cases. Often the cases are interlinked. They often involve a threat to the Empire. His able lieutenants, instructed by the Judge, do a lot of digging and unearth evidence. Judge Dee sees what other don't and is able to solve all 3 cases quickly. I don't know much about a Another nice book in this series. By now the trend is familiar. Judge Dee arrives in his latest post and is confronted with an immediate case where the culprit seems clear, but the Judge disagrees. Along with this arrive 2 other cases. Often the cases are interlinked. They often involve a threat to the Empire. His able lieutenants, instructed by the Judge, do a lot of digging and unearth evidence. Judge Dee sees what other don't and is able to solve all 3 cases quickly. I don't know much about ancient China, but the authors account is very interesting. I have 10 more wonderful titles to read!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Fran

    I enjoyed reading this and will probably look for more Judge Dee books. There are three mysteries that Judge Dee has to solve in each book, an interesting twist. Judge Dee is a Magistrate in ancient China, back when torturing people to confess, then executing them for the crimes they confessed to, was standard practice. Apparently Judge Dee was a real person during the Tang Dynasty, then hundreds of years later someone wrote a book about him (I think that book was fictional), then Robert van Gul I enjoyed reading this and will probably look for more Judge Dee books. There are three mysteries that Judge Dee has to solve in each book, an interesting twist. Judge Dee is a Magistrate in ancient China, back when torturing people to confess, then executing them for the crimes they confessed to, was standard practice. Apparently Judge Dee was a real person during the Tang Dynasty, then hundreds of years later someone wrote a book about him (I think that book was fictional), then Robert van Gulik came across that book and decided to write a series using the character. Kinda complicated. Van Gulik died in the 1960's so I won't have to wait in line for the books to become available.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jim Layman

    This volume is my first exposure to the Judge Dee saga. Van Gulik's interpretation is a fast paced, slightly sordid mystery. Indeed, women seem to fare poorly in the world of Judge Dee, primarily portrayed for their sexuality. Criminals are mercilessly tortured and executed. However, the interplay between the Judge and his assistants, alongside the cultural richness of the ancient Chinese tribunal are interesting.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    While not one of Dee's better stories in terms of complexity (the three crimes less interconnected compared to other adventures) this is still a highly enjoyable read. Judge Dee in particular demonstrates his diplomatic and tactical skills in this story, and the telling is very well done - I laughed aloud at several points. The only reason this isn't five stars is because there are better Judge Dee stories - but this is still highly recommended!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Filip

    Judge Dee, as usual, doesn't disappoint. This one was a bit different than the rest, with the cases being solved one after another rather that all at once at the end, but it had all the typical features of these kind of stories - masterfully described setting and great mysteries. I've enjoyed it very much and only regret that there are so few of these novels left for me to read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    I want this to be a movie. Maybe not live action. An animated movie would work fine. I want more! This is a genre of book I had not heard of Chinese Detective Story But not as in a Charlie Chan way but in actual ancient China.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Alison Peters

    A Judge Dee mystery - good one with 3 different problems that he solves. Enjoy his 4 assistants and their antics. Looking forward to reading them all (again).

  28. 5 out of 5

    Leda

    3.5 STARS OUT OF FIVE

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sasurappu

    Dee and his assistants get into yet another tricky batch of cases. I like how Dee get smarter over the course of the series.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Maarten

    Another fine example of the ingenuity of Judge Dee and his extraordinary ability of analysis and deduction. And an unexpected insight in the end...

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.