|Title:||Poets and Murder (Judge Dee #18)|
|Publisher:||Charles Scribner's Sons|
|Tags:||detective, fiction, mystery, China, Judge Dee (Fictional character)|
In Judge Dee’s day, the literary world of Ancient China was one where intense study and almost ritualized scholarship were the rule, with academics and students alike dedicated to the highest concepts of beauty and art. But inwardly less exalted passions could erupt—to the point of murder.
During a Mid-autumn Festival in Chin-hwa Judge Dee is the fellow-guest of a small group of distinguished literati. Alas, he has little time for the criticism of couplets or calligraphy. A student has been murdered; a beautiful poetess is accused of whipping her maidservant to death; and further mysteries seem to lie in the eerie shadows of the Shrine of the Black Fox. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for van Gulik, Robert Hans
Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967) was a Dutch writer, linguist, diplomat, calligrapher, and gujin player. His father was a medical officer and travelled in the Dutch colonies which allowed him to Chinese and other languages. He received his PhD in Chinese studies from Utrecht university and joined the Dutch foreign service, serving principally in Japan and China. While in Tokyo in a secondhand bookstore, van Gulik came across a copy of the Dee Goong An (English title: Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee) by an anonymous 18th century Chinese author. “Goong an” or “gong an” refers to “magistrate cases,” that is crime fiction where the detective is a magistrate/judge. And the Judge Dee in question is Di Renjie (630-700 AD), a celebrated official of the later Tang era and chancellor to Wu Zetian, a rare female ruler of China. He translated the book into English and published it in 1949. The character, culture, and genre inspired him to continue Judge Dee’s adventures eventually writing nearly 20 books which are featured here on Faded Page.
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