|Title:||The Chinese Gold Murders (Judge Dee #5)|
|Tags:||detective, fiction, mystery, China, Judge Dee (Fictional character)|
The Chinese Gold Murders takes us back to the beginning of Judge Dee’s career when, thirty-three years of age, he had been appointed to his first post in the provinces, viz. that of magistrate of Peng-lai, a port city on the northeast coast of Shantung Province.
Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearance of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy shipowner.
Meanwhile, a tiger is terrorizing the district, the ghost of the murdered magistrate stalks the tribunal, a prostitute has a secret message for Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is discovered in the wrong grave. In the end the judge with his deft powers of deduction, uncovers the one cause for all of these seemingly unrelated events. -- back cover. [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 (Indonesia) which allowed his son Robert to study Chinese and other languages. Robert 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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