[ Free Reading ] The Chinese Gold MurdersAuthor Robert van Gulik – Autowiringdiagram.co

AD In This, The Second Book In Robert Van Gulik S Classic Mystery Series Of Ancient China, 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 Local 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 To Be 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


10 thoughts on “The Chinese Gold Murders

  1. says:

    During the magnificent reign of Tang Dynasty Emperor, Kao tsung, in China, 649 683 Judge Dee, a historical figure, receives his first important assignment, outside the imperial capital, no not Beijing, this is A.D 663, Chang an, now called Xi an magistrate in the busy Pacific coast port of Peng lai, reached by a river, still his friends warn him, against going, to the provinces nearby Korea, has just been conquered The Chinese Empire expands , again, at thirty three years of age, the young , very bright, ambitious man, wants to impress his sophisticated superiors here, the center of the nation, with its powerful ruling elite, living in the rich, incomparable, glorious city of a million living souls, today eight million inhabitants the biggest on Earth then His late predecessor in the city of Peng lai, was poisoned, an unsolved mystery, the inexperienced Dee, will have to find the culprit, but can heTraveling on horseback, no military escort for protection, his family will join him later, with just the faithful servant, old Hoong Liang, the new judge will sneak into the city, to assess the situation secretly, not a wise decision, a forest by the lonely road, is well known for ambushes by highwaymen Yes, they strike, two huge, capable thieves, still Dee has taken fencing lessons, afterwards the magistrate hires these men as his assistants, Ma Joong and Chiao Tai, who become, loyal, invaluable lieutenants, at catching criminals, their former colleagues, and have seen much fighting Settling in the large, tribunal building, with many sections for private and public functions, in a growing town, full of temples, taverns, restaurants, shops and floating river brothels, on barges, outside the city s gates, farms and villages for miles around, he will rule, too, with the help of constables, guards, scribes, runners, a large staff of forty men, yet the murder of magistrate Wang, puzzles Dee, how a room with only the deceased, inside , who made his own tea himself, was done A newlywed bride Mrs Koo, given by her bibliophile father, to an older gentleman, she does not like, disappears, a third case, Fan Choong , chief clerk at the tribunal, is butchered and his unknown lady friend s body, can t be discovered Sinister, unexplained things, seen by people in a deserted temple, supernatural beings, maybe rumors of smuggling from boats on another stream, but what The mysterious Korean quarter, off limits to the authorities, strange monks, desperate struggles between the law and criminals, a vast, vile conspiracy, and the dead magistrate, encountered by Judge Dee, in a hall, of the Tribunal building, he can t deny the ghost, he saw it with his own eyesAs the series always brings entertaining mysteries, for Dee, and the reader to resolve, this is no exception, a thoroughly captivating novel Oh yes, as the title indicates, gold is somehow the key


  2. says:

    Judge Dee is looking forward to getting out of the Chinese Metropolitan Court of Justice He s tired of only seeing cases on paper, processing routine documents and copies and has requested a recently vacated district judge position It doesn t matter that the Magistrate position will be in the district of Peng lai, on the seacoast far from the capitol It doesn t even matter that the position opened due to the murder of the prior judge, discovered in his library with the doors and windows locked Though his two friends and co workers try to convince him otherwise, he remains excited Now he said eagerly, think of it, a mysterious murder to solve, right after one has arrived at one s post To have an opportunity right away for getting rid of dry as dust theorizing and paper work At last I ll be dealing with men, my friends, real living men Judge Dee is about to get what he asked for and There are honorable highwaymen, prostitutes, Korean nationalists, mysterious monks, supercilious scholars and tormented minor officials Rumors abound with sightings of the supernatural the ghost of the former judge and a man eating were tiger Though certainly these things existed to the Chinese people in 663 A.D., the Judge feels the mundane must be ruled out before the supernatural is blamed.I had only read one other Judge Dee mystery to date, and I found this one even enjoyable than the first Part of it may have been the erudite and comprehensive introduction by Donald F Lach that provided both biography of the author, the historical Judge Dee tales in Chinese literature think something like Paul Bunyan folk tales and van Gulik s approach to his version But I think likely is that it is a genuinely interesting mystery, wrapped in the atmosphere of historical China, much like Agatha Christie s mysteries provide insight into the local English culture of that time As Lach points out, the smallest items ink stones, nails in a Tartar shoe, the gongs of Taoist monks, door knobs are brought into the stories at strategic points to enlighten the Western reader about these strange objects and their function I was afraid these details might intrude, but instead they added depth to the tale Lach s insight also made me glad that Van Gulik chose to tailor his tale slightly to Western sensibilities and not reveal the criminal s identity in the beginning talk about setting the concept of spoilers on its head Overall, a fascinating tale I ll be looking for some of the other stories written by Van Gulik, although I might focus on the ones written after 1958 as they deviate from the traditional Chinese Judge Dee tales.


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  4. says:

    3.5 starsWhen Robert van Gulik found an old copy of some gong an stories Chinese fiction in which a government magistrate solves mysteries in an old shop in Tokyo detailing the adventures on one Judge Dee loosely based on the real personage Di Renjie who was a statesman in the Tang dynasty he decided first to translate them as Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee and then to create his own fictional works based on the character within the genre Thus was born the Judge Dee series of historical mysteries This volume is the first in chronological order and shows us a young ish Judge Dee in his early thirties fresh out of finishing his exams for entrance into the bureaucracy and eager to get to his first posting as a magistrate in the provinces Unlike some of his friends, who prefer the easier and comfortable life allowed by remaining a government secretary in the capital, Dee is a man who hungers for experiences of the real world after a lifetime of study and purely theoretical pursuits He especially wants to dive into the realm of criminal prosecution and get his hands dirty by working on some actual cases Little does Judge Dee know that his wish will all too soon become a stark reality.While travelling on the road to his placement at Peng lai, a small coastal town in the middle of nowhere as his former colleagues were all too eager to point out , Judge Dee already finds himself running into the real world in the form of two highwaymen who accost him, demanding his horses and valuables Dee had made himself a pretty target by eschewing the military escort he was offered and instead choosing to travel only with his old servant Hoong One can t accuse Dee of wishing for things he can t handle however, for he embraces the challenge with gusto, promptly drawing his family sword Rain Dragon and challenging the two surprised criminals to a duel In the end Dee not only proves his mettle, but so impresses the highwaymen with his actions that they eventually offer their services as body guards and assistants It turns out to be a happy circumstance for Dee as he is soon going to need all the help he can get in unravelling the mysteries at his new posting.In short order Dee finds that his new magistracy is in something of an uproar, an eventuality he was not completely unprepared for as he knew that his predecessor had been murdered, but added to this complication are tales of hauntings, the strange disappearances of several local personages, and new murders that give Dee real mysteries to solve than he had perhaps expected Even Dee s enthusiasm will be tested by the tangled webs of misinformation and intrigue that surround him and he will come to rely on Hoong and his two new assistants Chiao Tai and Ma Joong in his efforts to untangle the mysteries I ll let you discover the remaining details for yourself, but suffice it to say this book is a lot of fun and covers everything from sword fights and floating brothels, to hauntings and Buddhist monasteries both active and abandoned Throw in a possible were tiger, some marital complications, and a bad poet who likes to overindulge in alcohol and you have the makings for an entertaining immersion into the world of ancient China as envisaged by van Gulik Though it takes place ostensibly in the Tang dynasty of the 7th century many of the cultural details of the story reflect modern Ming dynasty characteristics, an anachronism apparently common to the gong an genre If you like mysteries and historical fiction I think this book is a good choice I find that I am often not a fan when writers try to combine these two genres as many of the mystery elements seems far too anachronistic for my tastes, but somehow this did not bother me at all as I followed the adventures of Judge Dee Perhaps this was simply because I don t have a plethora of knowledge about either Tang or Ming dynasty China, or perhaps these conventions sit better in these eras than they do in my opinion at least in others Recommended.


  5. says:

    Robert van Gulik s Judge Dee mysteries are always a delight Van Gulik, a Dutch diplomat to China and other Asian nations, a linguist and Asian scholar, translated an 18th century Chinese novels on the exploits of a real life Chinese magistrate during the T ang Dynasty named Ti Jen chieh Simplifying the magistrate s name to Judge Dee Jen djieh, Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, first published in 1949 although not translated into English until 1976 , van Gulik introduced the world to the quick mind and relentless quest for justice of the real life Judge Dee In The Chinese Gold Murders, van Gulik used some of real life cases decided by Judge Dee and others as a stepping off place for some stories of his own imagining Despite that, van Gulik ensures that his own novel observes the tenets of ancient Chinese mysteries recasting the events as if they had occurred in the Ming Dynasty and including wood carving pictures, a Confucianist sensibility, and the occasional ghost or miracle The result is much satisfying and less dated than it sounds Van Gulik weaves together the cases of a missing bride, the disappearance of a tribunal official, and the murder of Judge Dee s own predecessor Even though Judge Dee lived from A.D 630 to 700, the cases seem fresh, and Judge Dee exhibits both generosity of spirit and an unexpectedly nuanced approach to life and the law The three mysteries that Judge Dee investigates end up being intertwined, as often happens in Judge Dee novels And unlike other pulp detective authors of his day, van Gulik isn t afraid to allow Judge Dee to commit a mistake or jump to an incorrect conclusion before finally coming around to the correct one In addition to providing a very satisfying mystery, Van Gulik provides a window into 7th century China, whether the workings of a lower level official of the Imperial court or the lives of middle class merchants, peasants and prostitutes These ancient people really come alive, thanks to van Gulik s skillful writing Van Gulik has also crafted an excellent resolution to the novel one you certainly won t see coming Even so, you never get the feeling that van Gulik is playing unfair with his readers by withholding clues A Judge Dee mystery differs from any other mystery series I ve ever read With the ancient setting, the upright also sometimes fallible magistrate, the historical elements, the occasional humorous episodes involving the conceited Lothario Ma Joong one of Judge Dee s assistants , and the otherwise formal tone, these books are absolutely unique but never stuffy What a testament to van Gulik that he realized that centuries old cases would so resound with modern readers Lastly, The Chinese Gold Murders shows how Judge Dee first met his trusted assistants, Ma Joong and Chiao Tai, while they were still brothers of the green wood, or, as we would call them, highwaymen Their first encounter in the second chapter of the novel gives a glimpse of a rarely seen frolicsome side of Judge Dee you ll thoroughly enjoy it The Judge Dee mysteries, with their setting in Imperial China and their faithful observance of the niceties of ancient Chinese mystery stories While there s nothing wrong with beginning with van Gulik s first book, The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, readers who start with The Chinese Gold Murders won t go wrong, either.


  6. says:

    With this book, I am now a rabid fan of the series Why Because van Gulik wrote historical mysteries that read like a really bad ass Shaw Brothers joint There are duels, brawls, murders, chase scenes, conspiracy, erotic encounters, and courageous protagonists doing what they do best because, gosh darn it, it s the right thing to do.I can t help but gush about this book, even as my description renders it in a juvenile light that does not apply to the proceedings This is excellent fiction that offers thoughtful passages along with excitement and intrigue As is often the case with great mystery fiction, the daily details and rhythms of the cast are far interesting than the crimes themselves, and the small observations that van Gulik inserts into the tale give the characters and setting real weight Honestly, I am floored by his competent craft.I have read two Judge Dee book now, and I think this is a good entry point for newcomers It places the Judge at the beginning of his career, when he s younger, physically involved in his casework, and still a bit green about the ears His discoveries add to his experience in the world of men and women s passions and vices, and the way van Gulik writes it, we get to join in Judge Dee s journey Pick this up, you won t regret it.


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  9. says:

    The books by R.H Van Gulik probably did than any other books to make me what I am and directed my life In elementary school a neighbor gave me one The Chinese Lake Murders , I read that and all of the other Judge Dee mysteries This started my interest in China, and as friends know the rest is history R.H Van Gulik was the Dutch ambassador to China during the 1940 s He was a true scholar about everything from Chinese erotic art, the Chinese lute, to Chinese snuff bottles As a hobby he studied ancient Chinese mystery novels and plays He took these stories and wrote a series of historical mystery novels The main Character Judge Dee was an actual judge A.D 630 700 during the Tang Dynasty He is kind of like China s Sherlock Holmes, except of course Dee was real Following Classical Chinese convention, Dee is helped by a team of assistants who take care of the rough stuff, and other specific types of detection With in each novel there are 3 sometimes interlinked mysteries.While the novels themselves are fiction I have had many professors in college assign some of these novels as extra reading Van Gulik is is so knowledgeable about ancient China that he is able to re create what everyday life in Tang Dynasty China was like, from the lowest beggar to the imperial court PICK THESE UP AND READ THEM


  10. says:

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