Read The Chinese Gold Murders by Robert van Gulik Online


A.D. 663In 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 triA.D. 663In 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....

Title : The Chinese Gold Murders
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060728670
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Chinese Gold Murders Reviews

  • Henry Avila
    2019-02-03 06:32

    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 he...Traveling 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 eyes...As 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...

  • Carol.
    2019-01-24 09:41

    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 more. 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 more 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 more 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 more from the traditional Chinese Judge Dee tales.

  • Nikoleta
    2019-01-25 11:24

    Για ακόμη μια φορά ο van Gulik, δημιούργησε μια απολαυστικότατη ιστορία με τα όλα της. Δράση, αγωνία, μεταφυσικο στοιχέιο και πολύ μυστήριο. Βέβαια είχε κ τις ανακρίβειες του και τα... "κουλά" του. Π.χ. ο δικαστής Τι γίνεται παρολίγον θύμα μιας ληστείας και αποφασίζει να βάλει τους ληστές σε υψηλά πόστα σε επαγγέλματα του νόμου. Έτσι, χωρίς πολλά πολλά και ενω τους ήξερε μία ημέρα (κ με ποιον τρόπο τους έμαθε μάλιστα...) Σίγουρα αν δεν είχε κάτι τέτοια το βιβλίο θα έπαιρνε πενταράκι!

  • Terry
    2019-01-23 12:31

    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 more 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 more 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 more ‘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.

  • Ivonne Rovira
    2019-02-06 10:31

    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 more 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.

  • Daniel
    2019-01-16 14:31

    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 more 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, more 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.

  • Ty-Orion
    2019-02-14 14:21

    Много приятна криминална поредица за приключенията на съдията Ди през 7 век в Китай. Леко четиво е, но с прекрасна атмосфера - пренасяш се в тесните китайски улички, погълнати от мъгла, посещаваш плаващите публични домове или будистките храмове, научаваш доста за живота на хората от най-различни касти и професии. Авторът е ориенталист и ерудит и е работил дълги години като дипломат в Китай и Япония, тъй че добре си познава материала. Самият съдия Ди е реално съществуваща личност и някои от книгите на Ван Хюлик са вдъхновени от истинските случаи, разиграващи се преди над 1300 години. "Златното божество" е хронологически първата книга от поредицата и в нея съдията Ди е изпратен на първото си назначение, където веднага е въвлечен в мистериозни събития и в разследването на първите си убийства. За мен голям плюс е, че различните сюжетни линии са добре преплетени и до края не можах да прозра машинациите на героите.

  • Dora
    2019-02-10 12:13

    Έτσι ξεκίνησε τη σταδιοδρομία του ο Τι. Επίτροπος σε παραθαλάσσια περιοχή της Κίνας πολύ μακρυά από την πρωτεύουσα 😘😚

  • Gouty
    2019-02-01 14:18

    The books by R.H. Van Gulik probably did more 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!!

  • Soňa
    2019-02-04 08:39

    Hmm, čo ja viem? Akože rýchlo prečítané, dej nedrhne, občas divné zvraty - hlavne tie slovné, ale beriem,že sa inak oslovovali a zopár mŕtvol. Hlavný hrdina hneď dostane pomocníkov a nejak to doplácajú do konca. Veľký dojem to nezanechalo.

  • Victoria Mixon
    2019-01-30 09:18

    Oh, my god. I love Robert Hans van Gulik!I picked this up in a secondhand bookstore along with a pile of authentic vintage mysteries only because it had a rather endearingly self-designed-looking cover. Published by the University of Chicago Press in this particular edition in 1979, it hardly fits my definition of vintage. But it was all blue.Van Gulik, I learned in the introduction, was born in of Dutch parents in Indonesia in 1910, where he lived his entire childhood, before being transported to Holland to be educated in his teens. He became an expert on languages, including Sanskrit, North American Blackfoot, and Chinese. As an adult, he joined the foreign legion and settled his attentions on Chinese culture, which he studied and adopted for the rest of his life.Van Gulik discovered---much, I imagine, to the shock and chagrin of European keepers of the literary mystery canon---that although Western thought holds Edgar Allan Poe single-handedly responsible for inventing the murder mystery in the mid 1800s, the Chinese have been telling detective stories since 200 BC. That's right, folks. Twenty-two hundred years.Most significantly, many of those mysteries came down to the modern era in the form of stories about a particular man, Ti Jen-chieh, a magistrate of the T'ang court in the seventh century. Van Gulik gave him the name Judge Dee and began publishing his stories for a Western audience.In a time when the new communist Chinese government was desperate to eliminate all taint of their imperial past, van Gulik was preserving the habits, norms, and details of ancient Chinese daily life for posterity. Judge Dee is that quintessential detective: a hard-working, unemotional, highly-ethical icon whose daily life consists of meticulous cutting-through of the morass of confusion thrown up by a murderer to the truth lying eternally below. Plus there's a ghost.Now I'm knocking people down in my dash to get my hands on all of van Gulik's Judge Dee novels.

  • Mel
    2019-01-18 12:40

    This book is the earliest of the Judge Dee novels that I've read. It was only the second one written and takes place just after Dee passes his examinations and is first appointed to the provinces. I have to say I preferred the earlier naïve and more engaging Dee to the later older version. The murders involved poisoned tea, corrupt monks, and of course prostitutes. One thing that was interesting about this book was the strong Korean presence in the city. Van Gulik said that he got the idea for this from reading Ennin's Diary, the travelogue of a Japanese Buddhist Monk who visited China during the Tang dynasty, who wrote about the strong Korean influence there. It was nice to see the cosmopolitan aspect of Tang life explored. This story introduced his two ex-highwayman assistants, who attempted to rob him on the road before coming to work for him. There was a great scene where they were fighting that seemed straight out of a kung fu movie as the soldiers rode up while they were fighting to rescue the Magistrate, and he said how they were just sparing. In the afterward Van Gulik mentions how, as the Chinese mystery writers he was copying did, used the styles and cultures of the Ming dynasty even though they were set in the Tang. This made a lot of the anachronisms he uses make a lot more sense. Though it is nice that he keeps the Tang politics alive, particularly as these novels are set during the reign of Empress Wu. (He mentions that the main murder he borrows from a Chinese story which has Wu Zetian in the title. Which he has also translated, and now I need to find a copy of that as well!) I continue to greatly enjoy the Judge Dee mysteries and will carry on reading them till I have read them all.

  • Maria Altiki
    2019-02-16 11:39

    Απο τις ωραίες ιστορίες του Δικαστή Τι με αρκετό μυστήριο. Με γοητεύει ότι ο Δικαστής Τι είναι πραγματικό πρόσωπο στην αρχαία Κίνα και ας μην είναι όλες οι ιστορίες που αφηγούνται τα βιβλία του Van Gulik πραγματικές. Μου άρεσε η "ξενάγηση" στο PengLai σε βαθμό να θέλω να το επισκεφτώ κάποια στιγμή. Spoiler:Αυτό που με σόκαρε πάντως στο βιβλίο ήταν η θέση της γυναίκας τότε και η αντιμετώπιση που είχε η κυρία Κου απο τον άντρα της και τον πατέρα της μετά τον βιασμό της. Σύμφωνα με τον κώδικα τιμής η γυναίκα στην αρχαία Κίνα έπρεπε εαν πέσει θύμα βιασμού να αυτοκτονήσει για να μην θίγει η οικογένεια της. Επίσης βρήκα λίγο εκτός πραγματικότητας και βολικό το ότι οι υποθέσεις λύθηκαν στο μυαλό του Δικαστής Τι παίρνοντας έμπνευση απο τις θεατρικές παραστάσεις που είχαν ως βάση τις ιστορίες του Δικαστή Γιού.

  • Fenia Vazaka
    2019-01-21 10:14

    Πολύ ευχάριστο και εύπεπτο και αυτό το βιβλίο. Ειδικά αν έχεις συνηθίσει τον τρόπο γραφής του συγγραφέα και κατανοήσει τις διαφορές στην νοοτροπία και στα ήθη και έθιμα που επικρατούσαν εκείνη την εποχή στην Κίνα. Νομίζω ότι θα μου άρεσε να δω τις περιπέτειες του δικαστή Τι και σε μίνι σειρά! Συνεχίζω ολοταχώς με το επόμενο βιβλίο της σειράς!

  • Lynn
    2019-01-19 08:30

    Judge Dee is a Magistrate in 7th century China and these mysteries are based on 18th century Chinese mystery novels adapted by a 20th century Dutch translator/diplomat. Confused? I was too, but I enjoyed the operatic plot elements and characters anyway.

  • Maria Thomarey
    2019-02-12 12:33

    Τίποτα το σπουδαιο

  • Twineaquarius
    2019-01-20 07:17

    Là tác phẩm đầu tiên trong bộ tiểu thuyết về nhân vật Địch Nhân Kiệt, vị thần thám nổi tiếng triều Đường, thời Võ Tắc Thiên trị vì. Theo như lời tác giả, ông giữ nguyên theo phong cách truyện Trung Quốc: mỗi truyện gồm bộ 3 vụ án. Đối với Hoàng Kim Án là:- Cố huyện lệnh bị sát hại- Tân nương mất tích- Gã côn đồ hung bạoTác phẩm bắt đầu từ thời điểm Địch Công nhận chức vụ tri huyện Bồng Lai, đồng thời giải quyết vụ án đầu tiên của ông. Tác phẩm khắc hoạ lên được hình ảnh Địch Công những ngày đầu, với lý tưởng của bản thân, sự nhiệt tình cống hiến hay việc muốn chứng tỏ bản thân. Đồng thời truyện cũng khiến độc giả thấy được sự non nớt, thiếu va chạm thực tế trong những ngày đầu tiếp cận với các vụ án trực tiếp của Địch Công. Việc liên kết 3 vụ án cùng lúc cũng thực tế hơn so với các tác phẩm phương Tây. Các vụ án không quá cầu kỳ, nhưng ko phải dễ giải quyết. Việc suy luận ra cần thời gian và rất nhiều dấu hiệu đưa ra, nhân vật phải sàng lọc các dấu hiệu để biết cái nào liên quan đến vụ án, cái nào không. Điều này làm nên sự gần gũi cho người đọc. Với 3 vụ án trong Hoàng Kim Án, từ việc cố huyện lệnh bị sát hại, Địch Công ban đầu không thể giải quyết được, các manh mối đưa ra rời rạc, thông tin được cung cấp không chính xác. Trong lúc đó, Địch Công lại phải đương đầu với vụ Tân nương mất tích. Tuy nhiên, trong cái tình cờ ông lại liên kết được 2 vụ án với nhau. Sự vụ Tân nương mất tích đưa cho Địch Công những dấu hiệu về các mối quan hệ giữa một số người trong huyện Bồng Lai. Vụ Gã côn đồ hung bạo lại khiến Địch Công nhận ra thủ phạm nghi ngờ bản thân ông đang đi đúng hướng. Từ đó ông lần ngược lại câu chuyện giữa ông và các nhân vật lớn của huyện Bồng Lai. Trong một dịp tình cờ xem kịch, ông đã thấu đáo được và giải quyết được vụ án chính của truyện. Điểm hay nhất mình thấy ở Hoàng Kim Án là mối liên hệ giữa các nhân vật, giữa thủ phạm lớn với Địch Công, và một chút duy tâm về hồn ma của vị cố huyện lệnh.

  • Pavlovsky
    2019-02-02 06:12

    Po devíti set stránkové knize jsem sáhl po něčem podstatně kratším. Po létech jsem znovu otevřel Soudce ti. Staré dobré detektivky, které mají tak 170 stran, během kterých se vyřeší hned tří a více různých zločinů. Číňani se s tím nemažou. Upřímně, jako detektivka to není nic moc (taky byly tyhle věci napsané někdy v padesátých letech minulého století) ale utáhne to tempo (jako tam jsou tři případy, tak se pořád něco děje), atmosféra a doba. Jsou tam záhadné bludiště, mrtvoly bez hlavy, sadistické vdovy... plus i když Gulik styl původních příběhů dost upravil, tak i tak to dýchá náladou staré Číny. Je to knížka, kterou by dneska už asi nikdo nenapsal - snažil by se do příběhu dodat postavu, která má víc současné morální hodnoty. Z knih je cítit určitá nelítostnost - třeba když soudce Ti vysvětluje truchlícími otci, že je to taky jeho chyba, že je jeho dcera mrtvá, že ji měl okamžitě najít manžela a nenechat jí jen tak volnou... to se pak nemůže divit, že ji někdo znásilní a zabije. Plus je tu samozřejmě ustavičné bičování podezřelých a vůbec dobový přístup k právu (na druhou stranu se podezřelí nesměli vůbec vyslýchat v soukromí, pouze před soudem... a mohli se mlátit, ale nesměli umřít, to by pak z toho byl malér) a tragické osudy postav (jak většina případů končí smrtí, obvykle na mučidlech, není o tragédie nouze). Takže jo, je to staré, z pohledu detektivek jednoduché, ale pořád čtivé.

  • Ανδρέας Μιχαηλίδης
    2019-02-07 07:24

    Πάνε κάπου 20 χρόνια από τότε που διάβασα πρώτη φορά τα βιβλία του Δικαστή Τι και θυμάμαι να τα καταβροχθίζω χωρίς ιδιαίτερο προβληματισμό. Ομολογώ ότι ξαναδιαβάζοντας το πρώτο ως ενήλικος "σκόνταψα" αρκετές φορές στα ονόματα, τη διαδοχή των γεγονότων και την επαλήθευση των στοιχείων που οδηγούσαν στη λύση. Όπως γράφει κι ο ίδιος ο van Gulik στο υστερόγραφό του, η λογική στη συγγραφή ήταν να μην υπάρχει ένα μόνο μυστήριο κάθε φορά, αφού ο Δικαστής είχε την εποπεία όλων των τεκταινόμενων στην πόλη του. Ίσως το "λάθος" είναι ότι έχει προσπαθήσει να πλέξει όλες τις υποθέσεις μεταξύ τους, πράγμα που στο διόλου γνώριμο πλαίσιο της αρχαίας Κίνας καθίσταται αρκετά περίπλοκο. Επίσης υπάρχουν εκκρεμότητες που αναλύονται σε μεταγενέστερα βιβλία (και πολύ διαφορετικές περιόδους στην καριέρα του Δικαστή), όπως η αληθινή ταυτότητα του Τσιάο Τάι και η κατάληξη της νεαρής κυρίας Κου, το γένος Τσάο.Δεν είναι φυσικά με κανέναν τρόπο δυσάρεστο βιβλίο, αλλά βρήκα πως απαίτησε αρκετή αφοσίωση εκ μέρους μου.

  • Dang Chi
    2019-02-02 07:35

    I have known Det.Dee fame for a long long time. My childhood was full of tv series adapted from the folk tales about his adventures. This is the 1st time I have read a novel about his cases. Satisfying. Much materials often seen or found in wuxia movies in the 80s and 90s. Really hope the publisher should translate more and more novels written by the author Robert van Gulik about Det. Dee!

  • Alison Peters
    2019-02-14 12:39

    An early Judge Dee - learned how he met Chiao Tai and Ma Joong. Great story as usual.

  • Anders Ivö
    2019-02-07 07:24

    Gillar Robert van Guliks böcker om domare Dee. Man får en inblick i Kinas tidigare historiska miljö och samhälle. Tycker att han lyckas bra med att återge detta samhälle. Finner hans böcker mycket underhållande.

  • Joshua
    2019-01-19 07:27

    Every so often, one simply just craves a good mystery. An unconventional mystery. A mystery that’s not overshadowed by petty things like romance. Murder! Mayhem! Treachery! Deception! Well, the Chinese Gold Murders is an excellent solution to this craving. One of a series of novels about a magistrate in Imperial China named Judge Dee, this book was written by a Dutch diplomat in the style of Ming dynasty detective novels. A combination policeman, judge, and ruler, Dee serves as judge, jury, and executioner, allotting justice with precision but compassion. The Chinese Gold Murders is the first, chronologically, in the series. As Judge Dee begins his journey, he’s soon accosted by highwaymen, tasked to solve the murder of his predecessor, and plunged into a conspiracy involving arms smuggling, stolen gold, Buddhist monks and, of course, murder. And as if that was not enough, he also has to deal with two disappearances, another murder, a secret message, and a pesky were-tiger. Can these disparate cases be related? And, if so, how?Now, it does have to be said that given the nature of the setting, there will be some problems with this series. First and foremost among them is the torture that Dee is authorized to use, and indeed obligated to use, because a conviction could be secured without a confession back then. It should be noted that there is no torture in this volume, but there is in others. And, of course, there are differences in morality that will be jarring. In particular, it’s fairly alarming to see a young woman be disowned for not committing suicide after being raped, but this was par the course back then. Despite these flaws – which I firmly believe are necessary for historical accuracy – this is an extremely good book. It’s just plain fun. The mystery unveils itself slowly over the course of the novel, twisting and turning until it’s barely decipherable. And then it gets deciphered! That was very impressive. I also enjoyed some of the characters, especially Dee’s sidekicks, the aforementioned highwaymen. They have a sense of honor and decency, yet a rather insouciant, relaxed attitude to investigation that frequently gets results. I’ve always thought it’s important to broaden one’s reading horizons, and, frankly, one can’t get too much more broadened than this series. The series of Judge Dee is fascinating, and enjoyable, with twists and turns befitting the best mystery novel. And, truly, Van Gulick deserves great praise for his accomplishment. He is almost as good at mystery novels as Agatha Christie. Maybe better.

  • Raja99
    2019-01-27 06:41

    This is the second time I've read this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though there are some nitpicks. For one, there are a few strange turns of phrase that might betray the fact that English isn't the author's first language. (But they aren't too common, and they might be a matter of dialect.) Also, the map of Peng-Lai at the beginning didn't quite seem to correspond to the sectional map on page 95 (the small map shows an arrow pointing east to the city, while the big map suggests it should be west). Finally, Van Gulik likes to interlace three unrelated mysteries, with three sets of characters; it's fun to see them all resolved, but it can be a little tough to keep track.One other nitpick or concern: Most (all?) of the other Van Gulik books have nice drawings "by the author in Chinese style". This book has only the schematic map of Peng-Lai and the map of a small section. I'm wondering whether the author did illustrate this book, but the illustrations weren't included somehow? (Ok, neither of the editions I've seen include illustrations, but they seem to be taken from the same set of plates.)I thoroughly enjoyed Van Gulik's portrayal of the (main) characters and the setting--China in 663 is at least as interesting, and alien, a culture as most SF authors can portray.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-01-16 11:29

    Judge DEE is fashioned after the historical figure of a real Judge Dee, famous in ancient Chinese panels as a scholar and magistrate. Robert van Gulik who was born in the Netherlands and served in the diplomat Service in China and Japan for many years. His interest in Asian languages led him to the discovery of Chinese detective novels and to this historical character. This book details how Judge Dee began his career and how he met up with his constant companions who appear in all the subsequent books.At the beginning of Judge Dee's career when he was 33 years old he obtained his first appointment to a post in the provinces. Dee went to a port city on the north east coast. He was sent to replace a magistrate who had been murdered. The previous investigation of this murder had been cut short for reasons unknown to the Judge. When Judge Dee finally got settled in his new lodgings several cases came to hand. The first was the case of a wife, the second was the case of a missing member of the magistrates court and finally it was the case of the murdered magistrate.The judge uses his powers of deduction and insight to solve all these puzzles in a very interesting and informative way. I really enjoy the Judge Dee books.

  • Stephen
    2019-01-29 07:39

    I've read several of the Judge Dee books, each at least twice over many years. They stand up well, for all they are so far away in time, place and culture. There are many detective novels set long ago and far away but these books have special humor and wit. Judge Dee was supposedly a real person who inspired an oral tradition of detective yarns that Dutchman Robert Van Gulik translated and worked up. Book jackets claim that he is the first detective fiction to use investigation, ratiocination and personal risk to solve his cases. I chose this one to review, but there are others just as good if you get caught up in the T'ang Dynasty and Van Gulik's delightful language. People who like Sayers, Innes and HRF Keating (especially) will probably cotton to the Judge Dee books. August Heaven!

  • cindy
    2019-02-15 13:25

    Dapat buku ini di tumpukan2 yusuf agency di pameran buku bbrp bulan lalu. minggu lalu nonton film-nya Andy Lau Detective Dee and the Phantom Flame dan teringat pada buku ini. Lumayan menarik, seperti Judge Bao, tapi lebih memakai logika dan ilmu pengetahuan.Yang lebih menarik lagi, ternyata pengarangnya, Robert van Gulik, itu orang Belanda yang dibesarkan di Batavia. Fasih berbahasa Jawa, Melayu dan berbagai dialek Cina, selain juga mampu berkomunikasi dengan bahasa Rusia, Perancis, Inggris dan Sansekerta. Belajar bahasa Cina pertama kali dari para pedagang di pasar Batavia.Diterjemahkan oleh Toenggoel Siagian, yang menyertakan beberapa lembar prakata penerjemah berisi sekilas latar belakang Hakim Dee dan sistem pemerintahan Cina saat Dinasti Tang dan seperti yang saya tulis diatas, potongan biografi van Gulik.

  • Jim
    2019-01-22 07:20

    This is one of van Gulik's first novels involving the Chinese magistrate, Judge Dee. As is usually the case with the Judge Dee novels, this one has a number of themes that complement the main plot of the novel, which is the murder of Judge Dee's predecessor in the city of Peng Lai. This is Judge Dee's first assignment as a magistrate and he is new to Peng Lai, the murder of his predecessor having just occurred shortly before Dee's arrival.The author's plots are circuitous and the use of Chinese names sometimes makes it difficult to follow who is who. But the plots are good and, in this case, the final strands of the plot do not come together until the very last pages.

  • Writerlibrarian
    2019-02-14 13:27

    A reread. Classic Chinese detective tale, almost verbatim from archival accounts. van Gulik was a world renowned sinologist and he had a passion for Chinese criminal justice. His hero Judge Dee is based on an historical judge and his adventures around the Empire starting around 663 AD. It's well done, the reader is put right inside the story and you get to learn a few interesting things about the Empire frontier life on the Korean borders. I love his original mysteries. The new adventures of Judge Dee are not to be even approached. It's like getting a slice of processed cheese when you had the real thing.

  • Nancy Oakes
    2019-02-10 12:38

    #3 in the series; not as well developed in character as the later ones, but still quite good. Magistrate Judge Dee, in Tang-Dynasty China, is tasked with trying to find out who killed his predecessor. But also, all in a day's work, there's a tiger on the loose, a monk is buried in the wrong grave, and there's a ghost floating around. There is never a dull moment; I enjoy watching the unraveling of each of the subplots in these novels. recommended for those who enjoy historical mysteries, or books set in China; also, for those who may be wondering whether or not to go on in the series. But be sure to start with #1.