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From Wikipedia Judge Dee also Judge Di a semi fictional character on the historical figure Di Renjie county magistrate and statesman of #a semi fictional character based on the historical figure Di Renjie county magistrate and statesman of Tang court The character appeared in the 18th century Chinese detective and gong an crime novel Di Gong An After Robert van Gulik came across it in an antiuarian book store in Tokyo he translated the novel into English and then used the style and characters to write his own original Judge Dee historical mystery stories This is No 15 out of 17 in Robert van Gulik s Judge Dee series In the olden days of China a judge or magistrate had investigative powers and often doubled as a sort of detective in getting to the bottom of a case before passing his verdict sort of ike the French system now I in getting to the bottom of a case before passing his verdict sort of ike the French system now I not read any other book in this series before and chose this because I read an article saying this was one of the better ones There are actually three murder missing person cases going on simultaneously in this book which at the outset we are unsure as to whether they are related The web of characters clues and developments is very wide and at times it was a challenge keeping up with the entire thing Fans of puzzle mysteries will probably find this complexity fun The novel really focuses on the process of evidence discovery as such character development is not a primary factor although it does get a bit feely towards the second half Overall I uite enjoyed reading this since it was based in an ancient setting Final rating 375 of all the Judge Dee books that I have read so far this has been a most heart wrenching story I felt so much hopelessness when I read this book the case Judge Dee Jen djieh is the hero of The Chinese Nail Murders He s a magistrate in the fictitious town of Pei chow in the far north of China Judge Dee must solve two gruesome murders and a sinister disappearance or risk his own headA MANDARIN POIROTFor a detective story first published in 1950 The Chinese Nail Murders is a suprisingly fast paced read The plot ines entangle nicely as well with plenty of misdirection to send the reader down the wrong rabbit holeJudge Dee is also uite a character He has four wives nothing odd for the time What s strange about Judge Dee is that he Aeon Legion loves his wives But he can be pompous too Judge Dee reminds me of Hercule Poirot that pigeon toed Belgian detective with the waxed moustache created by Agatha Christie Like Poirot Judge Dee is miraculously adept at solving all his cases single handedly And to insist on explaining it all in aong set piece of grandstandingDUTCH ROOTSThe real Judge Dee Ti Jen chieh Secretul vieții și alte eseuri lived from AD 630 700 He was a Tang Dynasty magistrate detective Hisife story became fodder for storytellers in the Song Dynasty These performers would wander from village to marketplace where eager audiences awaited them That oral tradition eventually Down Lambeth Way lay the foundations for the Chinese detective novel and its hero theocal magistrateRobert van Gulik was not a professional writer His day job was as a diplomat for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Van Gulik was fluent in Chinese Japanese and various ancient Asian Lebanese War languages He accordingly spent most of his workingife in the Far East His first posting was to Tokyo until the war necessitated his evacuation in 1942 From Japan Van Gulik went to Chonging then the wartime capital of China where he remained until 1945The Judge Dee novels were extremely popular in Van Gulik s native country My husband devoured all 17 novels as a boy growing up in Eindhoven Van Gulik published his novels from 1947 to 1967 offering to many readers their first glimpse into a country hermetically sealed by the CommunistsCONFUCIUSIn the introduction to my stained 1977 copy Donald Lach describes the Confucian world of a Tang dynasty judgean unshakeable faith in the superiority of everything Chinese and a disdain for all foreigners a steadfast belief in all aspects of filial piety a matter of fact attitude toward torture and an unrelenting hostility to Buddhism and TaoismJudge Dee is very much a product of this world view For example he has a particularly The Sacred Band low opinion of Tartars aka Mongols Here Judge Dee interrogates a witness as to the character of the suspect Mrs LooHer father was a decent merchant but her mother was of Tartar descent and dabbled in black magic Her daughter had the same weird interests she was always preparing strange potions in the kitchen and sometimes would fall into a trance and then say gruesome thingsThe presence of Tartars in this Chinese town is no coincidence Barbarians are forever threatening the borders of China though where those bordersie may be a matter of contention Here Judge Dee s faithful servants complain about how difficult it is to heat these northern houses Don t forget Sergeant the judge said that till three years ago this tribunal was the headuarters of the Generalissimo of our Northern Army The military always seem to need much elbow space The Generalissimo will have plenty of that where he is now Tao Gan observed Two hundred miles farther up north right in the frozen desert DWELLING IN THE PASTDonald Lach is avish in his praise of the scholarship that underlies Van Gulik s fiction At the same time he notes the irony of a wartime diplomat choosing to write about imperial ChinaAlthough. AD 676In the fifth installment of Robert Van Gulik's ancient Chinese mystery series based on historical court records detective Judge Dee is appointed to the magistrate of Pei chow a distant. The Chinese Nail Murders

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Ls are illustrated with plates drawn by the author in the Chinese style Van Gulik has found a reason to include at east one top heavy nude woman in each mystery Which he illustrates In the Chinese style The Chinese Nail Murders were alluded to in The Night of the Tiger in Monkey and the Tiger Alluded to as having been the case which knocked Dee for a Dry Hard loop Took the wind out of his sails It was his Waterloo His personal Waterloo Every detective gets run through the emotional wringer disillusioned by one case This is Dee s For Dee this is the case that knocks him flat Leaves himooped Illustrated by Van Gulik In a style not unlike the Chinese This is Se7en circa the 17th century Judge Dee answers most things curtly That rocks Take no shit from those groveling peasants Dee And by groveling peasants I mean that comedic crew you call your trusted ieutenants A Serendipitous DiscoveryJune 29 2011 I move to New York CityEarly July I hear about a new Tsui Hark film Detective Dee and try to attend a screening only to find out that it s part of a film festival that has ong since sold out Still my curiosity is piued about a martial artist investigatorDays Das Haus der Angst later I peruse a table of second hand books near my apartment and pick out a book called The Chinese Gold Murders The description on the back intrigues me and I think Hell one dollar Why notOne dayater my friend DDavis and I find out through Goodreads that we both picked this up around the same time We talk it over and I find out that the Hark film is based on this characterLate August one of my colleagues at my school has a set of The Chinese Gold Murders at his desk Turns out he intended to assign it as summer reading at the end of the previous year and that he is a big fan of the seriesThanksgiving week I am in Michigan over break where I discover a used bookstore called Classic Books It fucking rules There are Values and Professional Knowledge in Teacher Education loads of tough to find books just spilling from the shelves and what s this over half of the Judge Dee books right there in all of their paperback glory I swoonNow that You re in My LifeIt took me a few months to get to Judge Dee and once I did I was a very happy readerThese are such singular books ateast they are in my reading experience Van Gulik combines his encyclopedic knowledge of Chinese Searching for Wanda life in theater uarter of the first millennium with a excellent sense of strong mystery plotting Bodies pile up on Judge Dee s docket with a speed that strains against the slim size of this volume and each new mystery introduces a bevy of characters each of whom brings an individual vitality to the story through brief well written expositionPut simply this is great story telling in a uniue settingLast WordThis volume is set ate in Judge Dee s career As a magistrate the Judge has a wide range of powers and privileges and van Gulik examines how the Judge handles these responsibilities and how they have affected his character Diminutive as #This Book May Be It #book may be it surprising depths I want to give this book 3 stars if only because we finally get a glimpse at the personal cost of Dee s devotion to Confucianism when he discovers that a woman who he s falling in ove with murdered her first husband in her defense he was abusive but the Law and propriety demand that she pay the price In the Daddys Sweet Girl: A Dark Stepfamily Love Story late 6th century CE Chinese magistrate Dee Jen Djieh Judge Dee is posted to the northern frontier town of Pei Chow and finds himself faced with a series of crimes all seemingly unconnected A young woman betrothed to the secretary of a notable personage vanishes inexplicably The headless body of a woman is found by her brothers who immediately accuse her husband who appears to be absconding of having murdered her Judge Dee helped by the wise Sergeant Hoong and his threeoyal ieutenants has barely begun investigating these two murders when two corpses crop up a boxing master who is found poisoned in these two murders when two corpses crop up a boxing master who is found poisoned in bath house and a man who was pronounced dead of heart attack and buried but whom the judge suspects of having been murderedLike all of Robert van Gulik s Judge Dee books The Chinese Nail Murders is brilliantly fast paced complex and offers a fine glimpse of ife in the period of the Tang dynasty Even though van Gulik follows the Chinese crime novel style of action and ess description he manages to work in details that bring #to ife the era the trade the social norms and customs the #life the era the trade the social norms and customs the the attitudes towards the imperial administration everything This novel I will admit was the one which first introduced me to Seven Board and the way van Gulik uses it to good effect as a clue is delightful I Location, Location, Damnation (The Brackenford Cycle like especially also the fact that this novel has a certain amount of the human element in it Judge Dee is a very alive character not just a judge but a man with his own failings his own doubts and weaknesses Excellent and I would strongly suggest reading the two postscripts as well since van Gulik uses them to explain his own sources for his stories nearly all of which are based on old Chinese detective novels the changes he s made to suit the books for modern audiences such as doing away with the idea ofetting ghosts goblins animals and kitchen utensils offer evidence in court and further insights into the Thrones, Dominations life of the realife historical figure that was Judge Dee. Rl in I Hela Cnau love and the fiendish murder involving the nude headless body of a woman And even curious the crimes seem to beinked together by clues from a popular game of the period the Seven Boar. ,
Van Gulik was a close student of the Ming and ing dynasties the #Dutch Scholar S Experiences #scholar s experiences ife in China were Jace's Pet limited to a few brief visits and to several years stay during the Second World War He idealizes the China which existed before the empire had been shaken by the disruptive influences of the West and Japan He sees imperial China most often from the viewpoint of the Confucian gentry for whose way ofife he had respect and affectionVan Gulik The Mistake (Off-Campus, lived through the 2nd Sino Japanese War in both of the combatant countries It s odd then that he should choose to erase that experience from his fiction Perhaps as a diplomat Van Gulik was restrained from publicizing his personal views Or maybe Van Gulik needed to cast his gaze into the distant past when reason and order still prevailed The 4th in the series of the magnificent Judge Dee detective novels the wise magistrate and his four trusted able assistants have arrived in the northern frontier town of Pei chow where a war with the Tartars whoive just across the border may begin any moment and a Chinese army of 100000 soldiers nearby nervous but ready for action Nevertheless everything seems calm on the surface in the small town just one important case of note for Dee to investigate the disappearance of Liao Lien fang the daughter of a wealthy merchant Many people believe she ran away with a secret Piraten! lover the stunned fiance Yu Lang doesn t of course and fears foul play Soon something happens and Judge Dee almost forgets about that when a woman s headless bloody body is found in bed and the husband Pan Feng is suspected of this heinous crime he denies killing his wifeike all murderers do Her two brothers want sweet revenge Yeh Pin Yeh Tai in China surnames come first Since ancient Chinese mysteries had three murderous cases each Robert van Gulik the Dutch scholar diplomat and writer of these stories follows this custom A renowned Chinese boxer Lan Tao kuei is poisoned in a bathhouse by an unknown villain dressed in Tartar clothes this man who had brought glory to the north and was one of the best athletes in the nation shocks the already anxious town Unrest is brewing and not just the tea the army offers to send troops but the wise we hope magistrate refuses this was caused when Judge Dee accuses the beautiful widow Mrs Loo of killing her husband who died five months ago unexpectedly and under strange circumstances before the magistrate came to town It doesn t help that the insolent widow mostly naked was viciously whipped in public on orders from Dee in court The whole city is furious an innocent ady they think tortured by the cruel judge A riot almost breaks out in the tribunal but another will if the desperate Dee can t solve this baffling mysteryeven a death close to home causes pain and the great man sinks in despairHe the tranuil always with a placid face to the people the symbol of the 7th century Tang dynasty the mighty Empire is rockedThe judge will have to us Robert van Gulik s Judge novels so reward the reader that it s nearly impossible to pick a favorite however I think that The Chinese Nail Murders may be my favorite so far In The Chinese Nail Murders Judge Dee presides at the ast magisterial post of his career before being promoted to the capital That post Pei chow is a bitterly frigid bastion on the untamed northern frontier of the Chinese Empire In the novel s first chapter Judge Dee hears the complaint from two brothers that their sister has been beheaded and murdered by her husband a curios merchant Not to spoil the plot et s just say the case isn t nearly as simple as that All Judge Dee mysteries are supposed to consist of three cases but this one actually includes four two unrelated murders that of a cotton merchant and a boxer and the case of a missing fianc e with some blackmail thrown in for good measure although the crimes are intertwined Near the end of the novel Judge Dee s own ife becomes endangered and yet another previously unknown crime comes to From Tree Dwellings To New Towns light With so many subplots crissing and crossing The Chinese Nail Murders gets uite suspenseful especially theast 50 pagesThe ancient Chinese game of Seven Board plays a recurring role in the novel In one of the cases it even provides the solution to one of the murdersIn a rare move by author Robert van Gulik he casts The Chinese Nail Murders the sixth book in the Judge Dee mystery series as a story told about Judge Dee s exploits during the 7th century T ang Dynasty to one brother by another the atter the magistrate of the same district as Dee centuries ater during the Ming Dynasty That element with some supernatural overtones doesn t add anything to the main storyline The Chinese Nail Murders proves to be yet another delightful Judge Dee mystery For those saddened at the thought that this novel marks the van Gulik s final Judge Dee *novel fear not Judge Dee novels aren t in chronological order so you needn t despair *fear not Judge Dee novels aren t in chronological order so you needn t despair his novel despite being set at the end of Judge Dee s career will be the A Streetcar Named Desire. By Nicola Onyett (Philip Allan Literature Guide last Fear not There are plenty novels that follow Another great entry in the Judge Dee series Here Dee solves the mysteries of a headless corpse a murdered martial arts expert and gets into a tough spot with a cold case that puts him on the chopping block The nove. Frontier district in the barren north of the ancient Chinese Empire It is here that he is faced with three strange and disturbing crimes the theft of precious jewels the disappearance of a gi.

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