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The Phantom of the Temple
Robert van Gulik
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The Phantom of the Temple (Judge Dee (Chronological order) #14)

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  478 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
Judge Dee presided over his imperial Chinese court with a unique brand of Confucian justice. A near mythic figure in China, he distinguished himself as a tribunal magistrate, inquisitor, and public avenger. Long after his death, accounts of his exploits were celebrated in Chinese folklore, and later immortalized by Robert van Gulik in his electrifying mysteries.

In The Phan
ebook, 216 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published 1966)
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Henry Avila
May 17, 2014 Henry Avila rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Outside the walls of a small frontier town, Lan-fang, just east of it, in remote western China, a headless body is found . In the Buddhist, "Temple of the Purple Clouds", now deserted. Closed by the authorities, over a decade ago, for shall we say, activities that the great Buddha, would not approve of. The celebrated Judge Dee, investigates, being the new magistrate there, and quickly sees that the nearby head, doesn't match the corpse. The murderers, were trying to hide the identity, of the de ...more
Kathy Chung
Feb 10, 2014 Kathy Chung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find that this story was a bit eerie especially read in the night. gave me goosebums with the appearance of the white lady, Tala's fearsome God and the message from the grave.

all were very interesting read indeed with loads of twist and turn.

only downside that I found was the story was a bit short. could have elaborated more. as it is the explanation was a bit "compacted".

yes this have been an enjoyable reads
Stewart Tame
May 31, 2014 Stewart Tame rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Judge Dee novels are a constant delight. Set in China around 700 A.D. or so, this series practically invented the historical detective genre. The era comes alive through Van Gulik's prose, and the characters become as familiar as old friends. If you're looking for some good light reading, the Judge Dee novels have it all: haunted temples, grisly murders, action, comedy, sex, and of course, justice done in the end. Not all classic mystery series age well, but Judge Dee seems timeless.
Dec 30, 2015 Alfredo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negra
Una aventura más del juez Di. Un caso más en el que el autor deleita a su lector con descripciones pormenorizadas de la vida en la China milenaria, con detalles sobre la forma en la que la gente se movía, sobre cómo veía al mundo y, en este caso, sobre cómo se veía a sí misma en función de sus capacidades sensuales. Además, en esta ocasión el caso se encuentra bien armado. Quizá haya un poco más de azar del que uno podría gustar, quizá también todo termina por resolverse de un modo un tanto ines ...more
I will begin by disclosing that I do not consider myself a mystery fan. Though I have enjoyed Sherlock Holmes and Cadfael (both in book and tv), I am not an avid consumer of mystery fiction. I am, however, a history fan who is particularly fond of chinese history and I could not pass the chance of reading a sinologist's interpretation of Chinese detective/public official fiction.

Van Gulik's version of Di Renjie's adventures is an odd thing. It is firmly (and deliberately) determined to emulate t
Aug 03, 2011 Erik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another solid Judge Dee Mystery. This time, he, Ma Joong, and Sergeant Hoong investigate three cases, with the main setting being a deserted temple. (There are quite a few deserted temples in Van Gulik.)
Jul 04, 2016 Anna rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
In Van Gulik’s translation of the Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee he says “I think that it might be an interesting experiment if one of our modern writers of detective stories would try his hand at composing an ancient Chinese detective story himself.” (231) This is what he has done with his series of Judge Dee mysteries. While I enjoyed the introduction of the magistrate’s family and the Van Gulik’s characterization of Ma Joong, I was extremely uncomfortable with his portrayal of most of the wome ...more
2.5 stars. Normally I love a good Judge Dee story, but I didn't think this was one of the more interesting ones. There were too many shady characters, and it seemed like each of them was somehow tied up with each other. I think this should have worked to make the mysteries in this book more intriguing, but it just made it hard for me to keep track of everyone, which made it hard to form my pet theories, which made it hard to find this story very engaging.

Ma Joong (and Chiao Tai) are my two favor
Nov 29, 2015 Katya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVE van Gulik! He is one of my favorite mystery writers - his historical mysteries are stylistically immaculate and full of interesting details about life during the Tang dynasty. Sometimes it even seems that the author himself was a secret Confucian :) In this novel Judge Dee is investigating the disappearance of imperial gold and several gruesome murders.
Ram Kaushik
Apr 07, 2014 Ram Kaushik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting read. Authentic atmosphere and great plot. Judge Dee is always fun, and this one is no exception!
Tim Robinson
Oct 11, 2013 Tim Robinson rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Missing gold, a ruined temple, a decapitated body, a barbarian sorceress, and a kidnapped woman's desperate call for help.
There is plenty of atmosphere and excitement, but the plot is too complicated to make a good mystery. I enjoy Judge Dee, but this is not one of his best adventures.
Lisa Kucharski
Aug 13, 2011 Lisa Kucharski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an array of wickedness Judge Dee must resolve. First a murder of two men, then a mysteries message from a woman a months ago, a theft of gold that happened a year ago, phantoms, Buddhists, Beggars... everything.

Dee, Hoong and Ma Joong work together on this story.
A bit boring, I wished there were more actions (any actions, that was :-)) But the backdrop of Tantric Buddhism and depiction Judge Dee's calligraphy of 寿 made up for it.
Dec 20, 2013 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ancient-style Chinese police procedural written by a Dutch diplomat who served in China and studied Chinese history.
Oct 01, 2009 Grace rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was pretty good!
Kibo added it
Jul 21, 2016
Abbie Perkins
Abbie Perkins rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2016
Hanka Součková
Hanka Součková rated it it was amazing
Jul 10, 2016
Franzi rated it really liked it
Jul 08, 2016
Paul Wells
Paul Wells marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2016
Христо Христов
Христо Христов rated it it was amazing
Jul 03, 2016
Matyáš rated it it was amazing
Jun 27, 2016
Laura Bailey
Laura Bailey marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2016
Maria marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
Nizam uddin
Nizam uddin rated it really liked it
Jun 20, 2016
Suzan rated it liked it
Jun 18, 2016
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Robert Hans van Gulik was a Dutch diplomat best know for his Judge Dee stories. His first published book, The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, was a translation of an eighteenth-century Chinese murder mystery by an unknown author; he went on to write new mysteries for Judge Dee, a character based on a historical figure from the seventh century. He also wrote academic books, mostly on Chinese history ...more
More about Robert van Gulik...

Other Books in the Series

Judge Dee (Chronological order) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An)
  • The Chinese Gold Murders
  • The Lacquer Screen
  • Judge Dee at Work: Eight Chinese Detective Stories
  • The Chinese Lake Murders
  • The Monkey and The Tiger
  • The Haunted Monastery
  • The Chinese Bell Murders
  • The Red Pavilion
  • The Emperor's Pearl

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