The Lacquer Screen (Judge Dee Series)
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The Lacquer Screen (Judge Dee (Chronological order) #3)

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  401 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Early in his career, Judge Dee visits a senior magistrate who shows him a beautiful lacquer screen on which a scene of lovers has been mysteriously altered to show the man stabbing his lover. The magistrate fears he is losing his mind and will murder his own wife. Meanwhile, a banker has inexplicably killed himself, and a lovely lady has allowed Dee's lieutenant, Chiao Tai...more
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Published November 15th 2010 by University of Chicago Press (first published 1962)
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Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
I've been finding it hard to find the time or attention to read a lot lately, but this book drew me right in. While visiting a neighbouring district, Dee and his lieutenant Chiao Tai decide to go incognito. They soon discover a web of mysteries weighting to be unravelled: the disappearance of the magistrate's wife, the weird suicide of a local merchant and the body of a lady found in a marshy area outside town. Dee and Tai fall in with a local gang of petty thieves and it's especially entertaini...more
Ivonne Rovira
Even on vacation, Judge Dee doesn't take a break from crime.

In Robert van Gulik's The Lacquer Screen, Judge Dee, accompanied by his faithful lieutenant Chiao Tai, decides to take a week off from his grueling duties as the magistrate in the backwater town of Peng-lai to head for rest and relaxation in Weiping. He visits the town incognito, with only Weiping's magistrate in the know; however, Judge Dee almost immediately stumbles onto the scene of a beautiful woman's murder. With the help of Chiao...more
Writerlibrarian
This is Judge Dee the undercover edition. While in vacations after a series of days of meetings with officials, the judge stops in a town where murder, fraud and déception are just below the surface. Dee and his trusted sergeant find the culprits despite being on Holiday.

van Gulik follows the traditional form of the medieval chinese tale and entertains the western reader without any problems.

These are classic mystery trope that van Gulik uses very well. It's a delight to read or revisit.
Nancy Oakes
#6 in the Judge Dee series.

In this installment, Judge Dee, along with his indispensable staff, find themselves with three different crimes: the death of a merchant, that of the headless corpse, and one involving a martial-arts master. This one is little more gruesome in nature than most...the crime itself is really horrendous, but as always, after veering off on tangents and putting himself and his colleagues in danger, the great Judge comes to the rescue and solves each mystery, even though he...more
Bruce
One of a series of Judge Dee mysteries, this slight novel is based on a real character who lived in China in the 7th century C.E. Van Gulik has written a plot containing three related subplots. The work is in the third person and uses action and dialogue to forward the unraveling of the mystery. There is little that is subtle about the writing, although the story is cleverly crafted. I was most interested in the information about the judicial and legal structures of the time, and the traditional...more
Sarah
This one actually has an interesting female character in it, although she's a minor character. I really liked the small relationship thrown in, and it gave Judge Dee an opportunity to really help, instead of serve justice. Just a personal opinion- sometimes the books are a bit dry. Thus, four stars instead of my automatic three for the series.
Kathy Chung
I find this book is brilliant. not much "coincides" happened here. a lot of puzzles and Judge Dee managed to explain everything logically in the end.

I love the ending. just when I thought everything have been wrapped up nicely, Judge Dee throw in a curve ball. brilliant!
Mieke Kiebert-melief
Very entertaining, Robert van Gulik was diplomat in China in the first half of the 20th century, so he knows very well how to describe Chinese society. He is best known 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...more
Kati
I needed a change of pace, so I chose an old mystery book, one of the Judge Dee Chinese mysteries, that I read a long time ago - and it was just as good this time around. I know that van Gulik's books aren't exactly known for their historical accuracy - the Judge Dee mysteries are set in the 7th century - but I love them nonetheless for their atmosphere and for the camaraderie between Dee and his bodyguards, in this book Chiao Tai.

So, why only three stars? I admit that I might've been influence...more
Maggie
More like a 3.5. This is sort of what I would expect from a series of mysteries (a la Cadfael), but that's not necessarily a bad thing. This installment of the Judge Dee series is fast paced and clever without being overly twee. The cases themselves aren't straightforward - which means I didn't solve them a third of the way through, which leads to spending two-thirds of the book waiting impatiently for the foregone conclusion.

This is the perfect sort of book to curl up with on a Friday night wh...more
Lisa Kucharski
Excellent mystery that involves many different crimes. Judge Dee while trying to have a vacation is pulled into solving 3 crimes in the matter of a two days... mostly in incognito. Here we get to learn first hand information regarding the underworld and it's workings.

Luckily Dee is a quick learner, I'm sure much of this information will aid him in solving other crimes.
Kay
My Asian history professor assigned this mystery novel -- after all these years I still think that's a pretty neat way of making Chinese culture more accessible to students. Van Gulik's books are full of the social details that traditional textbooks fail to impart, and they are cracking good stories to boot.
Ján
Interesting in more than one way. It is interesting to see, that judging the souls of people can lead to understanding and solving cases. Also, it is shown, that organized crime cannot be wiped out, but it is better when it is managed right and clean.
Roshni
The setting is fantastic, not many mystery books are set in China. Judge Dee is a decent main character and the plot moved quickly. A good, short read.
NC
Very interesting. A look at a very different way of seeing the world.
Marty Nicholas
Another clever mystery from Judge Dee's early career.
Maria
i love this series! they are really easy and fun books .
Elle
Elle added it
Jul 13, 2014
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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...
Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An) The Chinese Bell Murders The Chinese Lake Murders The Chinese Maze Murders The Haunted Monastery

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