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The Chinese Gold Murders (Judge Dee (Chronological order) #2)

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  759 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews

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

Hardcover, 196 pages
Published November 1st 1983 by Harper & Row Publishers (first published 1958)
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Ivonne Rovira
Feb 03, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing
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 mi ...more
Dec 23, 2011 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Victoria Mixon
Aug 25, 2010 Victoria Mixon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 02, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 22, 2015 Joshua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Sep 05, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 an
Aug 19, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, china
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 ...more
Nov 23, 2012 Mel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 t ...more
Apr 01, 2009 Raja99 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mcpl, bedside-y4
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 w ...more
Aug 18, 2008 Gouty rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history
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 h
Kathy Chung
Jan 25, 2014 Kathy Chung rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
in the this book, judge dee is just beginning his career. he have yet to have the impressive "image" of a judge as compared to the later books.

nevertheless, his "innocence" was captivating.

here, his two side kicks played a more active role in helping Judge Dee to solve the case.

the only downside of the story is the ending. I find that the way Judge Dee solved the case and how the cases played out according to the opera was too simple. I had expected more.

nevertheless I liked the beginning and
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
Linda Howe Steiger
Very tricky plot. Set in ancient China. Written by a Dutch diplomat who knew his China well. Style reminds me of Aunt Agatha (i.e. clear writing, plot driven, few literary frills, a bit of historical color but little "thriller" enhancement). A "forgotten" writer from the 1950s, with a shelf full of titles in my public library. Brought home four.
Jul 20, 2015 Acacia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Everything about Robert van Gulik is perfection. The solution to this particular case was inventive and unexpected, even to me, a crime book/show junkie. There was a slight touch of the supernatural, which is a common theme in van Gulik's detective stories.
Jul 20, 2015 Acacia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was the perfect playground for my active mind on vacation. The solution was unexpected to me, which is an accomplishment in itself.
Nancy Oakes
#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 book
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 Jud ...more
Kathy  Petersen
Judge Dee was a friend of my youth. Revisited, he has proved to be the same rather crotchety and wise man of ancient China with a penchant for coming upon murders wherever he travels. Van Gulik is well-versed in ancient Chinese history and custom, making this book, and the others, more than a good mystery.
Judge Dee and one of his first murder cases.
Jun 28, 2014 Roosi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, crime
Another masterpiece from van Gulik.
May 14, 2014 Minna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yllättävän hyvä!
Jul 19, 2013 Erik rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 25, 2014 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the second book of the series, The Chinese Gold Murders is most important. In this book 4 if the main characters of the series are introduced including Judge Dee
Lisa Kucharski
Jul 21, 2011 Lisa Kucharski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story line is from the very first post that Judge Dee is assigned to as Magistrate. The first crime to solve, who killed the last magistrate. Fun story where one sees how the Dee Team got together.

Interesting book that really shows a lot of daily cultural views and attitudes. Great mystery, and as always a great intro that helps one learn more about Chinese mysteries that Gulik's books are inspired by.
Feb 08, 2012 siby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm simply delighted. Van Gulik manages to create authentically Tang atmosphere and the murders themselves are well thought through as well. If the author did not use Western style of narration I could almost believe the story to have been written in imperial China. After all Judge Dee is based on a real person and Mister van Gulik knew China very well and translated from Chinese.
The first assignment of Judge Dee in Peng-lai (I thought Peng-lai is Japan? Apparently not)
Going into reading this, I had very low expectations because it was a book assigned for my history class. I was pleasantly surprised of how much it kept me turning the pages. The story keeps you engaged and Judge Dee is a very clever and witty character. I have always loved historical fiction, but now I may have to start checking out more in the mystery genre.
May 16, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite so far. Some excellent humor and superstition sprinkled in with the mystery.
Ben Kruskal
Jul 09, 2013 Ben Kruskal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually first in the internal chronology o the series. The writing is not extraordinarily good. However, the series does capture a time and place that is unfamiliar to most western readers. I find this series quite enjoyable and charming. Good mysteries, albeit not in the typical Western style.
The story was interesting but this version had so many typo. Also, I am not entirely sure the entire story was included.
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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 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
  • Poets and Murder

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