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Китайски загадки: Скелет под камбаната (Judge Dee (Chronological order) #8)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  1,166 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
В "Скелет под камбаната" са съчетани: едно от най - известните убийства в криминалната литература на древен Китай; тема, заимствана от сборник със странни престъпления и убийства от ХVII в.; записан в хрониките прочут случай, разиграл се в Кантон през 1725 г. С неповторимото си майсторство Ван Хюлик споява трите истории в увлекателен разказ, наситен с дълбоко познаване на ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published 2000 by издателство Труд (first published 1958)
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Henry Avila
Jan 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All looks calm in the apparently little, peaceful, beautiful walled northern town of Poo-yang, by the Great Canal as the new magistrate Judge Dee his three wives, numerous children, four cunning lieutenants Hoong Liang, Ma Joong, Chiago Tai , Tao Gan and loyal servants arrive there. After the usual formal celebrations , meetings, a grand banquet held, seeing the leading citizens and taking over from his able predecessor Judge Feng, only one murder case active . Still that has been solved already ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Jan 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Excellent period mystery that draws on the Chinese detective story legacy and diplomat van Gulik's extensive scholarship. Reading this book was like stepping into a time machine and travelling back in time to imperial China, so well realised is van Gulik's portrayal of the era. Judge Dee, a magistrate, is given a new posting and proceeds to clean up the town. Cerebral and often downright inscrutable, he is aided by a cohort of close associates who range from a stalwart sergeant to a former con m ...more
Jeanette
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I missed these completely. All of these Judge Dee books written 70 years ago or more. But I won't refrain from reading any I can presently find.

This is Northern China in the 6th and 7th centuries and the Magistrate of the District is Judge Dee. The characterizations are spectacular and the nuance for the period and the context of the Chinese under the Confucian structures just phenomenal. THE DETAIL! And yet every personality differs and has dozens of surfaces to moment and placement.

Fairne
...more
Ivonne Rovira
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of unusual historical mysteries
Admirers of Robert van Gulik's always delightful Judge Dee mysteries have another treat in store with The Chinese Bell Murders. In this novel, Judge Dee is newly arrived in the city of Poo-Yang, and he begins by re-investigating a case that his predecessor, Judge Feng, could not complete since Feng had had to leave when he was reassigned to a new posting. In that case, an impoverished literary candidate named Wang was on the verge of being executed for the rape and murder of a butcher's daughter ...more
Nancy Oakes
Second in a series featuring the Tang Magistrate Judge Dee, based on a real magistrate during that dynasty. Dee has a series of retainers who assist him in his work. It is the case throughout the series that when Dee comes to a new town, mysteries present themselves for him and his friends to solve. Generally there are several mysteries that seem to be linked together somehow, and I take the utmost in pleasure to watch the crimes unravel.

In his first case, Judge Dee finds himself in the Poo-yan
...more
Natalia
Jan 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, this book was great fun. I am unfamiliar with the history of Chinese detective novels (Actually, I was completely unaware China had a history of detective stories at all - Though come to think of it, why not? Every society has crime, and sometimes there are mysteries that need solving.)

I liked that there were 3 crimes solved in the book and that the timelines kind of overlapped. It felt much more realistic. In the real world, crimes don't happen one at a time, waiting for a magistrate to sol
...more
Carol  ꧁꧂
I loved van Gulik's elegant prose & the simple illustrations that were with this book. I found the construction of the book's plot a bit hard (there are actually 3 different crimes) but will be prepared for that if I read another book in this series.

One criticism is that it would be very hard for the reader to solve the crime.
Pavlovsky
Mezi špalky něco tenkého. Je to ještě raný Gulik, takže tam soudce Ti ukazuje svou fyzičku, mlátí padouchy a sám vstupuje do akce. Co se týče příběhů, tak opravdu nejsou moc komplikované, pokud není padouch jasný hned od počátku, tak rozhodně nepřijde šokující rozuzlení. V jednom je dokonce (spoiler alert) pachatelem náhodný tulák - což je věc, která je tak proti všem detektivním zásadám, že je už vlastně neskutečně originální.
Ale ono to nevadí, protože na nějakých 150 stránkách jsou případy hn
...more
Penny
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book, the first Judge Dee mystery I have read. The setting of Tang era China and the range of characters are all beautifully drawn and show the extent of van Gulik's scholarship and depth of his knowledge. There is none of the artificially historical in the place of the characters, the mystery is paramount and the setting, both time and place, just add to the enjoyment. Each of these interlinked mysteries is well plotted and enjoyable, everything is not what it seems at fir ...more
Erik
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the best in the series. Judge Dee and his four assistants, Sergeant Hoong, Chiao Tao, Ma Joong, and Tao Gan, investigate three cases: a 20-year-old feud between two Cantonese families, a suspiciously wealthy Buddhist temple, and the murder of a young girl. Science fiction writers could learn a thing or two from how van Gulik subtly conveys to the reader how the world of ancient China works.
Frank
Dec 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical mystery. I couldn't put it down. Plenty of twists and turns and great puzzles solved by the magistrate with the evil-doers getting their just desserts.
Janice
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the reasoning he uses to solve the crimes and the peek into life in 7th century China. Good character building.
Acacia
Apr 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an amazing read! The way the plot is intricately woven around dynamic characters ought to be heralded as an example for mystery writers everywhere.
Sandi
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Have read 2 Judge Dee mysteries. The Chinese Bell Murders is the first of the series. Have really enjoyed both books!
Jimmy Lee
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1974, I saw a movie on TV about an 18th century Chinese detective. What with the exciting mix of costumes, mystery, and history, the plot didn't stick with me, but the concept did. So I was thrilled to discover, in my stack of pending mysteries, that I had a book starring 18th century Chinese Judge (and as a result, detective) Dee.

Van Gulik, according to the preface in my book, began writing the Judge Dee stories, based on Tang dynasty historical figure/magistrate and statesman Di Renjie, to
...more
Franz
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of the three Judge Dee books read so far. Maybe my comments about the language (of the first book read earlier in the month) had to do with the fact that it has been a while that I read in German, as I had less of a problem with the flow of words here ... on the other hand, the language of "Mord im Labyrinth" did feel unpolished and abrupt to a point of being at times irritating ... but not enough to make me stop reading ...

I really enjoyed the stories in this book, and I did like that
...more
GrabAsia
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another nice book in this series. By now the trend is familiar. Judge Dee arrives in his latest post and is confronted with an immediate case where the culprit seems clear, but the Judge disagrees. Along with this arrive 2 other cases. Often the cases are interlinked. They often involve a threat to the Empire. His able lieutenants, instructed by the Judge, do a lot of digging and unearth evidence. Judge Dee sees what other don't and is able to solve all 3 cases quickly.

I don't know much about a
...more
Jim Layman
This volume is my first exposure to the Judge Dee saga. Van Gulik's interpretation is a fast paced, slightly sordid mystery. Indeed, women seem to fare poorly in the world of Judge Dee, primarily portrayed for their sexuality. Criminals are mercilessly tortured and executed. However, the interplay between the Judge and his assistants, alongside the cultural richness of the ancient Chinese tribunal are interesting.
Fenia Vazaka
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Είχα καιρό να διαβάσω άλλη μια περιπέτεια του δικαστή Τι και ομολογώ ότι μου είχε λείψει!
Ειδικά η δεύτερη και η τρίτη ιστορία έχουν και αγωνία και συνωμοσίες και ο αναγνώστης περιμένει πώς και πώς την λύση των εγκλημάτων.
Αυτό που μπορεί να σοκάρει λίγο τον αναγνώστη είναι η λεπτομερής περιγραφή της παραδειγματικής τιμωρίας των ενόχων (αποκεφαλισμός, διαμελισμός ενώ είναι ζωντανός κλπ), αλλά σύμφωνα και με τον συγγραφέα είναι κάτι πολύ συνηθισμένο στα αστυνομικά μυθιστορήματα της Κίνας.
Nancy
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want this to be a movie.
Maybe not live action.
An animated movie would work fine.
I want more!
This is a genre of book I had not heard of
Chinese Detective Story
But not as in a Charlie Chan way
but in actual ancient China.
Alison Peters
Jul 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
A Judge Dee mystery - good one with 3 different problems that he solves. Enjoy his 4 assistants and their antics. Looking forward to reading them all (again).
Leda
3.5 STARS OUT OF FIVE
Bev
This book, originally published in 1958, is actually set in the China of about the 17th century. Van Gulik was a Dutch diplomat and a well-known authority on Chinese history and culture. He drew his plots, settings, and character-development from Chinese literature--particularly the popular detective novels of the period. The story tells us of the adventures and rulings of Judge Dee in the early days overseeing the tribunal of Poo-yang. When he takes over the tribunal, he finds that there is one ...more
Matt
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good and highly-entertaining mystery novel by Robert van Gulik, but he's not quite on his A-game here.

For one thing, it's clear that van Gulik hadn't quite perfected his format at this point, borrowed from the Ming-style gong'an novels. It is true that Judge Dee has to solve three mysteries in this novel, having just arrived with his four trusty assistants in the fictional Jiangsu canal town of Puyang. But the Cases of the Half-Moon Street Rape-Murder, of the Secret of the Buddhis
...more
Kathy Chung
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
yes! I love this story. full of surprising twist and turn if event.

Judge Dee taking over a new district had "inherited" a case of rape and murder from his predecessor.

everything sound simple enough. he just have to impose some harsh punishment to get the prisoner to confess. but Judge Dee found something suspicious and seems to have opened a can of worms.

to make it worse , there was a suspicious Sect that have great influence in the Capital . This sect seems to be commiting crime but Judge Dee
...more
Stacy
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my new favourite series. I HAVE to read more. The author brilliantly keeps a simple narrative while including casual references to the historical norms of the time-period. These are educational and seamless. The integrity of his main protagonist is revealed through the hero's side-kicks. These are endearing and entertaining, and I care very much for every one of Judge Dee's assistants. Their dynamics between one another, and in certain aspects of encouraging plot development, never once ...more
Amrendra
Dec 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a magical book. This is a class apart when it comes to adventure and detective fiction. The exploits of Judge Dee and the way he deploys his brain and his footsoldiers makes for wonderful reading set in the enigmatic terrain of ancient China abounding in Buddhist monastries, ancient bazaars, lovely towns and beautiful landscapes.

Being the first book that I read, this book opened the windows of wonder to my young mind, thereby fostering the habit for reading which is such a blessing indee
...more
Malcolm
This is one of a series of novels from the 1950s in the style medieval Chinese crime novels, and as such it is a fairly standard police procedural. I am not a big fan of the police procedural but this was quite engaging, fairly entertaining, even if over reliant on the sense of mystical insight of the enigmatic investigator so common in detective writing. I doubt I’ll be rushing to another, but enjoyable.
May
Dec 05, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great Chinese-style detective story, and very convincingly portrays the attitudes of the Chinese in that time period. Of course, this traditional way of thinking irked my feminist sensibilities somewhat, what with all the "women should be subservient to men" undertones and general masochism going on in the book. Provides great insight into Chinese history and culture, while remaining rather entertaining at the same time.
Carla
Exceptional presentation of another time and place. Judge Dee, besides being a magistrate, is also a detective. He's a character of infinite dignity, propriety, and sense of status. He's educated and privileged but his deft, practised handling of the many and various levels of society in his legal profession leads the reader into a fascinating peek into ancient China. His henchman, from a much lower level of society, balances and expands the historical reach of this series.
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Robert Hans van Gulik was a Dutch diplomat 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 Chinese histor ...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
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“Con người chỉ là vật mọn
Công lý mới là trên hết.”
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