Saturday, January 4, 2014


Robert Van Gulik's Murder in Ancient China is two short stories.

In the first story “The Murder on the Lotus Pond,” Judge Dee, the Confucian Imperial magistrate, solves the murder of a reclusive poet. At the time of the murder, the frogs were singing.

And in the second story “Murder on New Year's Eve,” a small boy comes to Judge Dee. The child thinks his father has murdered his mother.

The first story takes place in A.D. 667; the second in A.D. 674.

I first read of Judge Dee in The Chinese Maze Murders. I found the traditions of the ancient Chinese mystery story interesting. Also, Judge Dee is an interesting character. 

Murder in Ancient China is very short. It took about an hour, even for a slow reader like me to read. I got it free from Amazon. University of Chicago Press offered it as their free e-book this month. Check Amazon or University of Chicago Press to see if that special still holds.


George said...

Thanks for the heads-up on MURDER IN ANCIENT CHINA! I'm a big Van Gulik fan. I've read most of the Judge Dee stories, but not these two.

Joe Barone said...

George, You are welcome. I enjoy Van Gulik too.