The Chinese Gold Murders: A Judge Dee Detective Story (Judge Dee Mysteries)
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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 prostitute has a secret message for Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is discovered to be in the wrong grave. In the end, the judge, with his deft powers of deduction, uncovers the one cause for all of these seemingly unrelated events.
history, statecraft, administration and mathematics arc conspicuous by their absence." Turning his chair round, the judge continued. "I conclude that Magistrate Wang was a poet with a keen sense of beauty, and also a philosopher deeply interested in mysticism. And at the same time he was a sensual man, much attached to all earthly pleasures-a not unusual combination, I believe. He was completely devoid of ambition; he liked the post of magistrate in a quiet district far from the capital, where
military post, changed their horses, then went on eastward along the highway to Peng-lai. The road led through a thickly wooded, hilly country. The magistrate wore a simple brown traveling dress. His official costume and a few personal belongings he carried in two capacious saddlebags. Since he had decided that his two wives and his children should follow him later, after he had settled down in Peng-lai, he could afford to travel light. Later his family would bring along his other possessions
brought me to the floating brothels outside the east wall." "How did you pass the guards at the city gate?" the judge asked. "He knocked on the south gate," Mrs. Koo said, "and acted as if he were very drunk. The guards knew him; he shouted something to them about importing new talent into the city. The guards told me to lift the hood, and when they saw I was indeed a woman they all laughed, nade some coarse jokes about Po Kai's pranks, and let us through. "He rented a cabin for me on the boat.
animals favored a drier climate." Chiao Tai, who had been listening silently to the conversation, now remarked, "Well, that's hard to say. As a rule those brutes keep to the high wooded land, but once they have acquired the taste for human flesh they'll also roam about in the plains. We might get good hunting down there!" "What about those tales about weretigers?" Magistrate Dee asked. Ma Joong cast an uneasy glance at the dark forest behind them. "Never heard about it!" he said curtly.
added nervously, "that your honor's arrival was not announced in advance. I could make no preparations for the welcome-dinner and-" "I assumed," the magistrate interrupted him, "that the boundary post would have sent a messenger ahead. There must have been a mistake somewhere. But since I am here, you'd better show me the tribunal." Tang first took them to the spacious court hall. The tiled floor was swept clean, and the high bench on the platform in the back was covered with a piece of shining