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9780060152062 Soon after taking up his first magisterial post in the godforsaken district of Peng-lai, Judge Dee must look into the murder of his predecessor. His job is complicated by the simultaneous disappearnce of his chief clerk and the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner. "The China of old, in Mr. van Gulik's skilled hands, comes vividly alive again."â€”Allen J. Hubin, New York Times Book Review "If you have not yet discovered Judge Dee, I envy you that initial pleasure . . . the discovery of a great detective story. For the magistrate of Poo-yan belongs in that select group headed by Sherlock Holmes."â€”Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times Robert van Gulik (1910-67), a Dutch diplomat and an authority on Chinese history and culture, drew his plots from the popular detective novels that appeared in seventeenth-century China.