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The Red Pavilion: A Judge Dee Mystery (Judge Dee Mystery Series) [Kindle Edition]

Robert Van Gulik
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: £5.70 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description

Product Description

A chance encounter with Autumn Moon, the most powerful courtesan on Paradise Island, leads Judge Dee to investigate three deaths. Although he finally teases the true story from a tangled history of passion and betrayal, Dee is saddened by the perversion, corruption, and waste of the world "of flowers and willows" that thrives on prostitution.

About the Author

Robert Van Gulik (1910-67) was a Dutch diplomat and an authority on Chinese history and culture. He drew his plots from the whole body of Chinese literature, especially from the popular detective novels that first appeared in the seventeenth century.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 736 KB
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0226848736
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (15 Nov. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004HO5M8K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,620 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Personal Favourite 15 May 2013
By M. Dowden HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I must admit that this novel is a personal favourite of mine and I was more than happy finding it now available for the kindle, and with the original illustrations. If you have never read a Judge Dee novel before then you can't really go wrong if you start with this, one of the best in the series.

Judge Dee, with one of his lieutenants, Ma Joong, are going to stay the night on Paradise Island, an adult pleasure place, full of gambling and brothels, along with eateries and antique dealers. Meeting an old friend and judge of this particular province Dee is asked if he would do a favour and just finish off the formalities on a suicide investigation. A simple enough request you may think, but not where Judge Dee is concerned. After finding he is staying in the same rooms as the suicide took place, he soon finds a naked woman also dead in these rooms. Both these deaths happened in a locked bedroom, and then Dee finds out that a similar death occurred thirty years before, in the same room.

Surely not three deaths in the same locked room could all have been results of suicide? Dee doesn't think so, and is thus on the case, with his trusted lieutenant. Well written this book brings the main characters to life, as well as the actual location. As with all the Judge Dee stories this is fast paced and quickly draws you in. In this particular story which takes in greed, lust and envy there is more than enough for you to get your teeth into, and I must admit that I never tire of this particular book, usually taking it in in more or less one sitting. Really this book is ideal for anyone who loves a good mystery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble on Paradise Island 28 Feb. 2009
By Henk Beentje TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Judge Dee, with his henchman Ma Joong, is passing through Paradise Island, a 'Sin City' for gambling, flower ladies and antique shops, when his colleague magistrate asks him to complete the formalities on a simple suicide. The judge reluctantly agrees, books into the Red Pavilion resthouse, and - surprise! - soon is embroiled in three interlaced crime problems. As some of these go back thirty years, when disease swept through the province, it is a tangled web; and it becomes even more difficult when the reigning Queen Flower tries to seduce him...

An atmospheric murder mystery, first published in 1964; set in the year 668 (when the judge was magistrate of Poo-Yang) and as good as any Judge Dee novel.
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Format:Paperback
The period portrayed by van Gulik is largely Ming (1368-1644 A.D.), although his detective Judge Dee actually lived in the Tang period from 630-700 A.D. This follows a common ploy in Chinese detective fiction (originating during the Ming dynasty) to compensate for lack of detail about life in earlier dynasties. So, it is reasonable to assume that the sophisticated life exhibited in this novel is Ming. To give these periods a European context, Judge Dee lived during a period when Rome was completely destroyed by Gothic invasions and Constantinople was at its lowest ebb - best by Bulgars, Arabs, and Persians. Britain was in the middle of the period evocatively known as the Dark Ages - when native Britons were losing their struggle with successive waves of Saxon and, later, Viking invaders. The veneer of Roman civilisation was lost in less than 100 years. Even if we allow for van Gulik locating his Tang detective during the Ming period, China is still a long way ahead of Europe. At the time of Henry VIII in Britain, the contemporary China described in this novel wasn't really surpassed in Britain for over 300 years!

The Red Pavilion describes three murders that take place on Paradise Island - a 15th century Chinese equivalent of Las Vegas! Judge Dee, and his most robust lieutenant Ma Joong, are in transit from the capital to their jurisdiction in Poo-yang. The Paradise Island Magistrate manages to persuade Dee to take over from him for a day as he goes about other business. This is just a way of avoiding an embarrassing situation with a local courtesan! Dee solves the murders, including one of 30 years ago. The novel introduces a wealth of new characters, considerable local colour, and a very believable portrayal of life in such an exotic location.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Trouble on Paradise Island 14 Mar. 2009
By Henk Beentje TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Judge Dee, with his henchman Ma Joong, is passing through Paradise Island, a 'Sin City' for gambling, flower ladies and antique shops, when his colleague magistrate asks him to complete the formalities on a simple suicide. The judge reluctantly agrees, books into the Red Pavilion resthouse, and - surprise! - soon is embroiled in three interlaced crime problems. As some of these go back thirty years, when disease swept through the province, it is a tangled web; and it becomes even more difficult when the reigning Queen Flower tries to seduce him...

An atmospheric murder mystery, first published in 1964; set in the year 668 (when the judge was magistrate of Poo-Yang) and as good as any Judge Dee novel!
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