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Robert Van Gulik Books In Order

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Publication Order of Judge Dee Mysteries Books

Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee / Dee Goong An (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Bell Murders (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Gold Murders (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Lake Murders (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Nail Murders (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Haunted Monastery (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Red Pavilion (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Maze Murders (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lacquer Screen (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Emperor's Pearl (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monkey and The Tiger (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Phantom of the Temple (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Willow Pattern (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Canton (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Judge Dee at Work (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Necklace and Calabash (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poets and Murder / The Fox-Magic Murders (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon

Chronological Order of Judge Dee Mysteries Books

Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee / Dee Goong An(1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Gold Murders(1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lacquer Screen(1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Judge Dee at Work(1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Lake Murders(1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monkey and The Tiger(1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Haunted Monastery(1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Bell Murders(1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Red Pavilion(1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Emperor's Pearl(1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poets and Murder / The Fox-Magic Murders(1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Necklace and Calabash(1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Maze Murders(1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Phantom of the Temple(1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chinese Nail Murders(1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Willow Pattern(1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder in Canton(1966)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Sexual Life in Ancient China (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lore of the Chinese Lute: An Essay on the Ideology of the Ch'in (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crime and Punishment in Ancient China (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chinese Pictorial Art (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Erotic Colour Prints of the Ming Period (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
John Searle and his Critics (With: Ernest Lepore) (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Siddham (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scrapbook for Chinese Collectors (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Historical Whodunits(1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Oxford Book of Detective Stories(2000)Description / Buy at Amazon

Robert Van Gulik was one of the best known authors from the Netherlands, who was famous for writing successful historical mystery books and short stories. He was particularly well known for writing the Judge Dee mystery series. After being born in Holland, author Gulik spent most of his early years in Jakarta, Indonesia. During the time of his stay over there, she learned different languages. He returned back to his home country and obtained his PhD from the Leiden University in the year 1935. Immediately after, he joined the Foreign Service of Netherlands and started working in the linguistics department. At the time of the breakout of the Second World War, author Gulik was in Tokyo. He was evacuated and sent to China. It was here that he met his future wife named Shui Shifang and married her. After his marriage, he spent all his life moving throughout the world. However, his death occurred back home in Hague, The Netherlands. At that time, he was serving as the ambassador of the Netherlands to Japan. Author Gulik started his writing career in the year 1948 with the translation of his Dutch novel, Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee. The final book written by him was released in the year 1966. For writing the books of his Jude Dee series, he borrowed the protagonist from the Chinese detective book of the 18th century titled Dee Goong An. Author Gulik was born as Robert Hans Van Gulik on August 9, 1910, in Zutphen; and died on September 24, 1967. In addition to being a noteworthy author, he was also a noted diplomat, orientalist, and musician. His father was a medical officer in the Netherlands Army.

At the age of 3, Gulik was moved to Batavia, Dutch East Indies, which is now known as Jakarta. He stayed there till the age of 12 and learned Mandarin along with a few other languages. In the year 1934, author Gulik joined the Leiden University. As a linguist, he got a suitable job in the Foreign Service of his country. As a part of his normal job profile, he was posted in different countries of the world over the course of his job. He was mostly stationed in the East Asian countries, China and Japan. When Japan declared war on the Dutch in 1941, he was working in Tokyo. As he was a part of the diplomatic staff of the Allied forces, he was safely evacuated from there in 1942. During the rest of the war, Gulik served as a secretary to the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai Shek in Chongqing, China. He met his wife in Chongqing and had 4 children with her. Author Gulik came back to the Netherlands after the end of the War and then went to America as the Dutch embassy councillor in Washington, D.C. After this, he came back to Japan in the year 1949 and lived there for the next 4 years. It was during this time that he began working on his first manuscript. Gulik completed and published two books while he was in Tokyo. As per the requirements of the later postings, he visited Kuala Lumpur, New Delhi, Beirut, etc. In the year 1959, author Gulik became the correspondent of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts and left the post in 1963. In the next couple of years, he became one of the foreign members and then worked as a Dutch ambassador. Author Gulik died due to cancer in the year 1967. Apart from writing, Gulik was also interested in other art forms and cultures. He studied Indologie an Indisch Recht at Leiden University between the year 1929 and 1934. Gulik then received a doctorate for his dissertation on the Northeast Asian horse cult. Even though he went on to join the diplomatic service, he never stopped studying. While working for his country, he wrote around 20 monographs and essays on the cultural aspects of China. Most of author Gulik’s scholarly works were released outside of Holland. Gulik had a particular interest in the Chinese paintings. In many of his books, he has devoted several pages describing the wonderful artwork in Chinese paintings. He has particularly described the gibbon themed paintings in Japan and China that belong to the Northern Song Dynasty. Gulik was also a critic of the arts and greatly admired the way great painters like Muqi Fachang and Yi Yuanji had portrayed the apes in their paintings.

The Judge Dee series written by Robert Van Gulik consists of 17 books in total, which were released between the years 1949 and 1968. One of the initial books of this series is titled as ‘The Chinese Gold Murder’. It was published by the Harper Perennial in 2004, after being initially published in 1959. Author Gulik has set the plot in 663 AD China. In the opening sequence, Judge Dee is shown trying to solve the murder case of his predecessor. As he investigates the matter, his work becomes even more complicated when his chief clerk goes missing simultaneously. He also comes to know the new bride of a rich shipowner has also disappeared. Meanwhile, the district is under the terror of a tiger and the tribunal is getting stalked by a murdered magistrate’s ghost. Later, a prostitute approaches Judge Dee with a secret message and as she leaves the dead body of a monk is found from a different grave from the one in which he was cremated. At the climax of the story, Judge Dee goes on to uncover the single cause of all the unrelated events with the help of his deductive powers.

Another popular book published in the series by author Gulik is titled as ‘The Chinese Bell Murders’. The Harper Perennial once again released this book in the year 2004 after if was originally published in 1958. Author Gulik has described the time of 668 AD in China, in this plot. At the beginning, Judge Dee is introduced as a hard working and intelligent magistrate living in the Poo-yang city of ancient China. He is shown being challenged by three different cases at one time and each one of them seems more complicated than the other. At first, he is required to solve the murder case of Pure Jade, who was murdered in a mysterious situation. Pure Jade was a young a girl who used to live on the Half Moon Street. The evidences that Judge Dee comes across point towards the guilty lover. But, Judge Dee thinks that there is more in the case than what is seen through the naked eyes. Along with this case, Judge Dee also works to solve the mystery behind the city’s deserted temple as well as that of the terrific success of a monks group with their cure for the barren women.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Robert Van Gulik

2 Responses to “Robert Van Gulik”

  1. Loraine: 1 year ago

    Brill books so am getting the whole series

  2. Ellen K Raiser: 3 years ago

    I thoroughly enjoy reading these books. Such refreshing and intriguing tales


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