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Publisher's Summary

Long before Western writers had even conceived the idea of writing detective stories, the Chinese had developed a long tradition of literary works that chronicled the cases of important district magistrates. One of the most celebrated of these was Judge Dee, who lived in the seventh century.

This book, written anonymously in the 18th century, interweaves three of Judge Dee's most baffling cases: a double murder among traveling merchants, the fatal poisoning of a bride on her wedding night, and the suspicious death of a shop keeper with a beautiful wife.

The crimes take him up and down the great silk routes, into ancient graveyards where he consults the spirits of the dead, and through all levels of society, leading him to some brilliant detective work.

(P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elizabeth
  • Port Townsend, WA, United States
  • 04-30-12

More Judge Dee Please!

If you could sum up Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee (Dee Goong An) in three words, what would they be?

Cross-Cultural, Complicated, Clever-- add Chinese!

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

The judge switched from case to case and they all seemed unrelated and insoluble, but in the end, although the crimes occurred over great distances at times, they seemed to all fit together into an intricate pattern. And the Chinese practically invented paranormal mysteries! They are full of dreams and ghosts and visions of the afterlife. The most wonderful thing about these books though is not just that the stories are great mysteries, the atmosphere is evoked so well and the characters so memorable, but that it is based on a real historical person and the real ancient Chinese entertainment form of detective stories. The explanation of how these stories are converted to suit Western tastes is fascinating. I read these books in paper before taking a Chinese History class and found that the information on ancient Chinese culture contained in the stories was great preparation for the class.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I liked the old guard who showed Judge Dee and his other officers to Turnip Pass.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I found it very moving that the rule at the time--which Judge Dee was prepared to follow--was that if a prisoner was tortured and turned out to be innocent, the judge and his officers were to be executed in the prisoner's place. I imagine corruption of justice occurred anyway among lesser officials but if you followed the rules, you would be very careful. I wish today's justice were as scrupulous.

Any additional comments?

I want more Judge Dee audio books on audio please. Their cross cultural background and atmosphere is even better than the stories themselves and is the sort of thing that narration immerses you in even more completely than the written word.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Dramatization

A fascinating look inside a legal system much older than our own. Two jarring notes to modern listeners, the use of torture in court, and Judge Dee's reliance on supernatural influences to move a case forward, were nevertheless parts of an administration of justice that lasted more than a thousand years. The performers did a good job all around, and I wish there were more Judge Dee books on Audible.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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love it

narration excellent. plot captivating, as the epilogue states this isn't you typical western detective novel but it's still wonderful in its uniqueness

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Cases of Judge Dee

I first read Judge Dee back on the 80's when I was looking for something different. These stories did not disappoint. I do not enjoy the tourture aspects, however, (even the U.S. Has recently practice tourture for ways and means, unfortunately). But these stories do show the wisdom of the Judge Dee in solving each problem and keep one in suspense in how he will eventually solve each case. I truly recommend these stories to anyone interested in something a little different and new.
These stories are well written, placing the reader in the culture of the time.
I encourage any mystery reader to give Judge Dee a try, I don't believe you will be disappointed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Judge Dee

For those who appreciate the translations of van Gulik, this current work will please and satisfy. Very well narrated, the listener will be transported to an era long ago expired. The morals and lessons if the story fit both ancient times and current life. The listener will be left satisfied and wanting the story to go on.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An excellent introduction to Judge Dee!

I found both the Narration performance and the sound quality to be first-rate! I was at first worried that the advertisement of this being a "full cast" recording was false until I got further into the recording and discovered where the rest of the cast came in. This book us different from most mystery tales (as explained in the author's notes in the final chapter) but the story is very interesting and entertaining.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

celebrated cases of judge dee

interesting historically about china in the 18th century; if you are looking for a good detective read try someone else;

3 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • mollyeyre
  • 02-06-12

So awful it was almost good!

Well, this is listed as illustrating 'some brilliant detective work' .... well the judge seems to be ruled by what he 'felt' about the particular accused - no logical evidence shown - in fact it was so 'naff' that I almost enjoyed it! He was guided to his judgements by an explicit dream - which had to be explained to him by his sergeant.

One REALLY irritating point though - the narrator would insist on talking about the 'constipals' rather that 'constables' and I found this really annoying.

I bought this as part of an offer - thank goodness I didn't go to town using up my valuable credits. I really wouldn't recommend this to anyone!

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • lawrence gray
  • 07-18-15

Great book great narration.

judge dee books are a great read. They capture a China echoes of which can still be seen today.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful