Judge Dee presided over his Imperial Chinese court with a unique brand of Confucian justice. A near-mythic figure in China, he distinguished himself as a tribunal magistrate, inquisitor, and public avenger. Long after his death, accounts of his exploits were celebrated in Chinese folklore and later immortalized by Robert van Gulik in his electrifying mysteries. These lively and historically accurate tales, written by a Dutch diplomat and scholar during the 1950s and '60s and brought back into print to critical acclaim in the 1990s, have entertained a devoted following around the world. Van Gulik's Judge Dee stories often based on actual cases and illustrated with the author's charming line drawings, offer vivid insight into life in traditional China. The eight short stories in "Judge Dee at Work" cover a decade during which the judge served in four different provinces of the Tang Empire. From the suspected treason of a general in the Chinese army to the murder of a lonely poet in his garden pavilion, the cases here are among the most memorable in the "Judge Dee" series.
Robert van Gulik (1910 - 67) was a Dutch diplomat and an authority on Chinese history and culture. His many works include sixteen Judge Dee mysteries, a study of the gibbon in China, and two books on the Chinese lute.