Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee Part One Description/Synopsis Judge Dee was a statesman to a town called Chang-Ping. He lived in the Tang Dynasty. He was known to be a famous detective and by his crime solving. The book, Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee, is broken down into three parts. This is because he is faced with three murders. The first murder, The Double Murder at Dawn, was the murder of the two silk merchants. The second murder, The Strange Corpse, was the sudden death of a young husband. Lastly, the third murder, The Poisoned Bride, was he poisoning of a bride in her nuptial chamber.
As Judge Dee solves these three crimes, he also shows China’s history. During the Tang Dynasty Chinese authority was strict and laws and punishment were strictly enforced. Authority was big in their community and the people knew there would be consequences for crimes committed. This is where Judge Dee comes in, to help solve this crime. Judge Dee used many different tactics in his crime solving. He used methods such as going undercover, using underground sources, interrogation, and forensic science to solve his crimes. This isn’t much different from how we solve crimes today.
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We still use these same methods. We can see Judge Dee’s Asian influence when he uses religion, ghosts, and dreams to solve his crimes though. He believed in bad luck and superstitions too. Also, different from us, are their methods of torture and execution. Judge Dee even went to a graveyard to talk to the spirits of the dead. This detective work would be considered unreliable and a hoax in the western civilization. Part Two Personal Reaction I liked the Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee for the fact that it was a mystery novel.
Mysteries, crime solving, problem solving, and clues interest me. I like figuring out the clues and the buildup of suspense leading to the conclusion and outcome at the end. The three cases were interesting because of the differences in each. Even though they were different in ways from how a case would come about and be handled today, you could still understand it. Some of the cases though were hard to understand how they were solved due to the clues given. For examples, the clues such as dreams, spirits, and fear of the supernatural are not solid clues.
The clues didn’t always seem to be enough. Also, the outcomes of the cases were quite harsh. The punishment was torturous and different from the culture I live in. The different legal aspects of each case were interesting to read about, for the fact that they were different culturally. This book had a di fferent feel than a western civilization modern day mystery novel. It was very interesting because it was portrayed differently. I liked the book the Celebrated Cases of Judge . Bibliography Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee. Unknown. 1949. Print.