New Arrivals, Current Reading July 15 – 21, 2013

My Judge Dee reading continues though these will be the last new Dee books for now. I was getting the books from the library, but the last two copies were so beat up,  dirty (filthy is more accurate) and nearly falling apart that I gave up on library (or used copies) and ordered these brand spanking new copies.

The books here are all by Robert van Gulik, published by University of Chicago Press except as noted. Publication dates vary. All copies are new.

Judge Dee at Work  – mystery, short story collection. This is where I started my Judge Dee reading, and I decided to buy a copy though I’d read one from the library. The stories cover Dee’s entire career – I recommend this list if you too want to read the books in the chronology of Dee’s career, as I’m doing: Dee Chronology
The Chinese Lake Murders –  the third novel in the series. I read the first two, The Chinese Gold Murders and The Lacquer Screen in library copies.
The Haunted Monastery
The Chinese Bell Murders
The Chinese Maze Murders
The Monkey and The Tiger  – two short novels collected in one volume
The Phantom of the Temple
Poets and Murder
The Red Pavilion
The Willow Pattern
The Celebrated Cases of Judge Dee [Dover Publications] – three novelettes
The Emperor’s Pearl

In the Judge Dee series, I’ve finished Judge Dee at Work, The Chinese Gold Murders, The Lacquer Screen and The Chinese Lake Murders. I liked the last of those the best so far. I’ve really enjoyed the four Dee books, but now I’m going to take a break and read some other things. I haven’t been following my Summer reading plan (here), having read just two of the 18 books I’d planned. The rest are either partially read or not yet begun. 

What did YOU get, new, used or from the library, and
what have you been reading?

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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18 Responses to New Arrivals, Current Reading July 15 – 21, 2013

  1. Ken Lawrence says:

    You say China, but I can’t tell when in China’s history.

  2. Richard says:

    The stories and novels take place around 780 – 850 A.D.

  3. Richard, these are amazing covers of a series I’m sure is equally good. This is a fine example of how covers of books are evolving. I’m currently reading SHOOT TO KILL (previously SADDLE PALS, 1947) by prolific western author Lee Floren who also wrote under a dozen-odd pseudonyms including Wade Hamilton.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I agree with Prashant; those are wonderful covers. I had that Dover edition of CELEBRATED CASES (and read it). For those who don’t know, this was supposedly an old book that was translated by Van Gulik, who later started writing his own Dee stories.

    One new book this week – the second Harold Adams book about Depression-era drifter Carl Wilcox, PAINT THE TOWN RED. I read the first (MURDER) many years ago but a mention on one of the blogs made me want to try another.

    Books read: occasionally I will read an “older” book but I prefer short stories to novels in the early mystery era. This week I read (mine) Douglas G. Greene’s edited CLASSIC MYSTERY STORIES, a group of tales written between 1841 (Poe’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue”) and 1920 (H. C. Bailey’s “The Archduke’s Tea”). I’d read a couple previously (the Poe, obviously) and enjoyed most of these. I hadn’t read much Wilkie Collins before but got a kick out of his story here (“The Biter Bit”) so may read more.

    The other book (library) was Craig Johnson’s ninth Sheriff Walt Longmire book, A SERPENT’S TOOTH. The series diverges more and more from the television series (the books are way better) and I enjoyed this one a lot. He will have a second book out later this year and I am anxious to see how the ending of this one plays out there.

  5. Jerry House says:

    Jean Charlot’s DANCE OF DEATH, the Jack Finney fantasy collection I LOVE GALESBURG IN THE SPRINGTIME, Bill Pronzini’s NEMESIS, CAGE OF NIGHT and THE DARK FANTASTIC by Ed Gorman, EAGLE PASS by Bill Crider as “Matthew S. Hart,” and M.I.A. HUNTER by “Jack Buchanan”

    Coming up: two more by Gorman. a Crider/Willard Scott mash-up, another Stone: M.I.A.Hunter book, the new Alastair Reynolds Doctor Who, R. S. Belcher’s THE SIX-GUN TAROT, Neil Gaiman’s FRAGILE THINGS, and BARBARELLA (the French comic). After that, there are three Stephen Kings, a Victor Gischler, three Manly Wade Wellmans, and a passel of Basil Copper mysteries nearing the top of Mount TBR.

    In the meantime, my local library is searching out some August Derleths and Ed Gormans for me, along with a bunch of older, more esoteric stuff.

    Busy, busy, busy.

  6. Love the covers on those Judge Dee mysteries! I’m still reading Big Fat Books this summer. My goal is to finish all the library books stacked up. I’ve whittled the pile down to three library books. I’m also rereading a Jack Vance novel for FFB in August.

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    I am still reading THE SEARCHERS: THE STORY OF an America Epic and loving it. I have a bunch of library books, all of which I will have to return I guess. I bet get on my Jack Vance book. This will be a real stretch for me. There are all sorts of odd beings on the cover.

  8. Don’t think I’ve ever read any of the Judge Dee books.

  9. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Now that I finished the Johnson I’m reading one of the John D. MacDonald books on the Ed Gorman/George Kelley top 10 list.

  10. Richard says:

    Prashant, yes the covers are nice enough, though honestly I prefer the ones from the earlier mass market editions (Chinese Lake Murders, the 2nd one shown, is one of them). I’m forcing myself to take a break from the Dee books, but I’ll get right back to them after a couple of other things as I’m enjoying them a lot.

  11. Richard says:

    Jeff, from my admittedly shallow research, I understand that the stories in Celebrated Cases are based on records of cases, but that van Gulik edited and rewrote them a good deal. The character is nearly the same as his original books, man of which have ideas in them based on similar research on similar cases.

    I’ve read that Doug Greene collection, and like you had read many (most?) of the stories before. I’m not familiar with the others. Which MacDonald?

  12. Richard says:

    Jerry, I really enjoy your weekly drop-in to fill me in on your reading! More Crider / Gorman, eh? Your going to run out of them pretty soon. I read that Barbarella a long time back, though I can’t remember if it was in French or translated. Basil Copper plus Auguat Derlith means Solar Pons to me. I like those stories a good deal, though many purists pooh-pooh them as inferior Holmes pastiches.

  13. cgramlich says:

    Lots of covers I haven’t seen. Interesting.

  14. Jeff Meyerson says:

    SOFT TOUCH is the MacDonald.

    I’ve read the three Bill Crider/Jack Buchanan books but still have the three written by Joe Lansdale to read. I’ve read one of Bill’s Matthew S. Hart books but I’m waiting to get the one Jerry mentioned before I read the third, which Bill says is a sequel of sorts. I do still have the horror books as by Jack Maclane yet to read, plus TUNNEL RATS as by Cliff Banks and one of the westerns. Other than that I think I’m pretty much up to date on the stuff I know of, other than some recent ebooks which I have but haven’t read yet.

  15. Rick, I’ve been meaning to ask you how you achieve such attractive galleries of cover artwork. When I do galleries, they always cut off parts of the covers and the result is nowhere near as nifty as yours! What’s your secret?

  16. Richard says:

    Jeff, that Crider under all his pseudonyms and aliases is a pretty prolific guy.

  17. Richard says:

    George, I’ll send you an email with the steps. Not sure if the menus and controls are the same in your version of WP as mine, since I have the hosted one, but if the set-up is the same it should work.

  18. Thanks, Rick! I appreciate it!

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