The Lacquer Screen
First edition cover
|Author||Robert van Gulik|
|Genre||Gong'an fiction, Mystery novel, Detective fiction, Chinese crime fiction|
|Publisher||Art Printing Works, Kuala Lumpur|
|Preceded by||The Red Pavilion|
|Followed by||The Emperor's Pearl|
The Lacquer Screen is a gong'an detective novel written by Robert van Gulik and set in Imperial China (roughly speaking the Tang Dynasty). It is a fiction based on the real character of Judge Dee (Ti Jen-chieh or Di Renjie), a magistrate and statesman of the Tang court, who lived roughly 630–700.
The book features fourteen illustrations by the author.
In 663, Judge Dee is the young magistrate in the fictional town of Peng-lai. On a visit to a senior magistrate he is shown a beautiful lacquer screen which is mysteriously altered to show a murder scene instead of a love scene. With the senior magistrate convinced he is going insane, a wealthy banker in town does kill himself, or is it murder? Judge Dee and his faithful servant Chiao Tai go undercover and join a gang of robbers to solve the case.
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