The Monkey and the Tiger

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The Monkey and the Tiger
MonkeyAndTheTiger.jpg
First edition
Author Robert van Gulik
Series Judge Dee
Genre Gong'an fiction, Mystery, Detective novel, Crime
Publisher Heinemann
Publication date
1965
Media type Print
Pages 144
Preceded by The Red Pavilion
Followed by The Willow Pattern

The Monkey and the Tiger book pairs two unrelated short gong'an detective novels written by Robert van Gulik and set in Imperial China (roughly speaking the Tang Dynasty). Both stories are fictions 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 contains eight illustrations and a map, all by the author.

Plot introduction[edit]

The first story is called "The Morning of the Monkey" and is set in the fictional city of Han-yuan in the year 666. One morning a gibbon drops an emerald ring right at the entrance to Judge Dee's house. This leads to the discovery of a strangely mutilated body out in the nearby forest.

Han-yuan is the setting for several other Judge Dee stories including The Chinese Lake Murders and one of the stories from Judge Dee at Work.

The second story, called "The Night of the Tiger", takes place a decade later when Judge Dee is returning to the capital at Chang'an when bandits force Judge Dee to take cover in an isolated country house. There he must fight off the vicious cut-throats as well as solve a murder.