THE CHINESE GOLD MURDERS takes us back to the beginning of Judge Dee's career when, thirty-three years of age, he had been appointed to his first post in the provinces, viz. that of magistrate of Peng-lai, a port city on the northeast coast of Shantung Province.
Then the Tang Emperor Kao-tsung (64ss-683) had just succeeded in establishing Chinese suzerainty over the greater part of Korea. According to the chronology of judge Dee Mysteries, Judge Dee arrived in Peng-lai in the summer of A.D. 663.  During the successful Chinese Korea campaign in the autumn of the preceding year, when they defeated the combined Korean-Japanese forces, the girl Y"u-soo had been carried away as a war slave. Chiao Tai had taken part in the previous campaign of 661 as a captain over hundred.
The reader will find a pictorial map of Peng-lai in the front of the book, and in the Postscript information on the ancient Chinese judicial system, taken over, with a few changes, from the preceding volume of the series, together with an account of the Chinese sources utilized.
ROBERT VAN GULIK