It is a curious coincidence, that this post on the Judge Dee novels of Robert van Gulik should follow a post on the novels of Janwillem van de Wetering, as the latter, after discovering the books of the former in 1960s, was so taken with them he wrote a biography of Robert van Gulik which was published in 1988.
Robert van Gulik, like Janwillem van de Wetering, led an interesting and widely travelled life. He is famous for the Judge Dee novels, a series of novels set in ancient China, featuring the semi-fictional character of Judge Dee who is based on the historical figure Di Renjie, magistrate and statesman of the Tang court.
I have a small collection of the Judge Dee novels in my library several published in a uniform edition by University of Chicago Press in 1977, and two large format Dover books. They all contain illustrations by the author.
I am drawing to the end of my crime fiction collection, so should be able to polish them off in the next post or so. Coming next Barbara Vine & Patricia Wentworth.