Chi-Chun Ho, an organizer for the restaurant workers whom Lydia Chin's old friend Peter Lee is trying to unionize, has...

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A BITTER FEAST

Chi-Chun Ho, an organizer for the restaurant workers whom Lydia Chin's old friend Peter Lee is trying to unionize, has disappeared from his apartment, and so have all three of his roommates, two other waiters and a busboy at the Dragon Garden, the Chinatown landmark owned by the powerful (and union-phobic) H.B. Yang. Peter wants Lydia (Mandarin Plaid, 1996, etc.) to find the men before anything bad happens to them--but even as she takes on the case, it's too late for Ho, who's killed in a bombing of the Chinese Restaurant Workers' Union headquarters that also sends Peter to the hospital. Disturbed because Lydia has been threatened by a roughneck who stopped by her place to warn her off the case, Peter tells her it's time to drop the disappearances into the lap of the law--specifically, into the lap of Peter's girlfriend, NYPD Detective Mary Kee. But no sooner does Peter fire Lydia than she's hired to do the same job by none other than H.B. Yang. Lydia's contortionist attempts to placate each of her clients without giving in to them, her undercover stint as a dim sum waitress at the Dragon Garden, and her sometime romance with her sometime partner Bill Smith (No Colder Place, 1997, etc.) all keep her balanced precariously on the hyphen in ""Chinese-American,"" consistently illuminating both sides of her heritage. Rozan skillfully measures out the layers of double-dealing, keeping her plot just twisty enough to spin it out with consummate professionalism. If you still don't know Lydia and Bill, you'll never have a better chance to meet them.

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 320

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998