18mm. BLUES by Gerald A. Browne

18mm. BLUES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Ill-gotten, naturally blue pearls and restless spirits draw a San Francisco gem-dealer and his impetuous artist girlfriend to Burma, Thailand, and the warm but awfully dangerous waters of the Andaman Sea--as Browne (Hot Siberian, 1989; Stone 588, 1986, etc.) continues to rummage through the jewelry box. Lying in the blue sands of an uncharted lagoon somewhere off the coast of southern Asia, a bunch of oysters has been building up a fortune in true-blue pearls. The accidental discovery of those oysters is fatal for a couple of Japanese pearl-diving women on hire to a vicious French thug who, preferring not to share the prize, murders the women. Decades later, the understandably vengeful soul of one of the divers enters the inexplicably suicidal body of sexy, clever California artist Julia Elkins after her cute- meet with newly separated, pearl-fancying Grady Bowman. (Bowman, having been dumped by his wife and fired by his ex-father-in-law, is setting up his own gem business.) After a massive dose of barbiturates fails to do its stuff, the revitalized Julia begins an affair with Bowman, surprising him and herself with a sudden taste for and knowledge of Japanese cuisine and a deep desire to accompany him on his next shopping trip to the Far East. A series of disastrous deals in Rangoon and Julia's spur-of-the-moment desire for blue pearls lead the couple to Bangkok and a gem-cutting shop owned by the son of one of the murdered pearl divers--and then to the isolated Siamese estate and oyster farm of Japan's greatest pearl-dealer where spirits, murderers, shoppers, and dealers sort it all out. Few people do sexy, grown-up romance as well as Browne--which is why he can get away with outrageous stuff like roving spirits.

Pub Date: March 12th, 1993
ISBN: 0-446-51661-9
Page count: 352pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 1993