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CITY OF DRAGONS by Kelli Stanley


by Kelli Stanley

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-60360-1
Publisher: Dunne/Minotaur

A hard-boiled Frisco detective stands alone in seeking the truth.

In Chinatown, the festive Rice Bowl Party for the Chinese New Year drowns out the shot that kills Eddie Takahashi. Though Miranda Corbie is the first to discover the body amid the chaos, her urgent cries for a doctor are swallowed in the celebration’s din. She does no better with the police; it’s 1940, and the first cop she talks to at the precinct house, whose denizens tag the murder as a low priority, tells her she’s no better than a streetwalker. But private eye Miranda, recently back from Franco’s Spanish Civil War, is battle-tough, passionate for justice and willing to wear out a lot of shoe leather. She’ll need both her street smarts and her .22 to maneuver the gritty San Francisco underworld and to sort out the truth from the lies that thwart her probe. Was teenage Eddie a good boy, as his immigrant parents claim, or a drug mule for shady Chinese herbalist Mike Chen? Did Eddie’s Japanese heritage factor into his murder? And how do the landmark Pickwick Hotel and the shady Clube Moderne fit into the puzzle? Intermittent flashbacks thrust Miranda back to war-torn Spain.

The proposed series kickoff, awash in period flavor, showcases a large and colorful supporting cast. Sometimes Stanley (Nox Dormienda, 2008, etc.) seems too enamored of her settings and her neo-noir voice, but for fans of Hammett and Chandler, she’ll hit the sweet spot.