Dragged out of Philadelphia at 6 a.m. to investigate sabotage against Uncle Chan's, a new Chinese fast-food outlet in Amish country, Dave Garrett finds himself up to his neck in vipers. Somebody's laced the wonton soup with detergent; Anne Chadwick, tempestuous wife of workaholic Uncle Chan's franchiser Bruce Chadwick, is kidnapped from under Dave's nose; Anne's neighbor and friend Nancy Saunders is killed only a few hours after Dave's talked to her; a prompt ransom demand is almost surely a con. Meanwhile, Dave, with the help of Anne's iron-pumping cousin Kate McMahan, finds out that Chan's is laundering mob money, and that an unsavory visitor's recently been trying to persuade Anne that her long-missing daughter Amy is still alive. Who's behind it all? Or, really, who isn't? Solid medium-grade Ross Macdonald stuff, heartfelt and twisty--a handsome improvement over Dave's routine debut in The January Corpse (1991).