February, 1940. In San Francisco's Chinatown, fireworks explode as the city celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, a three day-and-night carnival designed to raise money and support for China war relief. Miranda Corbie is a 33-year-old private investigator who stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi. The Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up. The cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice - whatever it costs. From Chinatown tenements, to a tattered tailor's shop in Little Osaka, to a high-class bordello draped in Southern Gothic, she shakes down the city - her city - seeking the truth. An outstanding series debut.
Miranda didnt hear the sound he made when his face hit the sidewalk. The firecrackers were too loud, punctuating the blaring Sousa band up Stockton. Red string snapped and danced from a corner of a chop suey house on Grant, puffs of gray smoke drifting over the crowd. No cry for help, no whimper.
Chinese New Year and the Rice Bowl Party, one big carnival, the City that Knows How to Have a Good Time choking Grant and Sacramento. Bush Street blocked, along with her way home to the apartment. Everybody not in an iron lung was drifting to Chinatown, some for the charity, most for the sideshow.
Help the Chinese fight Japanput a dollar in the Rice Bowl, feed starving, war-torn China. Buy me a drink, sister, its Chinese New Year. Dont remember who theyre fighting, sister, they all look alike to me.
Somewhere above her a window opened, and a scratchy recording of I Cant Give You Anything but Love fought its way out. Miranda knelt down next to the...
This is one of those books that one needs to read for its entertainment value alone, turning a blind eye to its literary faults. This is the first book in what will likely become a popular series, and, despite its flaws, I find myself looking forward to the next installment.
(Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1216 words).
Hard-boiled fiction arose in the United States in the aftermath of WWI, and gained popularity and refinement in the years leading up to WWII. The popular genre was a direct reflection of the pessimism, uncertainty and disillusionment sweeping the country in the wake of gangster-driven crime, political scandal and economic crisis, and marked a decidedly American departure from the classic whodunit formula.
Fiction magazines proliferated in the 1920's and one in particular, Black Mask, exclusively featured action-oriented detective stories. Founded in 1920 by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan, it included the early efforts of such writers as Carroll John Daly and Dashiell Hammett. Captain Joseph T. Shaw, who favored "economy of...
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