MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

City of Dragons

by Kelli Stanley

City of Dragons
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2010, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2011, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Color spread across his face, eyes dropping to her purse contents. Same story, new year. Same Phil. She readjusted herself in the hard wooden chair.

“Let’s get on with it.”

Hurt eyes, sad eyes, baggy, bloodshot, old. He took a piece of paper from the drawer, dipped the fountain pen.

“Name?”

“Don’t you have all that down? I’ve been sitting with Officer League of Decency for half an—”

“I’m the lieutenant. You’re the witness. Let’s keep it formal.”

She blew another smoke ring over her shoulder, watched it sail over the head of a uniform a few desks down.

“Miranda Corbie.”

“Hair?”

“Auburn. Or red. Depends on the henna.”

“Answer the questions. Eyes?”

“Brown.”

He looked up. “I thought they were . . .  yes. Hazel.”

She tapped some ash on the cheap metal ashtray. “They’re brown to me.”

“Height?”

“Five feet six inches. Without heels.”

“Weight?”

“130, stripped.”

“Age?”

“Same as last year, except a year older. Thirty-three.”

“Address?”

“640 Mason Street, apartment number 405. No phone.”

He fished around the pile on the desk and pulled out a battered card. “Monadnock Building? With the Pinkertons?”

“Closet on the same floor. They sometimes throw me the small fry in return for Sally Rand tickets.”

“Good for you. For getting your own office, and moving out of Burnett’s.”

She shrugged again. “It was never much. Neither was Burnett.”

He busied himself with writing. “Phone at the offi ce is EXbrook—”

“—3333. Easy for clients to remember. I was lucky.”

The eyes came back to her. Like kids at a candy shop.

“They got your numbers memorized, Miri—at least their husbands do.”

She stubbed out the cigarette in the same spot on the desk and dropped it in the tray.

“Like I said, I’m lucky. C’mon, Phil, let me go home. It’ll be hell getting through—they’re expecting a hundred thousand tonight.”

He leaned back, scratched his neck. “So what happened?”

“I was on my way home from here. Had to ID a phony check pusher, who also happens to be a bigamist.”

He frowned. “You see Riordan?”

“Unfortunately. Tried to lick my face like a dog. I took a shortcut through Chinatown, forgetting about Rice Bowl, and got stuck on Sacramento between Grant and Waverly. About five o’clock, an hour before the street carnival, but still goddamn hard for anybody trying to get anywhere else. I saw this kid facedown on the street. Thought he was drunk, flipped him over, saw the exit wound, yelled for a doctor, and The Law shoved his way through with a nightstick. That’s it.”

“Eddie Takahashi. Sure you don’t know him?”

She shook her head. “Never seen him before. Got a record?”

His voice hesitated. “Small-time. Used to be a numbers runner for Filipino Charlie, here and down in South City. Family lived on the edge of Chinatown— until ’37.”

Miranda reached for her cigarette case again, opened it, grimaced, and shut it.

“You got a stick on you?”

He searched inside his coat pocket and pulled out a crumpled Old Gold package and a tarnished lighter. He lit one, his hand shaking when he took it out of his mouth and handed it to her. She inhaled, leaning back in the chair.

“Nanking changed a lot of things in this city, Phil. Suddenly every Japanese bayoneted babies.”

He passed a hand through his short gray hair, sweat starting to bead along his scalp. Kept his voice low.

Excerpted from City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley. Copyright © 2010 by Kelli Stanley. Published in February 2010 by Minotaur Books. All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Hard-boiled vs. Noir

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: If I Was Your Girl
    If I Was Your Girl
    by Meredith Russo
    Who defines us? Do we ourselves, or does the society in which we live? Meredith Russo's ...
  • Book Jacket: If I Was Your Girl
    If I Was Your Girl
    by Meredith Russo
    Who defines us? Do we ourselves, or does the society in which we live? Meredith Russo's ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Lost Child
    by Caryl Phillips
    The Lost Child is a modern novel constructed within a historical frame, invoking one of the most ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Charmers

The Charmers by Elizabeth Adler

"This tale of romantic suspense makes the perfect beach read."
—Library Journal

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.