BookBrowse Reviews City of Dragons by Kelli Stanley

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City of Dragons

by Kelli Stanley

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

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs

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The first book in a new hard-boiled detective series, set in San Francisco's Chinatown in the 1940s

City of Dragons reads like the script from a film noir like The Maltese Falcon or The Big Sleep. Kelli Stanley's style skillfully echoes those of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler as she brings to life the gritty world of San Francisco's Chinatown during the 1940s.

"San Francisco yawned and stretched, waking to Monday morning with a hangover. Chinatown shutters squealed open on rusty hinges, the streets shut off now, self-contained, the cotton-candy smell evaporated, the carnival gone on a dilapidated coach car to smaller, more simple places.

Old women swept chicken bones and popcorn and cigarette butts from foyers. Incense burned, sending curling waves of smoke drifting down to the Bay, to tickle the noses of businessmen on the ferry to Oakland."

The heroine of the novel is Miranda Corby, a tough-as-nails former "escort" turned private detective. Stanley ...

Just published in hardcover: City of Secrets, Book 2 in the Miranda Corbie mystery series.

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Beyond the Book:
  Hard-boiled vs. Noir

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