- File Size: 1097 KB
- Print Length: 338 pages
- Publisher: Blackstone Press; 2 edition (October 20, 2011)
- Publication Date: October 20, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005Y0NHTM
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,437 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$2.99|
|Print List Price:||$14.95|
Save $14.95 (100%)
Mandarin Yellow: A Mystery Introducing Socrates Cheng (Socrates Cheng mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
When an author is able to strike a chord of fear with the opening lines, then the reader can be assured the designated genre of ‘suspense novel’ is correct. Steve does this with direct ease in a very brief but threatening Prologue – ‘The old woman was expensively clothed. She wore traditional Chinese garb – an embroidered silk dress that covered her form her neck to her ankles, an antique jade necklace – but also costly Western shoes rather than traditional Chinese shoes because Oriental brands hurt her feet. Her hair was well-coiffed and her nails grown long and carefully polished deep red. Al in all, the old woman looked quite stylish and well put together for a dead woman.’
Steve offers a synopsis that outlines the area the novel covers – ‘Conspiracy, the theft of a valuable historic object from a Washington, DC art gallery, suspense and murder -- It's all here in this mystery whose roots go back to World War II in China, and come forward to modern-day Washington and its Chinatown. Why would a burglar break into a Washington, DC art gallery and steal an historic fountain pen worth $2200, but leave behind other art and cultural objects worth tens of thousands of dollars each? And why would someone else later commit murder to protect the burglar’s secret? These are some of the questions that confront Socrates Cheng — an American of Chinese and Greek heritage — in this intricate murder mystery as Socrates investigates the burglary and attempts to recover the pen, all in an effort to curry favor with his lover’s estranged father who is the leader of a Washington and Shanghai based criminal Triad. In a search that takes him from Georgetown to Chinatown and elsewhere in Washington, Socrates finds himself threatened, physically assaulted, suspected of having committed murder, jailed for a time, and constantly confronted by conflicts arising out of his three disparate cultures. Yet he is neither daunted nor deterred by these obstacles. Instead, Socrates draws upon his deep knowledge of vintage fountain pens, Chinese history, and the Mandarin language to puzzle out the complex motives behind the burglary and murders, until he finally uncovers the identities of the criminals and makes a discovery that forever changes his life and the lives of everyone else involved. The story involves ethnic and cultural conflict, forbidden love, friendships sustained and friendships lost, and the ever present and sometimes deadly immutable law of unintended consequences.’
Reading this initial installment of the Socrates Cheng series develops a need to read the entire series – and that is a solid sign that Steven M. Roth is a novelist of significance. Grady Harp, February 18
but lots of problems in terms of narrative drive and too much talking and unnecessary violence...
the best friend did not need to be killed...
he was a good character with potential
I have no idea why so much time was spent on the father's Alzheimer's and IRS problems... they did not contribute to suspense or anything else...
MAJOR PROBLEM: Is Socrates Cheng ... too dumb? He keeps walking into situations that no one of any investigative acumen would. And his last hesitation when he goes to see Jade...given what is about to unfold... is ridiculous. He worries about her response to his audaciousness if he does not just go in on another resident's buzz and knock at her door. This is late in the game to be worried how Jade will react.
This is not a Broadway play and there is way too much talking heads.... plot
seems contrived and does not unfold smoothly.
Author should study Jonathan Kellerman's GUILT for how to peel the onion of a labyrinthine plot while maintaining narrative pull.
So... great opportunity for potential... but only utilized about 60% of what he could have. A researcher as protagonist vs a person of innate acumen and insight...
is not something for me personally to get excited about. Maybe the follow up book is better...but not sure I'm willing to pay to find out.
The author obviously knows quite a bit about some of the subject matter and can't resist showing off that knowledge, even when it bogs down the story. Case in point - the Mandarin Yellow pen, as the titular item that has been stolen. A fake is introduced, and the fact that the pen is a fake would have been obvious to anyone with access to Google, but the author instead spends two pages going over ways the fake is similar to the real Mandarin Yellow, before pointing out the VERY obvious physical feature that shows it's a fake. When it comes time to reveal the mystery, the "suspense" is drawn out so long that is passes laughable and goes all the way to annoying.
Socrates: I will reveal the answers to all of your questions.
Villain: So tell us! If you can.
Socrates: Oh, I can! And I will!
Villain: So, whats the answer?
Socrates: It's very simple.
Villain: It must be, if you figured it out.
Socrates: You think you're very clever, but you made one mistake.
Villain: What mistake?
Socrates: I'll tell you.
Villain: So tell me.
Socrates: I will! After this suspenseful chapter ending!
Okay, so those lines aren't in the book, but you get the picture. After all that, the mystery is impossible to solve, as critical information is unavailable to the reader. The villain's motivation is paper-thin, and involves a complete personality change (although, I never did like the character, so perhaps the author did a better job than I give him credit for.). Despite that, there is little surprising about the Big Reveal, only another tedious recitation of facts that the reader had no access to and could have been delivered much more concisely.
I, personally, thought that naming the half-Chinese, half-Greek main character "Socrates" was a little cutesy. There are literally thousands of Greek names the author could have chosen that would have conveyed the character's mixed heritage, without becoming a cliche.
All in all, a disappointing read.