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The Shanghai Moon: A Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novel (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin Novels) Hardcover – February 3, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
The hunt for a valuable brooch propels Edgar-winner Rozan's ninth Lydia Chin and Bill Smith nail-biter (after 2002's Winter and Night). In 1938, Rosalie Gilder, an 18-year-old Jewish refugee, left Nazi-annexed Austria for Japanese-occupied Shanghai, where she married the aristocratic Chen Kai-Rong. Chen had a jeweler create the Shanghai Moon, a brooch combining Rosalie's mother's diamonds with his ancestors' rare jade. Its disappearance during WWII interests treasure hunters in the present day. When Wong Pan, a corrupt Chinese official, steals Rosalie's jewelry box, recently unearthed in Shanghai, a Swiss asset-recovery specialist hires Joel Pilarsky, Lydia's friend and associate, to recover it in New York City, where Wong has fled in hopes of selling Rosalie's jewels on the black market. After Joel's murdered, Lydia and Bill follow a trail to Manhattan's Chinatown, where they encounter Rosalie's son and other relatives eager to recover the brooch. More surprises abound before Lydia and Bill can put the curse of the luminous Shanghai Moon to rest in Rozan's rich blend of historical mystery and contemporary suspense. Author tour. (Feb.)
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When sleuthing gets stressful, private investigator Lydia Chin downs savory plates of noodles and pungent cups of tea. In this new entry in Rozan’s critically acclaimed series (after Winter and Night, 2002), Chin has plenty of cause to consume carbs. Not long after a fellow investigator enlists her assistance, he is shot dead in his office. The two were just starting to make headway on a case, which involved recovery of stolen jewels once belonging to Holocaust survivors. Lydia stays on the case, enlisting her former partner, Bill Smith, even though the two have been on the outs for some time. Lydia soon delves into the diaries of Rosalie Gilder, an Austrian Jew who was sent to Shanghai at a young age to avoid Hitler’s death camps. Gilder later married a Chinese man, and a stunning necklace became the symbol of their union. Pursuit of that long-lost bejeweled creation nearly gets Lydia and Bill killed. Rozan’s engaging plots and compelling characters have earned her every major mystery award, but this lukewarm offering isn’t up to the author’s usual level of suspense. --Allison Block
Top customer reviews
I had to borrow a book from someone to find out how it came out.
This 'who done it/where is it' gives us a group of today's greedy types unfolding against the Shanghai of World War II. The 'Shanghai Moon' is a rumored heirloom of antique jade -- which may not exist -- and people are dying because of it. Chin and Smith once again do a professional job of unraveling what's afoot.
The author's two intervening standalone books, in which she experimented with and stretched her writing, resonate here with a lovely new patina surrounding Lydia and Bill. The prose is beautifully Rozan, and she has crafted a poignant history lesson in the letters chronicling the uncommon love story that backdrops the book. I can not overstate how much I enjoyed this book. Highly recommended!