Monday, February 9, 2009

Shanghai Moon by S. J. Rozan

Hello All,

What a terrific book, with wonderful storytelling. S. J. Rozan has long been one of my favorite authors, and this book was well worth waiting for. It's been about six years or so since the last entry in the Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series.

What made this so wonderful to me was that Rozan tells two stories. The reader gets the PI novel with Lydia & Bill, but also an interesting historical story told in letters about Jewish emigrants to Shanghai just before WWII. Rosalie and her brother Paul are young people who leave Europe as Austria is invaded by Germany. On their journey to Shanghai, they are befriended by a Chinese gentleman named Kai-Rong. The friendship continues in Shanghai, as Rosalie and Paul go through some tough times adjusting to their new surroundings. Friendship turns to romance, and despite cultural differences, Rosalie and Kai-Rong marry. This story is told through letters Rosalie writes to her mother; not all the letters are sent, as the situation in Europe evolves, but Rosalie continues to write.

Lydia is hired by an old friend, another detective, to assist in a case using her connections in the Chinese community in New York. The case involves recovering assets from WWII, the Jewish community in Shangai, and missing jewelry, specifically a piece called the Shanghai Moon. Lydia's detective friend, Joel, is killed during the course of the case, and although she is fired, Lydia, now assisted by Bill, pursues Joel's murder and the missing jewelry.

Again, this book is terrific, and involved, and very, very interesting. I enjoyed all that I learned while reading it, and Rozan told two wonderful stories within one book. Very, very highly recommended.

Happy Reading!

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