A Bitter Feast (Lydia Chin and Bill Smith Series #5)

( 3 )

Overview

Private investigator Lydia Chin has lived in New York City's Chinatown all her life. But even to those born and raised in this city-within-a-city, where the power structure is often based on perceptions and shifting alliances, the complex interactions of Chinatown can be elusive. The Chinese Restaurant Workers' Union - a new, unaligned, and untried union - is making waves in Chinatown by trying to organized the restaurant workers, challenge the powerful restaurant owners, and shift the balance of power. When four...
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A Bitter Feast (Lydia Chin and Bill Smith Series #5)

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Overview

Private investigator Lydia Chin has lived in New York City's Chinatown all her life. But even to those born and raised in this city-within-a-city, where the power structure is often based on perceptions and shifting alliances, the complex interactions of Chinatown can be elusive. The Chinese Restaurant Workers' Union - a new, unaligned, and untried union - is making waves in Chinatown by trying to organized the restaurant workers, challenge the powerful restaurant owners, and shift the balance of power. When four restaurant workers, one of them a union organizer, disappear with no known reason and without a trace, the union's lawyer reluctantly hires Lydia Chin to find the missing men. With her sometimes-partner Bill Smith, Lydia soon discovers that she is not the only one looking for them. Approached by all sides and alternately pressured to drop the case and to solve it quickly, Lydia finds herself in the middle of a mysterious conflict between two powerful Chinatown rivals, the New York City police, a struggling union, and a shadowy pair of federal agents. And four missing men, possessing a deadly secret, whose very lives hang in the balance.
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Editorial Reviews

Marilyn Stasio
The rich sights, sounds and textures of daily life in Chinatown are a sumptuous feast for jaded palates. -- New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While lots of amazing events happen in Rozan's fifth book in her superlative Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series, none surprises more than the moment when Lydia's mother actually admits that she approves of the way her daughter does her job. Mrs. Chin has always hated that her daughter's work as a PI puts her in danger and bad company, namely that of men, like Bill, who don't make suitable husbands. But when Lydia refuses to knuckle under to the demands of a Chinatown patriarch, her mother astonishes her by praising her 'professional manner' -- and then gives her a clue that helps her unravel a mystery involving the smuggling of people and drugs. Since Bill took center stage in the Shamus Award-winning Rozan's last book, No Colder Place), this time it's Lydia's turn in the spotlight. Working undercover as a dim sum waitress at the Dragon Garden, where four illegal aliens have disappeared, Lydia calls upon her deep roots in New York's Chinatown to note and comment on subtle changes in the power structure as new Fukienese-speaking immigrants replace the old Cantonese. She and Bill also move their personal relationship forward a notch and consume vast amounts of wonderful food -- Chinese, Jewish, even a homemade meatloaf -- in a story that manages to satisify all the senses.
Kirkus Reviews
Chi-Chun Ho, an organizer for the restaurant workers whom Lydia Chin's old friend Peter Lee is trying to unionize, has disappeared from his apartment, and so have all three of his roommates, two other waiters and a busboy at the Dragon Garden, the Chinatown landmark owned by the powerful (and union-phobic) H.B. Yang. Peter wants Lydia (Mandarin Plaid) to find the men before anything bad happens to them—but even as she takes on the case, it's too late for Ho, who's killed in a bombing of the Chinese Restaurant Workers' Union headquarters that also sends Peter to the hospital. Disturbed because Lydia has been threatened by a roughneck who stopped by her place to warn her off the case, Peter tells her it's time to drop the disappearances into the lap of the law—specifically, into the lap of Peter's girlfriend, NYPD Detective Mary Kee. But no sooner does Peter fire Lydia than she's hired to do the same job by none other than H.B. Yang. Lydia's contortionist attempts to placate each of her clients without giving in to them, her undercover stint as a dim sum waitress at the Dragon Garden, and her sometime romance with her sometime partner Bill Smith (No Colder Place) all keep her balanced precariously on the hyphen in 'Chinese-American,' consistently illuminating both sides of her heritage. Rozan skillfully measures out the layers of double-dealing, keeping her plot just twisty enough to spin it out with consummate professionalism. If you still don't know Lydia and Bill, you'll never have a better chance to meet them.
From the Publisher
"Smart, crisp writing...The rich sights, sounds and textures of daily life in Chinatown are a sumptuous feast for jaded palates." —Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"You couldn't ask for better company than Lydia." —Seattle Times/Post-Intelligencer

"A marvelous series...One of the best P.I. duos in contemporary mystery fiction." —Booklist (starred review)

"Superlative...a story that manages to satisfy all the senses." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Engaging, energetic Lydia is good company." —Philadelphia Inquirer

"Rozan skillfully measures out the layers of double-dealing, keeping her plot just twisty enough to spin it out with consummate professionalism. If you still don't know Lydia and Bill, you'll never have a better chance to meet them." —Kirkus (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312291709
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Series: Lydia Chin and Bill Smith Series, #5
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 555,664
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

S. J. Rozan is the author of many critically acclaimed novels and has won most of crime fiction's greatest honors, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Macavity, and Nero Awards. She lives in New York. 

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Very well written, as are all of Roazan's books!

    Very well written, as are all of Roazan's books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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