Set in San Francisco in the late Thirties, City of Dragons PI Miranda Corbie witnesses the murder of a young Japanese man in Chinatown during the Rice Bowl Festival. The police want to shove the murder under the rug, but Miranda — for reasons of her own — pursues the case. You can practically feel the cold fog rolling in under the Golden Gate Bridge in this novel, hear the mournful fog horns, and feel yourself being jostled by the crowds in Chinatown with the strange sounds of Mandarin and Cantonese all around you. Miranda is a tough-talking broad, chain-smoking and bourbon-drinking. She gives Sam Spade a run for his money.
City of Dragons carried me back to a time in my life in the early Seventies when I lived on the top floor of a Basque Hotel in North Beach. The cable car clanged under my windows, and I had a view of the San Francisco Bay.
The rooms on that floor were all filled with women who wanted TO WRITE; typewriters clicked contstantly behind closed . . .