Kelli Stanley's CITY OF DRAGONS was one of the books I most enjoyed this year.
1940 San Francisco. China Town. Miranda Corbie, a former Spanish Civil War nurse and ex-escort, now a private investigator, is caught amid the crowd during a Chinese New Year Rice Bowl Party when Eddie Takahashi, a small time numbers runner, falls at her feet, fatally shot.
From here, the reader is thrown into all the excitement, beauty, and brutality that 1940 San Francisco has to offer. And in Miranda's world, that's a lot.
I really enjoyed everything about CITY OF DRAGONS, from the plot, to the language, to the setting. But most of all, I loved Miranda Corbie, a fast-talking P.I. who doesn't take crap, and seeks justice even when it seems futile. If there was an award for my favorite protaganist of 2010, it would definitely be Miranda Corbie.
The second in the series, CITY OF SECRETS, comes out in early Fall 2011. I can't wait to see where Kelli takes Miranda next.
If you're buying books as gifts this holiday season, please consider purchasing from your local independent bookshop. The level of customer service you'll receive is unmatched, you'll have the added benefit of making new friends of the staff, and you'll help support a local business.
Some of the books featured in this post can be purchased from the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (email@example.com).