(Poisoned Pen Press, November 2023) is the fifth book about private
investigator Cape Weather which Tim Maleeny has been leisurely producing over a
span of several years. The first volume of this fine series was published in
2007 and we’re only getting #5 some 16 years later. Some of us wish he could
write a bit faster. On the other hand, we have plenty of time to savor each
title about Weathers and his sidekick Sally Mei, trained by the Triad as an
assassin and now watching over San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Mei is just
the right person for Grace, an eleven-year-old girl in trouble, to find. Grace
was in the Asian Art Museum, where her uncle was security guard, when a
helicopter crashed into one of the plate glass windows in an attempted robbery.
The crash killed the pilot and Grace’s uncle but the robbers swept through the
museum anyway and took a valuable Buddha before the police arrived. They saw
Grace and gave chase but she escaped and Sally hid her in her secure loft
apartment. Sally views any crime in Chinatown as a personal affront, and she
enlists Weathers to assist her in identifying the lowlifes who had the impudence
to raid the museum. The scene shifts periodically to Hong Kong, where Grace’s
father Wen is imprisoned for his incorrect political views and he discovers some
chilling medical experiments underway in the jail.
threads link seamlessly across the major elements down to the final words in
each chapter beginning the next one. Very slick. The action is nonstop and the points
of view are complex, as the crime draws together Chinese mobsters, Russian
gangsters, an Interpol agent, and the local police, along with Grace, Weathers,
and Mei. The Chinatown setting is rife with realistic detail, reflecting Maleeny’s
long association with the area. Amusing dialogue and polished writing top off a
very good read. Highly recommended.
review from Library Journal and LJ’’s September Mystery Pick of
(Get it here as things at Amazon are not working quite right. KRT)
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press (November
Paperback: 416 pages
Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2023
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.