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When staff members in the Asian reading room of the Werner-Bok Library are killed one by one, Crighton Jones, left in charge, enlists her mentor, Edward George, and her old flame, Steve Carson, to help her pursue the murderer.
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When, in Washington, D.C., two of the staffers in the Asian section of the Werner-Bok library are dispatched at their homes, Crighton Jones once again calls on her chums Steve Carson and Edward George (The Best Cellar, etc.) for help. The trio, plus new trainee Kit Chang, are soon snooping around the stacks, chatting up the staff, including the strangely tight-lipped Dr. Wu, and patrons of the Asian reading room--one of whom is then killed, while another disappears and a third, a visiting bookseller, keeps donating semi-rarities to the Werner-Bok. Is it possible that the library is housing, in crates and uncatalogued, the better part of 20,000 volumes comprising the Yung-lo Ta Tien, treasures stolen from the Chinese Imperial Palace during the Boxer Rebellion? Taiwan, it seems, as well as mainland China and inscrutable members of a Washington tong organization, wants them back. With much charm and cerebral patter, Crighton and friends, with an assist from a Houdini expert, disentangle greed from patriotism, and restore peace and quiet to the library. A lively rendering of library acquisition procedures, Chinese bookbinding, Blue Willow china, and cultural cross-purposes, with occasional murderous interruptions. A jaunty approach to scholarship; a cavalier approach to mystery. -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Publishers Weekly:
Investigation of three seemingly unconnected Washington, D.C., murders unearths skulduggery at the Asian Division of the Werner-Bok research library in the latest erudite mystery by a former Library of Congress assistant director ( Dewey Decimated ). Betty Crighton Jones, the W-B's CEO, assembles a snoop team--Williamsburg archeologist (and her persistent suitor) Steve Crason; Yale emeritus librarian Edward George; student intern Kit Chang--to track clues in D.C.'s Chinatown, the Rare Book Room of the Library of Congress and other intriguing spots. After an uninspired start, the novel picks up speed, and a gun blast through a glass door provides a smashing climax. But readers' responses will depend on how much they relish leisurely asides on Chinese lacquer, ancient manuscripts, the Boxer Rebellion and such aspects of conjuring as the "John Henry Pepper effect."
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description St. Martin's Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: New. /FIRST EDITION/FIRST PRINTING/ST MARTINS PUBL, 1992/BRAND NEW/SAME AS PICTURED/. Seller Inventory # SKU0011580