The Chinese Chop(1949)
(The first book in the Lily Wu and Janice Cameron series)
A novel by Juanita Sheridan
It's 1949 and the postwar housing shortage in New York City forces 27-year-old novelist Janice Cameron, newly arrived from Honolulu, to share a bedroom in a Washington Square rooming house with Lily Wu, a comparative stranger.Lily needs Janice to front for her because she's afraid that the other roomers might not be willing to rent to a young Chinese-American woman. But it soon becomes apparent to Janice that Lily has an ulterior motive for wanting to live in this converted old mansion.No sooner do Janice and Lily move in than the building superintendent is found dead in the basement of cardiac arrest, Foul play is suspected and suspicion falls on the other residents of the house.Among the suspects are Bela Palyi, an artist who knows too well that no man works harder for his money that the man who marries it; Evelyn Sayre, a writer of children's books; Henri Ledoux, a French refugee; Doris Manning, who loves Henri; Jarvis Lloyd, a frustrated musician who works in a music store; and Louise Kane, a radio actress desperate to conceal her past.And then there's the mysterious Lily Wu, a self-assured 25-year-old who can assume whatever demeanor best suits her purposes. Critic Anthony Boucher (for whom Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is named) proclaimed her as one of the best female sleuths of the era -- and the only he was devotedly in love with, citing his respect for her professional skills and delight in her personal charms.
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Used availability for Juanita Sheridan's The Chinese Chop
October 2000 : USA Paperback