The Lemon Chicken Jones

Les Roberts, Author St. Martin's Press $20.95 (282p) ISBN 978-0-312-10490-0
Southern California PI and occasional bit actor Saxon follows a trail of mail-order brides in this sixth entry (after Seeing the Elephant ) in a superior series. A washed-up comedy star hires Saxon to find his wife, a Hong Kong native named Doll whom he met through an organization called Asian Nights. Doll, to whom the comic signed over all his possessions, has disappeared and, through an uncommunicative lawyer, filed for divorce. Saxon and his black teenaged son Marvel, who was adopted in an earlier book, head north to a small town where the cops support a network that imports Asian women to live in conditions dangerously close to slavery. Doll begins to look almost fortunate, judged against the often brutal standard of life endured by most of the ``merchandise'' offered by Asian Nights. Saxon's probing irks some locals and leads to the sudden malfunction of the brakes on his Chevy. Never at a loss for female company, Saxon continues to be a glib commentator on California mores, though the vulnerabilities of parenthood prove mellowing as Marvel achieves full-fledged partnerdom in this outing. Roberts, who also writes the Cleveland-set Milan Jacovich series, plots with finesse and an admirable economy. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/1994
Release date: 01/01/1994
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