A Slip of the Tong

Charles A. Goodrum, Author St. Martin's Press $16.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-312-07806-5
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.'' (July)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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