The Shadow Pavilion

Liz Williams, Author . Night Shade $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-59780-122-5

The fourth Det. Insp. Chen mystery (after 2007’s Precious Dragon ) adds a bit of Bollywood to the high-stakes intrigues of Celestials and demons in Williams’s clever mix of Chinese folklore and police procedural. Chen, of Singapore Three, is the city’s “liaison officer... between Earth and Hell and Heaven.” His latest set of troubles starts with the disappearance of his partner, the demon Zhu Irzh, along with Chen’s wife’s badger familiar. Then Chen learns that someone has hired the bigendered demon assassin Lord Lady Seijin to murder Mhara, the new Emperor of Heaven, and that a rising Bollywood star is actually a tigress demon escaped from the harem of the demon who’s trying to steal Zhu Irzh’s fiancée. The plot zips along via short, tightly written chapters, growing more and more intricate with each scene. Williams seamlessly blends the occult with modern issues like feminism and illegal immigration to create a thoroughly original fantasy. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/04/2008
Release date: 06/01/2009
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 372 pages - 978-1-59780-123-2
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