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Driving home after being kicked out of college, Tucker meets and picks up the mysterious Corinne Chang at a rest stop. Infatuated, and with nothing better to do, he ends up with her in St. Louis, where he gets a job as a chef in a Chinese restaurant. Even though he’s a gwai lo
—a foreign devil—his cooking skills impress the Chinese patrons of the restaurant, and his wooing skills impress Corinne when she joins him there as a waitress. But when Chinese gangsters show up demanding diamonds they believe Tucker’s kind-of, sort-of, don’t-call-her-a-girlfriend stole, he and his friends—which luckily include a couple of FBI agents—have to figure out just who is gunning for Corinne and how to stop them. Good thing Tucker is a Mandarin-speaking martial arts master who isn’t afraid to throw the first punch.
With its one-of-a-kind hero, Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is perfect for anyone who loves cooking, Chinese culture, bad jokes, and young love. Diamonds are forever . . . unless Chinese mobsters decide they want them back.
DAVE LOWRY is the restaurant critic for St. Louis Magazine and writes regularly for a number of magazines on a wide variety of subjects, many of them related to Japan and the Japanese martial arts. He is the author of numerous nonfiction books.
"Lowry's wry debut combines a caper story with foodie culture in an entertaining mix...a zestful first novel." —Publishers Weekly
"Lowry’s fast-paced tale is reminiscent of Kurt Russell’s Big Trouble in Little China
, or an off-center Philip Marlowe from a Raymond Chandler story. That is, it’s a chaotic, intriguing, and fun read that delivers quite a punch." —Booklist
"Lowry’s engaging first novel is as accomplished as its young hero—smart, skillful, self-possessed. And who wouldn’t love a hipster martial arts devotee who cooks authentic Asian cuisine? Warning: do not read this book without a good Chinese restaurant on speed-dial!" --
Hilary Fields, author of Bliss
"The clever and unique mix of martial arts, Chandler-worthy banter, mouth-watering feasts, and an extremely likable protagonist made me want join chef Tucker and his coterie for Chinese food and late-night sleuthing. Absolutely delicious." --
Sarah Skilton, author of Bruised
"Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves
is a road-tripping love story spiced with snappy repartee and a dash of running-for-your-life, told by a memorable narrator who never picks up strangers at a highway rest stop -- unless they speak Mandarin. An enjoyable, witty, comic adventure that will also make you very, very hungry." --
Kristina Riggle, award-winning author of The Whole Golden World