Progressive Dinner Deadly – Elizabeth Spann Craig
To the residents of the sleepy town of Bradley, North Carolina, hardworking Jill Caulfield seemed beyond reproach. She volunteered at the women’s shelter, worked at the church preschool, cleaned houses for extra money, and actually enjoyed yard work. And she was nothing less than a saint to cheerfully put up with her unemployed, skirt-chasing, boozer of a husband.
When intrepid octogenarian sleuth Myrtle Clover caught Jill, her new housekeeper, peering into her medicine cabinet, she should have been upset. But discovering that Jill wasn’t such a squeaky-clean goody-goody made her vastly more interesting in Myrtle’s eyes.
Myrtle would have happily continued figuring out what made Jill Caulfield tick. If Jill hadn’t foolishly gone and gotten herself murdered, that is.
How I Became a North Korean – Krys Lee
Yongju is an accomplished student from one of North Korea’s most prominent families. Jangmi, on the other hand, has had to fend for herself since childhood, most recently by smuggling goods across the border. Then there is Danny, a Chinese-American teenager of North Korean descent whose quirks and precocious intelligence have long marked him as an outcast in his California high school.
These three disparate lives converge when each of them escapes to the region where China borders North Korea—Danny to visit his mother, who is working as a missionary there, after a humiliating incident keeps him out of school; Yongju to escape persecution after his father is killed at the hands of the Dear Leader himself; and Jangmi to protect her unborn child. As they struggle to survive in a place where danger seems to close in on all sides, in the form of government informants, husbands, thieves, abductors, and even missionaries, they come to form a kind of adoptive family. But will Yongju, Jangmi and Danny find their way to the better lives they risked everything for?
China Trade – S.J. Rozan
It’s a city within a city, of smells, sounds, dark shops, and close-knit families; it’s a world all its own. And in all of New York’s Chinatown, there is no one like P.I. Lydia Chin, who has a nose for trouble, a disapproving Chinese mother, and a partner named Bill Smith who’s been living above a bar for sixteen years.
Hired to find some precious stolen porcelain, Lydia follows a trail of clues from highbrow art dealers into a world of Chinese gangs. Suddenly, this case has become as complex as her community itself–and as deadly as a killer on the loose…
Spring Moon: A Novel of China – Bette Bao Lord
At a time of mystery and cruelty … in an ancient land of breathtaking beauty and exotic surprise … a courageous woman triumphs over her world’s ultimate tragedy.
Behind the garden walls of the House of Chang, pampered daughter Spring Moon is born into luxury and privilege. But the tempests of change sweep her into a new world — one of hardship, turmoil, and heartbreak, one that threatens to destroy her husband, her family, and her darkest secret love. Through a tumultuous lifetime, Spring Moon must cling to her honor, to the memory of a time gone by, and to a destiny, foretold at her birth, that has yet to be fulfilled.
Four Reigns – Kukrit Pramoj, translated by Tulachandra
This English version of the Thai novel Si Phaendin tells the rich and entertaining story of one woman’s life both inside and outside the royal palace in Bangkok. Spanning a period of four reigns, from King Chulalongkorn to the reign of his grandson King Ananda, this popular modern classic gives insight into the social and political issues facing Thailand from the 1890s through the turbulent years of World War II.