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Lydia Chin and Bill Smith Books In Order

Publication Order of Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Books

China Trade (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Concourse (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Mandarin Plaid (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
No Colder Place (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Bitter Feast (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Reflecting the Sky (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Winter and Night (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Stone Quarry (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shanghai Moon (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
On the Line (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Ghost Hero (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lydia Chin and Bill Smith star in this series that is written by award winning author S. J. Rozan. The series is from the mystery and thriller genres of fiction. These stories (like some of Rozan’s other work is) are set in New York. The series started in the year 1994, when the first novel, “China Trade” came out.

At the start of the series, Lydia is in her thirties, she is a Chinese American, and is a private investigator. She is a dutiful Chinese daughter, but is still an independent woman. Bill Smith (at the beginning of the series) is in his forties, an Army brat, and a private investigator. He plays piano (for himself only) and enjoys classical music. Bill is tough as nails against bad guys, but still has a warm heart. The books alternate point of view between the two characters (Lydia narrates the odd numbered books and Bill narrates the even numbered books) in first person. Rozan says that Lydia is her when she was that age, (she thinks that the world is something that can be saved, full of energy and optimism) and Bill is her now as she has gotten older on a bad day. Bill has been through enough in his life that he knows what things cannot happen.

The series has won some awards. Book two in the series, “Concourse” won a Shamus Award for Best P. I. Novel in the year 1996. “No Colder Plaid” won an Anthony Award for best Novel in the year 1998. She would win another Shamus in 2002 in the same category. “Winter and Night” won quite a few awards. It took the 2003 Edgar (best novel category), Nero Award (for Excellence in the Mystery genre) in the year 2003, Macavity Award (best mystery novel, in 2003), and in the year 2009 it won a Maltese Falcon Award (for best hard boiled novel) in Japan. “Ghost Hero” won a Dilys Award in the year 2012. The series has also been nominated for many other awards.

“China Trade” is the first novel in the “Lydia Chin and Bill Smith” series and was released in the year 1994. This novel is narrated by Lydia Chin. New York’s Chinatown is like another city; it has its own smells, sounds, shops, and tight families. Not one of them is anything like P. I. Lydia Chin, she has a Chinese mother who disapproves of her choices, and Lydia has a great nose for trouble. Let’s not forget her partner who is named Bill Smith. He has lived above a bar for sixteen years. They have been hired to find some porcelain that has been stolen. Lydia is on the trail that includes highbrow art dealers in Chinese gangs.

Fans of the novel found these characters to be well drawn and she is able to bring New York’s Chinatown to life. The novel starts as just a simple whodunit but becomes something a lot more evil and sinister. The author does a good job with using some of the tropes found in these sorts of books, and does so in a way that does not take away from the story. Some felt that this was a good first novel in a series, and it was long enough that it developed the characters as well as the plot.

“Concourse” is the second novel in the “Lydia Chin and Bill Smith” series and was released in the year 1995. This novel is narrated by Bill Smith. There is a place that is supposed to be where people go to die. It is called the Bronx Home for the Aged. It is at the end of the avenue Grand Concourse. Only problem with the whole thing is that people are dying before they hit the right age. Bill has been hired by an old friend of his to look into a brutal killing on the Bronx Home grounds of a young security guard. Smith goes undercover, and goes into a sea of violence. There is another victim and knows that there is a method at work here. He has the help of Lydia on this case, and finds a web of corruption. He has to figure out who the next victim is supposed to be.

Fans of the novel felt that this one was stronger than the first book in the series. Some like the way that the characters interact with one another. This is a fast moving and an intense story. Fans of the book found what Rozan is doing with these two characters to be interesting, the way that she shifts perspectives between Lydia and Bill in each of the novels. It feels like something that no other series has done before. This is a series that readers want more of and cannot wait to get their hands on more.

“Mandarin Plaid” is the third novel in the “Lydia Chin and Bill Smith” series and was released in the year 1996. This novel is narrated by Lydia Chin. Genna Jing (who is elegant and has porcelain skin) is certain that her new designs are going to make big bucks. That is why she has no problems paying the fifty thousand dollars that the person who stole her design book is wanting from her. Lydia, backed up by Bill, drops off the cash, and it is here that everything goes wrong. It starts as a simple case of high fashion extortion takes Bill and Lydia from Chinatown to Park Avenue. It leads from a murder taking place to more money. Now this person wants a million bucks so that a missing man will not be killed.

Fans of the novel like the way that Lydia seems to be caught in two different worlds, and does not seem to be at home fully in either one. She is a strong person that does whatever she wants to do. Some feel that Lydia is the better of the two narrators. Some cannot wait to read more books about these two great characters. The way they are as people is interesting, but what is even better is their relationship and the way they interact with one another. The scenery of Chinatown was described vividly, and the way that the narrator describes the characters was well done.

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