* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology. *
Welcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that's running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.
Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.
While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart... even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.
I never read the short story in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology that this book was expanded from. I do, however, love Rhys Ford's urban fantasy stories. I could read them all day. I love her mix of culture and mythology and her brand of storytelling.
Dim Sum Asylum is the name of the San Francisco Police division of Arcane Crimes and it's got to be an interesting place to work. Much less boring than cop shops that deal in the mundane guns and knives crime problems, for sure.
Roku MacCormick is a very cynical cop working in Arcane Crimes. He's got plenty of reason for his cynicism, though. His mother, who was Fae and also a cop, was assassinated and his human father's family is a Yakuza crime family. And if that wasn't enough, Roku's boyfriend and their two daughters were murdered. So if anyone has reason to be cynical and reluctant to get close to others, it's Roku. Roku has not had good luck with work partners, either. It's a wonder he doesn't feel like he's cursed.
Trent Leonard is Roku's new partner. There's plenty about Trent that is "off", but he really seems to want to do right by Roku. His past is as mysterious as his fashion sense and he almost seems like he's wearing a human suit, which I found quite endearing. Trent is a good foil for Roku, who needs serious grounding.
I enjoyed the story quite a lot. It was quirky and many things happened that I found unexpected. One thing I wish there had been more of, however, is steam and romance. It really took a backseat to the suspense plot. And while I am used to that with this author, more steam would not have been unwelcome. Loved the story, though, and would give it an overall 4 stars.
ARC of Dim Sum Asylum was generously provided by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
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