Tears of the Dragon

Elodie Browne, trying to keep her fatherless family afloat in the Depression era by working long hours, takes an extra job serving as a waitress for a private party and sees a murder take place before her eyes. The party is at the home of Lee Chang, who possesses large amounts of jade, and the victim is attempting to approach the host when he is shot by a guard who claims he believed he was shooting at an attacker. Elodie cannot help but investigate what was meant by the victim's dying utterance, the word mingdow. When she tries to find out what the word means, she finds that it brings terror to the Chinese, and that she has brought herself into danger just by knowing it.

The crime and its consequences bring her into contact with Lieutenant Archie Deacon, one of the few uncorrupted representatives of the Chicago police. Elodie attempts to solve the mystery while also working at a newly challenging task: she has won the competition held by her company for the best idea for a radio script, and she and two co-workers are developing entertaining scripts in between investigations. The events she is experiencing prove fruitful to the scripts. A gentle romance develops between Elodie and Archie as they approach the conclusion that will bring all the elements of the plot together.

Tears of the Dragon is to be the first of a series of mysteries for author Holly Baxter featuring heroine Elodie Browne. It is a pleasant read, and while it is hard to imagine a cozy story featuring organized crime, police corruption, and massacre, Tears of the Dragon is such a novel and will have great appeal to fans of the domestic mystery.