Kelli Stanley: City of Dragons

February 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Fiction


978-0312603601 – Hardcover – Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books – $24.99

Reading Kelli Stanley’s City of Dragons was a pleasure from beginning to end.  I liked her incredible attention to details in the San Francisco of the 1940s setting.  I really liked her main character, the wounded private eye, Miranda Corbie.  Kelli’s love of noir fiction, and love for a great story really show.  Good fiction should be able to take you into another place and time coupling the author’s skills with your own imagination.  This book certainly succeeds in grabbing you early, and keeping your attention.  Anyone who has read and loved the great classic detective novels will feel at home with Kelli Stanley’s writing.  And she has that political edge that so many writers of the 30s and 40s brought to their work.

There’s a lot going on here.  You can feel San Francisco in the dark of pre-World War II, taste the cigarettes and booze, and feel the very real danger her characters experience, the otherness of Chinatown, and the deaths and broken lives that dot this sometimes harsh and painful cityscape.  And you can feel throughout how much heart and soul the author has put into this book.  It’s a pleasure to read, and has a story that won’t let go.  Lots of fun overall, and City of Dragons works on many levels, so it will satisfy readers looking for entertainment or something with a bit more depth as well.

Kelli loves her work and loves to talk about it too, so we had a great conversation.  This is a writer with a great future and I am very much looking forward to her next book.  I’m also hoping to get her to contribute a reading from this novel to Writerscast in the near future.  Kelli’s own website is worth a visit as well.  City of Dragons is available as an e-book in various formats, and in digital audio as well.