Review: Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves by Dave Lowry

Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves was a fun read. The book started off a bit slow but quickly picked up the pace. It's light entertainment that's a blend of mystery, young romance, and Chinese cooking.

The author is a restaurant critic for St. Louis Magazine and also writes nonfiction about martial arts. So, of course our young hero Tucker is a skilled chef who practices martial arts. He drops out of college, then meets and becomes infatuated with the mysterious Corrine Chang. Soon after he winds up in St. Louis working as a chef in a Chinese restaurant and Corrine follows him there to become a waitress in the same restaurant. Tucker gets pulled into some shadowy goings-on revolving around Corrine's past. His martial arts skills come in handy when a set of Chinese gangsters threateningly appear. Along the way there's one body discovered, and a couple of FBI agents get involved. I won't give away the rest, but you get the picture.

Yes, Tucker is sometimes annoyingly snarky, and the plot seems like it was picked up from a 1980s detective show, with short chapters that play like scenes in said show. But the writing is really good, especially for what is essentially a beach read. My one nit to pick with the writing is that Tucker is clearly benefiting from the age, experience and expertise of the author, so much so that he's not really believable as a 21 year old.

I picked this book up based on a review by another book blogger, and I'm glad I did. I give it 3 Stars ⭐⭐⭐ - I liked it. If you are making your summer beach reading plans now, consider adding this one up to the list.

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