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Download City of Dragons Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample City of Dragons Audiobook, by Kelli Stanley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (244 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kelli Stanley Narrator: Cynthia Holloway Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Miranda Corbie Mysteries Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9781400186648
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February, 1940. In San Francisco's Chinatown, fireworks explode as the city celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, a three-day-and-night carnival designed to raise money and support for China war relief. Miranda Corbie is a thirty-three-year-old private investigator who stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi. The Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up. The cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice-whatever it costs. From Chinatown tenements, to a tattered tailor's shop in Little Osaka, to a high-class bordello draped in Southern Gothic, she shakes down the city-her city-seeking the truth. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Stanley's dialogue bristles with attitude, the atmosphere is thick as the bay fog, and her protagonist is a great new dame in crime fiction. A smart, stunning thriller. Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author
  • “Beautifully imagined and beautifully written—this book does everything great fiction is supposed to.”

    Lee Child

  • “Big and ambitious, both reverent and original. Author Kelli Stanley has her eye on greatness.”

    George Pelecanos, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Stanley’s dialogue bristles with attitude, the atmosphere is thick as the bay fog, and her protagonist is a great new dame in crime fiction. A smart, stunning thriller.”

    Linda Fairstein, New York Times bestselling author

  • City of Dragons, with its brittle patter and its broken heart of gold, is a joy.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Stanley’s stunning first in a new series introduces a gutsy, independent heroine who isn’t always likable.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Miranda Corbie has the potential to be a great series character. Think Barbara Stanwick meets Myrna Loy, then toss in a hard-boiled crime story worthy of Raymond Chandler.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Stanley has vividly re-created the atmosphere of the era…Her hard-boiled, strong female sleuth…does the job with all the panache of Sam Spade.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelsey | 2/14/2014

    " I enjoyed the storyline, and the author does a great job of portraying 1940s San Francisco, including considerable detail. This is actually the 2nd "Miranda Corbie" mystery, and there are many references in the book to the previous mysteries solved (though the book is not based on them and the story doen't include any of the details). Many of the lines in book felt a little cheesy - like watching an 'old tyme' movie - mostly with lingo and some exaggerated stereotypes. All in all it was a quick, easy, and fun read, with a likable heroine. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 2/12/2014

    " This is a setting novel first and foremost - 1940's San Francisc noir, hard-boiled detective, female in this case. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brenda Guy | 2/11/2014

    " Mystery and history combined. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Linda Schwartz | 2/3/2014

    " I really eagerly anticipated this book -- set in WWII San Francisco's Chinatown with a woman PI, right up my alley! Or not. If I could give the book zero stars I would. Once you delete all of the four-letter words, the references to the protagonist drinking, buying liquor, buying cigarettes, smoking cigarettes, etc., you'd have a 20-page story, at best. What a total waste of time; I certainly won't read the sequel, if she actually manages to get another book in this wretched series published. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cora | 1/16/2014

    " I started out really liking this, but about halfway through, the hard-boiled style of the writing got way over-the-top, and ended up being kind of annoying. Also while I liked the main character (strong yet haunted former-escort-turned-private-detective) I was irritated by the many vague hints at earlier events in her life which were rarely fleshed out at all and so irritated rather than illuminated! Very atmospheric picture of San Francisco during WW2. Fairly enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Onoda | 1/10/2014

    " A two-fisted detective story set in San Francisco just prior to World War II. This novel has many of the traditional motiffs -- tough talking good and bad guys, a corrupt establishment, a chain smoking protagonist and lots of twists and turns. That the tough-talking, quick shooting, constantly smoking main character is a woman, Miranda Corbie, makes things even more interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RuthG | 1/10/2014

    " I really enjoyed the historical details about 1940 in San Francisco. The author made the story come alive and I felt that I was watching her as she tried to solve the mystery and rescue the innocent. I'm looking forward to future titles in what looks like a developing series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 kat | 1/4/2014

    " i liked the backstory of chinatown in the 40s well enough, with the forbidden city happening all over grant street. but too much excruciating detail, trying too hard to be subtly noir, horrible dialogue, poor writing, made it unbearable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gene | 12/19/2013

    " good reading... takes place in San Franisco Chinatown..1940's "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonny | 11/28/2013

    " Not my usual type of mystery book. I liked it. The plot unfolds logically and the main character is a gutsy private eye. Set in San Francisco at the beginning of 1940. Details of the period came ro life like a well scripted movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly S. | 11/12/2013

    " The heroine of the story was a chain smoker and I almost started coughing after a few pages. Loved the description of (Chinatown) San Francisco in the 1940's. A little hard to believe but a fun quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 11/9/2013

    " This is my new favorite book of the moment. A page-turner with it's own unique style reminiscent of film noir. Set in San Francisco in the 1940's with a female private investigator for a protagonist, yet definately doesn't classify as chicklit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kgwhitehurst | 8/16/2013

    " Interesting, but not compelling. Furthermore, the foul language did get to me. Although the author set up the backstory sufficiently--exposure to war--to make it clear while Miranda Corbie uses such foul language, it still grates. Too much anything, after a certain point, gets tedious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Roxane | 6/8/2013

    " Kind of torn on this story - would love to see a 'hard-boiled' type heroine and this is close - but not quite there yet (the heart appears to be missing). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Brand | 9/1/2012

    " Except for the fact that Miranda smoked way too many cigarettes, this was a enjoyable read. There is good movement of story. There is a lot of dirty talk, and Miranda is supposed to be one of the best looking woman in San Francisco. It was good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ken | 6/3/2012

    " Really liked the book.Only thng that kept me from giving it 5 stars was the transition between the detectives thoughts and the main story line. These transitions were a bit rough and take some getting use to. If you like noir fiction in this is worth a read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicole | 5/27/2012

    " I'm in chapter 4 and trying to convince myself to keep reading. There has been no plot or character development. Nothing is explained, connected, no attempt is made at development. This is terrible & I'm not a picky reader! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jemera Rone | 1/19/2012

    " Liked it a lot -- set in San Francisco's Chinatown and starring a former call-girl now private investigator looking into the murder of a young Japanese man. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deshay | 11/22/2011

    " Though I agree with some of the other reviewers who did not like the book because the main character was too stereotypical to be believable, the author did such a good job evoking time and place that I could overlook the countless Chesterfields, etc. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 11/12/2011

    " Incredibly well-written and stylized, though a bit depressing since Stanley brings you so far into the main character's psyche that you start to feel what she feels (and Miranda is not a happy girl). Loved her descriptions of 1940 San Francisco, and am looking forward to the next novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 4/24/2011

    " Noir thriller set in 1939 San Francisco. I enjoyed this book, but the period details became a tad annoying. (Not every paragraph needs to include a bit of obsolete slang or a 1939 pop culture reference.) Willing to read her next one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Holly | 3/25/2011

    " The heroine of the story was a chain smoker and I almost started coughing after a few pages. Loved the description of (Chinatown) San Francisco in the 1940's. A little hard to believe but a fun quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 3/20/2011

    " I'm all for period pieces, and the mystery is good enough. But I got awfully tired of the relentless B-movie dialogue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda833 | 3/10/2011

    " She did a good job of bringing 1940 San Francisco to life "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gene | 12/27/2010

    "

    good reading... takes place in San Franisco Chinatown..1940's "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth | 10/30/2010

    " Incredibly well-written and stylized, though a bit depressing since Stanley brings you so far into the main character's psyche that you start to feel what she feels (and Miranda is not a happy girl). Loved her descriptions of 1940 San Francisco, and am looking forward to the next novel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 9/29/2010

    " Couldn't wait to finish this book so that I could move on to something else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel | 9/27/2010

    " This is my new favorite book of the moment. A page-turner with it's own unique style reminiscent of film noir. Set in San Francisco in the 1940's with a female private investigator for a protagonist, yet definately doesn't classify as chicklit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 9/24/2010

    " Noir thriller set in 1939 San Francisco. I enjoyed this book, but the period details became a tad annoying. (Not every paragraph needs to include a bit of obsolete slang or a 1939 pop culture reference.) Willing to read her next one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 7/25/2010

    " This is a setting novel first and foremost - 1940's San Francisc noir, hard-boiled detective, female in this case. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tasha | 6/29/2010

    " The writing style was simply exhausting me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alohatiki | 6/10/2010

    " This book made me want to take up smoking and drink hard liquor. And wear pumps and pack heat, which all might not be a bad combo for working the reference desk. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Scott | 6/10/2010

    " My buddy Otto Penzler recommended this hardboiled bird's-eye view of San Francisco's Chinatown circa 1939 "

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About the Author
Author Kelli Stanley

Kelli Stanley’s first novel in the 1940 San Francisco-set Miranda Corbie series, City of Dragons, was met with overwhelming critical acclaim and was a finalist for the prestigious Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Stanley also writes a highly praised series set in Roman Britain, the latest of which is The Curse-Maker. Her debut novel, Nox Dormienda, won the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery of 2008. She makes her home in Dashiell Hammett’s San Francisco, earned a master’s degree in classics, and loves jazz, old movies, fedoras, Art Deco, and speakeasies.

About the Narrator

Cynthia Holloway, a native of Seattle, has performed on stage, in film and television, as well as doing voice-over work. She has given her voice to television programs, radio and television commercials, video games, and audiobooks.