Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Chinatown Banquet

I had to chuckle when I read the Labor Day edition of Jeff Kingston's "Bullet Points" feature on The Rap Sheet.

He relays the report that the annual Private Eye Writers of America banquet will be held this year at the Empress of China in Chinatown on 838 Grant Avenue in San Francisco.

The restaurant, and indeed the whole building at that address, serves as the model for the headquarters of Leonora Lee, a character from my private eye novel Runoff. Ms. Lee is referred to as the "Dragon Lady of Chinatown" in the book because of her abrasive personality and the enormous power she wields in the community. My private eye protagonist, August Riordan, makes her acquaintance after chasing a thief on a backhoe through Chinatown in the middle of the night, causing the thief and his backhoe to crash through the front window of the art gallery on the first floor of 838 Grant.

You can read a review of the book from Rap Sheet contributor Steven Miller here, check out the first chapter of the book here, and follow the route of Riordan's chase on this special Google Map (zoom into Chinatown to see the chase route; click on the blue markers to see photos of locations from the book):

View Runoff by Mark Coggins in a larger map

As I suggested, Leonora Lee is a pretty feisty character. I hope the other PI writers will be mindful of that during the banquet!


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