Image of Skeleton Women


Image of Skeleton Women

This vaguely historical novel is a guilty pleasure. You’ll enjoy the exotic location and characters, but it’s not a realistic portrayal of Shanghai in the years of the Republic. There is no real emotion here; the characters are unreal, the situations melodramatic, the details lurid and contrived. It doesn’t matter. This is a large, luscious box of chocolates. There’s always tomorrow to diet and read more accurate books. Go on. You know you want to.

Camilla is a young orphan when she is adopted by a master crime lord and turned into the singing sensation of Shanghai. She lives in luxury but knows none of the wealth is really hers. She is one of the skeleton women, who lure men to their ruin and death. In her case it’s literal, since she is also trained in knife-throwing and contortion. Her assignment: Attract the attention of another crime lord and help see he is assassinated. But can she stay in his good graces with competition from Shadow, a famed magician, and Rainbow Chang, the ambiguously sexed gossip columnist? And will she be able to resist falling for either the gang lord’s son or his hunky bodyguard? (KENSINGTON, Jun., 358 pp., $15.00)
Reviewed by: 
Page Traynor