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Something Missingby Matthew Dicks
Synopses & Reviews
A career criminal with OCD tendencies and a savant-like genius for bringing order to his crime scenes, Martin considers himself one of the best in the biz. After all, hes been able to steal from the same people for years on end—virtually undetected. Of course, this could also be attributed to his unique business model—he takes only items that will go unnoticed by the homeowner. After all, who in their right mind would miss a roll of toilet paper here, a half-used bottle of maple syrup there, or even a rarely used piece of china buried deep within a dusty cabinet?
Even though he's never met these homeowners, he's spent hours in their houses, looking through their photo albums and reading their journals. In essence, Martin has developed a friendship of sorts with them and as such, he decides to interfere more in their lives—playing the part of a rather odd guardian angel—even though it means breaking many of his twitchy neurotic rules.
Along the way Martin not only improves the lives of others, but he also discovers love and finds that his own life is much better lived on the edge (at least some of the time) in this hilarious, suspenseful and often profound novel about a man used to planning every second of his life, suddenly forced to confront chaos and spontaneity.
"An expert thief unexpectedly finds himself aiding his victims in Dicks's charming if rambling debut. During his hours off, barista Martin Railsback burgles the houses of folks he calls his 'clients,' taking only what they won't notice is missing: for instance, 'three boxes of long grain rice... two rolls of toilet paper (in Martin's estimation, the Gallos had excellent taste in toilet paper), three cups of olive oil' and, on occasion, something really valuable. The system works beautifully until the day Martin drops a client's toothbrush into the toilet and feels compelled to replace it. This act of simple decency sets him on an entirely different course, and pretty soon he's breaking into houses to improve the lives of their occupants. Martin's own life starts looking up, too, with the possibility of romance and a new avocation, but the specter of real peril looms. Dicks struggles with digression and repetition — Martin's obsessive allegiance to the rules of his pastime becomes exasperating — but he's created a winning hero in Martin, a crook with a heart of gold. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A rollicking debut novel about a young man who gets kicked out of college, becomes a Chinese restaurant chef, and inadvertently gets in the middle of a Chinese gang's search for their stolen diamonds.
Driving home after being kicked out of college, Tucker meets and picks up the mysterious Corinne Chang at a rest stop. Infatuated, and with nothing better to do, he ends up with her in St. Louis, where he gets a job as a chef in a Chinese restaurant. Even though hes a gwai lo—a foreign devil—his cooking skills impress the Chinese patrons of the restaurant, and his wooing skills impress Corinne when she joins him there as a waitress. But when Chinese gangsters show up demanding diamonds they believe Tuckers kind-of, sort-of, dont-call-her-a-girlfriend stole, he and his friends—which luckily include a couple of FBI agents—have to figure out just who is gunning for Corinne and how to stop them. Good thing Tucker is a Mandarin-speaking martial arts master who isnt afraid to throw the first punch.
With its one-of-a-kind hero, Chinese Cooking for Diamond Thieves is perfect for anyone who loves cooking, Chinese culture, bad jokes, and young love. Diamonds are forever . . . unless Chinese mobsters decide they want them back.
About the Author
MATTHEW DICKS lives in Newington, Connecticut. This is his first novel.
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