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Stone Quarry [Large Print] [Hardcover]

S. J. Rozan
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 2003 Beeler Large Print Series
Bill Smith's country cabin in upstate New York is far from the city's savage streets--a retreat where a weary P.I. can play Mozart on his upright piano and let nature heal him. But when Eve Colgate, a local farmer and painter, asks him to find stolen items--six paintings which could reveal Eve's highly guarded thirty-year-old secret--he caves. When Smith's partner, Lydia Chin, comes in on the action, she brings along her cool courage and sharp mind. It's a simple case--until the runaway daughter of a hotshot politician and the murder of a local hood change the playing field. Now the stench of corruption fills this rural paradise, as Bill and Lydia scour through dangerous secrets and greedy corridors for the stone-cold truth...
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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From Amazon

It's Bill Smith's turn to take center stage in this sixth entry in S.J. Rozan's memorable Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series of mysteries, and the tough and taciturn private eye really comes into his own. Smith has cloistered himself in his remote cabin in upstate New York, where he escapes from his private devils by fishing, hunting, and practicing Mozart and Bach on his piano, when he is sucked into two local crime cases.

The first involves Tony Antonelli, the brother of a young man whom Smith once helped out of trouble. Tony finds the body of a murdered local hoodlum in the cellar of his roadhouse. His brother Jimmy suspiciously goes missing and becomes the leading suspect. The second case involves a reclusive older woman (who turns out to be a world-famous painter). She asks Bill to track down some of her early works, which had been stolen from her studio. There's also a very nasty sheriff who hates Smith, a moderately tolerant state trooper who grudgingly helps, a corrupt executive of a babyfood company and his sad, dangerous teenage daughter, plus a crew of smalltime crooks who give the lie to the myth of rural safety. Lydia doesn't get called in from the Big Apple until quite late, and when she arrives she attracts stares in the local 7-Eleven "as though she were a black-petalled orchid that had sprung up in the daisy patch. Back in the car, Lydia grinned, said, 'Not many Asians up here, huh?' 'Especially in black leather,'" Bill answers."

The plot might have one or two tangles too many for its own good, but as usual Rozan proves herself to be one of the best descriptive writers in the genre, bringing to indelible life everything from a modern painter's latest work, to a depressed countryside where the last stone quarry is about to close down and grind away a few more dreams.

Other books in this award-winning series: A Bitter Feast, Concourse, Mandarin Plaid, and No Colder Place. --Dick Adler --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Stone Quarry is an extremely well-done production of quite a well-written mystery. Rozan's descriptions of the people and countryside of Schoharie County, NY, are just outstanding. William Dufris's performance brings audiobook narration to a new level entirely, having taken the time to develop Rozan's characters thoroughlyDtheir voices, accents, and speech patterns. The result is more a dramatic recital than what one expects from audio storytelling. Bill Smith and Lydia Chin combine to explore a series of disappearances, murders, and the theft of a priceless series of paintings in rural upstate New York. The author captures the effects of the continuing economic decline in the rural areas of the state on citizens too poor or uneducated to escape, as well as the strange mix of hope, mud, and the penetrating chill that marks its early spring. Listeners should expect adult language and situations. Full of action, intrigue, and quite an amount of charm, this novel is highly recommended.DCliff Glaviano, Bowling Green State Univ. Libs., OH
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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It can be a treacherous road, State Route 30, especially rain-slick in the twilight of late winter, but I know it well. Read the first page
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, as usual May 30 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The setting is different in this book (rural upstate New York vs NYC) but in every other way this book is very similar to Rozan's other novels, which is a good thing. As usual, this is a very well-written book; Rozan obviously puts a good deal of thought and effort into her writing; she tries hard to describe things and people in a way that is fresh and that puts vivid images of the scene into the minds of the readers. The plot is complex and satisfying, which is one of the things that Rozan always does well that most of the current mystery writers do not. This series is made up of real, quality mysteries, in the tradition of Chandler, Hammett and Ross MacDonald; these are not thrillers masquerading as mysteries. There is a good bit of action here, though, and the ending is a real barnburner. My only quibble, and it is a small one, is that Rozan needs to either have Smith and Chin get together or have them decide to be strictly friends. The quasi-relationship that they have been in for several books now is starting to wear a little thin.
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4.0 out of 5 stars IT"S BILL SMITH!!!!! Aug. 28 2000
Format:Audio Cassette
You can tell the Audiofile person wrote a review without listening to it, since the character's name is Bill Smith, not Bill Stone.
Anyway, all of the Bill Smith/ Lydia Chin books are terrific, especially since the point of view for each book switches from Lydia to Bill. Lydia's problems with being female and Chinese in a white man's world are my favorite part of the books. Poor Bill! Carrying a torch for Lydia and trying not to mess up a fine partnership. They have such a strange relationship, but it works. Get the books or tapes, curl up in a chair and enjoy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine book by one of the best writers in mystery today Oct. 11 1999
By A. Shechter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My introduction to the work of S.J. Rozan took the form of a short story. After reading one or two of her novels, I was telling friends on the internet that this writer was a major talent, someone I believed would be a strong voice in mystery.
With the publication of STONE QUARRY, the sixth book in Rozan's Lydia Chin/Bill Smith series, St. Martins Press has proved me right - but then, I knew that about the time that CONCOURSE, won the Shamus Award back in 1995. Rozan has not only developed a continually fascinating series, with fully developed characters, well-described settings (mostly in and around New York City), but she has successfully created a series with two distinct voices. In books one, three and five, Lydia Chin takes the narrative. She is a young, optimistic Chinese-American private eye who tries to balance the needs of her family and her own need to declare her independence and intelligence. The older, far more cynical private eye Bill Smith takes the lead in the other books. STONE QUARRY is, technically a "Bill Smith" book, while Lydia still participates. While Smith seems to fit the mold of he standard white guy p.i., he is anything but typical and is as interesting as his more "exotic" partner.
In this dark mystery, Bill is in upstate New York where he's had a house for years - a place he retreats to. He's in town primarily to assist Eve Colgate, a somewhat reclusive resident who wants him to check out a theft, without reporting that theft to the police. He is as well known as anyone in the area, but still seen as an outsider; even when he helps someone, he's somewhat resented. There is corruption, there's the arrogance of wealth and small-town attitudes for Bill to deal with. He calls Lydia, who is clearly out of her element in this rural setting, but still insistent on helping her friend and some-time partner.
STONE QUARRY continues an excellent series. It tells you more about Smith and Chin, two of the most intelligently drawn private eyes in modern day. Rozan, who won the Anthony for best novel for A COLDER PLACE, writes as effectively about this dark place as she does the bright lights of Chinatown and the upper west side and Brooklyn. The conflicts between Lydia's fairly upbeat attitudes and Bill's world-weariness only serve to highlight the way the two characters care for each other and keep each other balanced, keep each other from going off the deep end in either direction. This is truly one of the best mystery series available today - never a disappointment, cleanly, sharply written with warmth and wit and compassion, but the author never forgets to tell the story.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new departure Oct. 13 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Shamus winner S. J. Rozan tries something new: setting a book in upstate New York instead of New York City. The city was such a strong presence in the earlier books that I was afraid this one would be weaker, but it's a great read: atmospheric, dark and moving. Good plot, good characters, too. BTW, it's a Bill Smith book, so Lydia Chin fans, wait your turn.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, as usual May 30 2001
By Roger Lee - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The setting is different in this book (rural upstate New York vs NYC) but in every other way this book is very similar to Rozan's other novels, which is a good thing. As usual, this is a very well-written book; Rozan obviously puts a good deal of thought and effort into her writing; she tries hard to describe things and people in a way that is fresh and that puts vivid images of the scene into the minds of the readers. The plot is complex and satisfying, which is one of the things that Rozan always does well that most of the current mystery writers do not. This series is made up of real, quality mysteries, in the tradition of Chandler, Hammett and Ross MacDonald; these are not thrillers masquerading as mysteries. There is a good bit of action here, though, and the ending is a real barnburner. My only quibble, and it is a small one, is that Rozan needs to either have Smith and Chin get together or have them decide to be strictly friends. The quasi-relationship that they have been in for several books now is starting to wear a little thin.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping story with characters that really come to life. Oct. 12 1999
By Peter Hogness - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Stone Quarry is one of S.J. Rozan's best books yet. The feel for the landscape, both natural and social, is particularly strong. The isolated rural county where the novel takes place really comes to life. The story grips you by the neck and propels you forward, and keeps you guessing until the unexpected but convincing end. In its twists and turns, the plot put me in mind of The Big Sleep. The narrator, Bill Smith, is a complicated, private person, and we learn a little more in this book about what makes him tick. Some interesting changes in the relationship between Bill and his partner, Lydia Chin-- Rozan handles this with a skillful, subtle touch. Another strong character is Jimmy Antonelli, a working-class kid in deep trouble who Bill has helped out before. Jimmy reminds me of some guys I've known-- a bundle of bravado and contradictions, caught between wanting to do the right thing, and internal and external pressures that push him in the wrong direction. Rozan herself goes in exactly the right direction with this novel, a story that slowly builds to a fast and furious conclusion.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best in this exceptional series. Oct. 12 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
S.J. Rozan gets better with every book. I can't think of many writers with a more vivid sense of place: whether it's the kitchen of a dim sum palace in Chinatown, or a roadhouse in upstate New York, the settings of Rozan's novels, like her protagonists, are engaging and original. Bill Smith and Lydia Chin are rarities in the mystery genre: heroes with evolving inner lives, moral conflicts, and intelligent and humorous voices. Stone Quarry is Rozan at her best: it is wonderfully written and impossible to put down.
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