The Fat Man's Daughter
The year is 1937. Japan has already annexed the Chinese province of Manchuria and installed Henry Pu-Yi, the last Emperor of China, as the ruler of their new colony, renamed "Manchukuo." Hong Kong is a vortex of intrigue as its British rulers carry on with "the good life."
Nineteen-year-old Leah Kolbe lines her eyes with kohl, covers her arms with bangles, dons a red silk dress slit up the sides and sets forth for the steamy streets of Hong Kong, the gambling dens of Macau, and beyond. Her father, a shady antiques dealer, the notorious Fat Man of Hong Kong, has died suddenly and mysteriously. Her inheritance is a massive house on Victoria Peak filled with the exquisite collection of antiques he had amassed as his stock in trade, the education in connoisseurship he has given her, and the maxims he has taught her, chief of which is "Everybody cheats. Be sure you cheat first." Leah aspires to follow in his footsteps.
The only person she trusts is An-li, her elderly Chinese amah. When Mr. Chang, a Kuomintang agent who says he knew her father, makes her a business proposition, at first Leah declines. But to keep her house and the business, Leah desperately needs ready money.
Chang's proposal launches Leah into danger as she heads north by train up the coast of China to Manchukuo. To survive, she must use all her father's cunning plus her own assets: determination, courage, and beauty.
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THE FAT MAN'S DAUGHTERUser Review - Jane Doe - Kirkus
An Orientalist's daughter goes to Japanese-occupied Manchuria to recoup her father's legacy, in a first novel from Australian author Petit.One sultry autumn day in 1937, the corpulent Theo Kolbe, a ... Read full review
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