In The Lemon Chicken Jones
, comedian Nappy Kane, with his old coarse one-liners about mothers-in-law, nagging wives, and women drivers, is a dinosaur. His career is on the rocks, his bank balance is anemic - even his agent is turning his back on him. But the thing that has broken the old has-been comic's heart is that his wife of less than a year has disappeared, presumably of her own accord. At least, she's taken her clothes, her jewelry, and her new car along with her.
Enter Saxon: actor, amateur chef, single parent, and - what pays the rent - private detective. Saxon learns that Doll Kane was a mail-order bride, chosen by Nappy from a selection offered him by a rather mysterious "agency." Nappy, convinced she is the perfect wife, is genuinely in love with the young Chinese woman. That he is willing to pay a private detective is an indication of his desperation. Saxon gets a clue to Doll's whereabouts from her one friend in L.A., a Chinese-American cabaret singer. He calls in a couple of favors owed by a police acquaintance, and figures out that Nappy "bought" his Doll from an agency in a small town in the northernmost part of the state.
The next step is to go there, which is when Saxon's adopted son, Marvel, announces that he is coming along. Reluctantly, Saxon agrees. They find the agency - it's run from a massage parlor - and the whole organization is not only suspicious but dangerous. Saxon discovers he needs to protect not only his own back but Marvel's as well. But he's surprised to discover that though Marvel is still a teenager, when the chips are down, he’s a good man to have around. And the chips go down with a vengeance in Saxon's Case of the Mail-Order Bride.
Original title: The Lemon Chicken Jones
Genre: Fiction→ Crime and Mystery→ Detective Story and Detectives→ Noir