Review: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys Ford


Cover: Dim Sum Asylum by Rhys FordWelcome to Dim Sum Asylum: a San Francisco where it’s a ho-hum kind of case when a cop has to chase down an enchanted two-foot-tall shrine god statue with an impressive Fu Manchu mustache that’s running around Chinatown, trolling sex magic and chaos in its wake.

Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division faces a pile of challenges far beyond his human-faerie heritage, snarling dragons guarding C-Town’s multiple gates, and exploding noodle factories. After a case goes sideways, Roku is saddled with Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, to add to the crime syndicate family he doesn’t want and a spell-casting serial killer he desperately needs to find.

While Roku would rather stay home with Bob the Cat and whiskey himself to sleep, he puts on his badge and gun every day, determined to serve and protect the city he loves. When Chinatown’s dark mystical underworld makes his life hell and the case turns deadly, Trent guards Roku’s back and, if Trent can be believed, his heart… even if from what Roku can see, Trent is as dangerous as the monsters and criminals they’re sworn to bring down.

* Novel-length expansion of original short story found in Charmed & Dangerous anthology.*

The Finer Details

Publication Date:  June 9, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Sequence: Standalone
Length: Novel,  240 e-book pages
POV: 1st Person, single voice
Tense: past
Pairing(s): Male/Male
Identities: Gay
Genre(s): Mystery, Urban Fantasy
Supernatural Elements: Dragons, Faeries
Tropes & Tags: law enforcement, office romance
Setting/Locale: San Francisco, CA
Ending: HEA

Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.



Rating 4.5 Stars

4.5 Stars

Rating Info

Ratings stick closely to the GoodReads standards. Occasionally I’ll make note of half-star ratings and will typically round up on GoodReads reviews and other sites where I may cross-post.

Stars Goodreads  What this means to me
5 AMAZING This totally knocked my socks off, and I might end up a crazed fan (from a respectable distance).
4 Really Liked This was truly enjoyable, and I’d recommend it.
3 Liked It was good, and I’m glad I read it, but I may have had some issues.
2 It was okay I finished it & kept hoping for improvement. I definitely had issues.
1 Didn't like I read the whole thing but....
1 DNF Didn't like I read past 50% (at least) before giving up.
0 DNF No Rating I couldn't even make it to 50%, but I still feel the need to share my thoughts.



This book is an expansion on a previously published short from Charmed & Dangerous anthology (Goodreads link). I never read it — but it looks to be packed with shorts from some authors I adore, and whose stories I might’ve read in other places.

It’s no big secret that I’m not super well-read when it comes to Urban Fantasy (or Sci Fi or Paranormal…who am I kidding? I’m not well-versed on much besides contemporary.) BUT, the lesson I’ve learned is that there’s no harm in being naive in these strange things that may or may not exist on another plane. And it can be a hell of a lot of fun tip-toeing through these weird, magical places.

Take for instance…dragons. Or umm…animated stone statues. Then toss in some vibrant-winged faeries. Some that are hybrids. Then give it a backdrop of a hyper-developed and overly crowded, futuristic San Francisco. Don’t forget the dark alleys and an abundance of noodle shops. Oh! Also, there’s gotta be a kitty. Because KITTY!

Put all that in a pot and give Rhys Ford the spoon. Let it simmer over a low heat while she adds her magical brand of spice and lets it stew until the dumplings float to the top. And um…

…I don’t know where I’m going with all that….

Just. Ya know, Rhys Ford is a helluva writer. And I love her stories. And I always feel like I’m getting a full and complex meal — the kind that’s gonna leave me in a stupor for a few days.

I’m using a lot of silly words to say that I loved this story. It’s fast paced goodness with a few car chases and races against time and wicked family dynamics. And, obviously, a healthy scoop of attraction and romance stuff because why else are we here even?

Roku and Trent were sort of a mix-matched pair with Roku being salty enough to keep him at arms length until he just couldn’t anymore. And Trent was so, so likable and also not quite what he seems. And these guys together were some kind of hot-n-steamy magic that ‘bout curled my toes. I only wish there’d been more of it because the romance seemed to be more on the back-burner as a side-item than the main entree. But whatever.

Also! Rhys is on her game here with the humor. This had me rolling:

What’s her name?” He scratched under her chin, and Bob began to chirrup her pleasure.

“Bob,” I replied, wondering what’d happened to my cat. “The Cat.”

“But she’s a girl.”

“It’s short for Kate.”

Weeks later and I’ve got a few giggle-snorts left.

Rhys is just one of the few authors I’ll follow to these strange and twisty places that give my imagination a workout because every ingredient from setting to character to those magical elements are stewed to utter perfection.

I was not ready for this to end. Not that I was left hanging. But, dessert maybe wouldn’t be amiss? Or…maybe she’s cookin’ up more to turn this into a series? I’d definitely come back for seconds.

Annnnnnd now all this food talk has made me hungry.

Purchase Links

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon-US | Barnes&Noble | GooglePlay | iBooksKOBO
add the book to goodreads


About the Author

Author Rhys FordRhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain. Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.


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