Night in Shanghai


Historical fiction at its best.
        –Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, NPR


Based on true episodes and peppered with the lives and experiences of actual characters from the worlds of politics, music, the military, and the government, Mones’ engrossing historical novel illuminates the danger, depravity, and drama of this dark period with brave authenticity.

— Carol Haggas, Booklist


Historical fiction fans will not be disappointed.

—Library Journal


With a magician’s sleight of hand, Nicole Mones conjures up the jazz-filled, complex, turbulent world of Shanghai just before World War II. A feast for the senses…the lives and loves of expatriate musicians intertwine with the growing tensions between the Communist Party and the Nationalist Party, while the ominous threats from the Japanese stir the winds of war.  A rich and thoroughly captivating read.

–Gail Tsukiyama, author of The Samurai’s Garden


What an incredible thing Mones does in this novel of the compelling, sexy, rich and complicated world of historical Shanghai. Every page reveals some custom, some costume, some food, some trick of language that exposes a fascinating moment in history — the Japanese invasion on the eve of World War II. Mones weaves the multiple strands of her story much the way themes and melodies are woven into the jazz her protagonist plays, with subtle and suggestive undertones of human greed, power, and passion.

–Marisa Silver, author of Mary Coin 


Mones’ breathless and enlightening account of an African-American jazzman and his circle in prewar Shanghai… keep(s) the suspense mounting until the end.

—Kirkus Reviews


The Last Chinese Chef


Using Chinese culinary history, language and tantalizing descriptions of fine cuisine, Mones shows how food can both nourish the body and the soul. Her extensive research takes readers into the philosophy and artistic ambitions of Chinese cuisine – and leaves them hungry for recipes.



A masterpiece for Chinese food.

– Edouard Cointreau, Jury Chair, World Gourmand Awards


Maybe you’re not hungry. Maybe you’ve never considered the imperial heights of Chinese cuisine. Nicole Mones can change that with the flip of a page. The Last Chinese Chef is neither history nor cookbook; Sam and Maggie’s stories are its heart. Mones knows there are many ways to sustain and nourish the people we love.




Lost in Translation


The author of this first novel herself spent considerable time in China, and she conveys with poignant élan the trance of unrequited love for the exotic.

– The New Yorker


Luminous … thought-provoking … undeniably entertaining.

– The New York Times Book Review


A gripping yarn with an exotic backdrop. It’s also a luscious love story, a political thriller, and a close up of a China that is changing almost day by day.

– Associated Press



A Cup of Light


A delightful novel.

– Los Angeles Times


Magnetic storytelling … A Cup of Light has the rare distinction of bringing together an entertaining sequence of just-suspenseful-enough events with writing that is both spare and lyrical.

– The Seattle Times


Mones’ knowledge of porcelain is vast, but is worn lightly. Themes of desire and possession, and characters tested by their suffering and loss within those desires, make this novel compelling.

– Sydney Morning Herald



NPR Weekend Edition Interview with Nicole Mones

Nicole Mones on KQED reading from The Last Chinese Chef

“Global Romance? Nicole Mones, Teilhard de Chardin, and the Critique of “Planetization,” by Christian Moraru