City of Whispering Stone
Comments from George C. Chesbro
"The 2nd in the Mongo series, City of Whispering Stone was actually written before Shadow of a Broken Man, rejected, then picked up by the same publisher who had initially rejected it after the success of Shadow. The publisher of the hardcover edition was Simon & Schuster, which had brought out Shadow.

"Written soon after my return from a vacation in Iran, The Iranian Revolution erupted at about the same time as its publication, and was still going on when the paperback edition came out. Considering the fact that this turned out to be one of the timeliest of books, I was always somewhat surprised that the publisher(s) didn't make a great promotional effort."


Dr. Robert Frederickson, the dwarf detective and professor of criminology known as Mongo, is back, dealing in a tangled game of international politics with SAVAK, the dreaded secret police of the Shah of Iran.

It all starts when Mongo is hired to find Khordad, a missing Iranian strongman, and the only clue is a contact with another Iranian at the New York university where Mongo teaches. Following a twisted trail, he realizes that Khordad may be implicated in the murder of an anti-Shah student leader.

As Mongo becomes more deeply involved in the search for Khordad, his investigation results in the apparent death of the beautiful Iranian woman who had been his brother Garth's mistress. Bitter and heartbroken, Garth blames Mongo for Neptune's death, and the abiding relationship between the two brothers---detective and policeman---is severed. When Garth disappears in Iran, where he had gone for Neptune's funeral, Mongo, burdened with guilt, follows.

In Tehran, he starts to piece the complex puzzle together. Who really is the missing man, and who is behind him? What happened to the fiery anti-Shah revolutionary? What actually happened to Neptune? But first and foremost, is Garth still alive?

Becoming an unwitting pawn in a deadly game of power politics with his own life as well as Garth's now at stake, Mongo doggedly pursues the truth in a quest that takes him on a long and arduous trek across this historic country. In an explosive climax in Persepolis, the magnificent ancient city of the Persian Empire that has come to symbolize so much of Iran both past and present, Mongo uncovers the most stunning betrayal of all.

With the same skill he displayed in his first novel, Shadow of a Broken Man, George Chesbro has again turned his cool style to fashion a plot of stunning originality that is not only compelling reading but as timely as today's headlines.

---From the dustjacket of the Simon & Schuster edition
Quotes from City of Whispering Stone
  • "...There are days when I'm not sure the world is ready for a dwarf private detective." -Mongo
  • It was pure Statler. Phil would break his back to help one of his own people out of a jam; take advantage of him, and he'd break yours. -Mongo

  • ...Being a smart, ambitious dwarf can get tedious, and my drives and frustrations eventually landed me on a series of psychiatrist's couches. That phase of my life lasted as long as it took me to discover that the average psychiatrist was more neurotic than I was. -Mongo

  • ...Her mercurial shifts in mood fascinated me; once again I'd apparently struck the wrong key on a strange instrument I was playing blindfolded... -Mongo

  • ...Garth had carried me on his shoulders, literally and figuratively, across the bleak, lunar landscape of my childhood, leaving behind a trail of broken noses attesting to his touchiness on the subject of jokes about his dwarf brother. It was this simple kindness toward another human being who was at the same time a source of considerable embarrassment that would always mark Garth, in my eyes, as a truly great man. -Mongo

  • "Sure...they thought I was the ghost of Frodo Baggins." -Mongo

  • "There is an international espionage ring run by dwarfs!" -Mongo

  • ...pervading the ugly court jester in most dictatorial regimes. -Mongo

  • Being completely powerless does have its' compensations; for one thing, it saves a lot of arguing. -Mongo

  • "Form is important, even when there isn't much substance." -Mongo

  • "Spoken like a true patriot, at length and with conviction." -Mongo

  • ...I doubted he'd be able to follow a train if he were riding in the caboose. -Mongo

  • I...didn't want the other man to have the slightest suspicion that I knew I was being tailed. Considering his competence, that could prove to be a difficult job; I was afraid I might have to start crawling on all fours. -Mongo

  • ...a little paranoia is a healthy thing in a police state. -Mongo

  • "Irreverence is the perfect antidote to the poison of kings." -Darius Khayyam

  • It was one of the few times in my life I've been happy to be a dwarf; there are a host of disadvantages, but being an easy target isn't one of them. -Mongo

  • a child, I'd lain in night meadows looking up at the stars and conjuring up other, less cruel worlds where staring at dwarfs was forbidden. -Mongo

  • "...I just couldn't stand the thought of all that financial security. Who ever heard of a rich dwarf? People wouldn't take me seriously." -Mongo

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Last updated 25-MAR-2018 21:41:56.04.