"Very different from most mystery books but I enjoyed this book very much! Love the characters...will absolutely read more by Anne R. Tan.!!" ~ Jacqueline W.
"I just couldn't stop laughing at the characters and storyline with all the secrets to unravel." ~ Ivette Meyer
From the Inside Flap
Eden waved a fry in front of Raina's face. "I need a sidekick. Your practical side and my instinct could blow this story wide open. The promotion would be mine if I get an exclusive on this."
"I'm nobody's sidekick."
"Well, someone has to be the sidekick. I can't be the sidekick. Look at me." Eden flipped her hair over her shoulders and straightened in her chair. "You're physically smaller. The sidekicks are always peanuts."
"That's because they are usually younger, Obi Wan."
"Never mind. I don't want to be involved."
"But you're already involved. The bitter break-up, the fake pregnancy, the money, and the text messages." Eden ticked the points off on her fingers. "They always suspect the ex-lover. It's only a matter of time before you become a suspect."
A piece of lettuce stuck to Raina's throat. She gulped some coffee, but her voice still came out in a squeak. "That's crazy talk. No one would be interested in me."
Eden raised an eyebrow. "Do I need to go through the list again?"
Raina slumped in her chair. How did she get herself into this mess? She was a good person; she loaned money to friends. And now she was a murder suspect.
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A.) Is a race other than black or white
B.) Is quirky, smart but not self-centered or arrogant
C.) Allows herself to act and REACT like a real human being
D.) Doesn't have a potty mouth
F.) (Did I forget to say it) is REAL?!
Po po cracked me up! I can't figure out if she was an immigrant or if she is a second or third generation American-born Chinese woman. Either way, she was too cool.
I wanted to kick Matthew at times, but he grew on me. And Eden (great choice for the name btw) is a puzzle all by herself.
Despite the few typos and noticeable grammatical hiccups, I thought that Ms. Tan did an excellent job of drawing her audience (me 😁) in right from the start. The twists and turns delivered repeatedly so that I didn't have a moment to grow bored with this mystery.
I will read it again and again, and I can't wait to read more in this series. I hope at one point, she will explain what happened in Rome and in Las Vegas. Other than that, kudos!!!! I highly recommend this book.
BTW: In case anyone wonders. This review is completely unsolicited, in fact, I don't even know this author. FYI.
~Yes, there was some unexplained history between some of the characters…Raina and family, Raina and Matthew. I actually liked that the author did not fill in ALL the details. This left room for more character development in future stories.
~I think that the relationship at the end of the book between Raina and Matthew was realistic. There definitely was some strong bond between the both of them and definitely some growth and commitment issues. Again, this can continue to develop in future stories.
~I pretty much had the murder pegged a little over half way through the book…and I was wrong! Keeping the reader guessing – that makes for good storytelling.
~This type of story…the Cozy murder mystery…generally speaking, are not in the heavy drama genre. Nobody cared about Sam Spade, or any other hard-boiled investigators’, personal relationships. Being a “lighter” story, I found it an enjoyable, fast-paced, adventure, with a good, likable cast of characters.
~Definitely recommended for anyone looking to relax and escape into the pages of an intriguing mystery.
~I would like to point out to all the reviewers who complain about “unrelated details”, that there is more to life than only solving the murder. I like it when the main character cooks a meal, goes shopping, does something…anything…routine and I, the reader, am allowed to be included. It’s called character development. It allows us to learn what makes the character tick. It helps us to understand how they come to decisions and on what they base their investigation. Raina is a good cook! I like knowing this detail.
Raina Sun is a post grad student not only trying to make ends meet but also get her money back... However, her ex winds up dead... and here the story really takes off! She has "help" from her journalist friend Eden,a few other friends and acquaintances... and her feisty grandma Po Po! Po Po is a lovable character though she seems to find more trouble than solving anything! (Seniors drinking Red Bulls?! That definitely had me laughing and going "no wonder..."!)
This is a cozy mystery, and it has twists and turns where you don't know where it is going - which I love! The fun part is trying to guess along with Raina until you finally fall into it with her! It was a fun read because the characters are real people who have their own quirks. Raina isn't a perfect femme fatale - she is a real person who gets hives from stress! She even forgets her deodorant when she's in a big hurry... and then it hits her! :) Too, there are poignant times in the story as well, and we are touched by their feelings.
Anne R. Tan has written a fun story that pulls you in and has you cheering for Raina and Po Po! Too, she has you hoping they solve the case before it's too late! As I've said, the characters are real and lovable, except, of course, for those you meet and go "no thanks!" :)
I have seriously enjoyed this book, and I am already beginning to read the next one! If you like a fun read with memorable characters, you will enjoy this story!