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Raining Men and Corpses: A Chinese Cozy Mystery (A Raina Sun Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
"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.
- ASIN : B00J7Y5W9Y
- Publisher : Rusty Chicken Books; 2nd edition (March 23, 2014)
- Publication date : March 23, 2014
- Language : English
- File size : 3913 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 296 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,283 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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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 is an interesting character, complex in that she is sometimes confident but often not; conflicted about her family yet devoted to it despite some serious misgivings. She is a woman who wants to do the right thing but isn't always sure just what that right thing is. She is loyal to friends, though she can be both petty and snarky when it comes to dealing with them.
The plot is intricate and the secondary characters are nicely fleshed out - a huge plus in my opinion. There are a lot of twists and turns, a few red herrings, and some universal themes (betrayal, for example) woven into the storyline. I really liked that about this book.
There are some things about this novel that didn't thrill me, however.
For example, the author can turn a nice phrase but at some point she should remember the old axiom that, at least sometimes, "less is more." She spends a lot of time describing scenes but rather than giving readers (at least this one) a sense of place some of her descriptions slow down the narrative because they are too fulsome. One of the joys of reading is using your imagination to help paint the picture of a scene; authors that allow a reader to do that give them the opportunity to be fully engaged in the story. It's not exactly a partnership between reader and writer, but it's pretty close to that.
She also has a somewhat curious idea about journalism. In her novel, Tan prominently features a young reporter who, though pretty aggressive, allows one cop to take away her cellphone and another to rip pages from her notebook. That sort of thing can happen in a lot of Third World countries but in the United States a reporter that allowed something like that to happen would find herself unemployed. Cops, by virtue of the fact they have guns and badges, can sometimes try to do something like that (though it's very rare) but any reporter worth his or her salt would fight that attempt to the point of getting arrested.
(I can say this because I spent nearly 50 years as a reporter and did, in fact, get arrested once in the U.S. and twice overseas.)
One final point: Although she can be very descriptive when it comes to setting scenes, Tan kept me in the dark early in the book about the lead character's name and the name of her grandmother. She also left me hanging a little when it came to describing Raina's relationship to her former husband. There are references to them growing up together, their marriage, the divorce and annulment of their union but...
As I said at the beginning, there are some real strong points to this first novel in the series, which I enjoyed on the whole. I look forward to reading more of Raina's adventures.
Top reviews from other countries
It took my quite a few chapters to get into the story, and even then the book dragged for me. I wasn’t fond of the relationship between Raina and Matthew. The author took her time revealing their past history together and even when it was all out in the open I wasn’t happy with why he behaved the way he did. The relationship annoyed me, just like the one she had with her best friend.
I found it an entertaining and enjoyable read.
That said, she's quite a feisty character and goes on the 'offensive' (with the aid of her news-editor sleuth pal Eden) after being 'in the frame' when her tutor/sometime lover Holden turns up ingeniously murdered (with black hemlock, no less!), shortly after she's told him she's pregnant (a lie), to try and regain the $1000 dollars she loaned him weeks before and needs desperately for her rent and other essentials.
Matthew's in charge of the case and luckily believes Raina, and her grandma Po Po, [who's best friends - and soon to be a neighbour in a retirement home - with his grandma] and doesn't mind her investigating, as long as she doesn't get hurt, (she does) and tells him all she discovers (only after she's told Eden), about several suspects who avoid or obstruct the police as much as possible.
Can Raina stay in one piece long enough to prove her innocence and outwit would-be slayers? Was the killer the secretary, the illegitimate 'son's' family, Holden's other girlfriend, his sister, another professor, or someone else? (the list seems endless). And who stole the college's charity fund to fulfill secret desires - was discovery worth killing for?
You'll have to read this [free], Chinese Cozy Mystery, by the tantalisingly clever writer Anne R Tan to find out...or have your mind tangled like chop suey trying to work it out alone!
I honestly believe this book will appeal to all lovers of a quick-paced, easy read mystery which has appealing characters who will engage the reader right to the end and beyond...to the next in the Series!
- the new groth of hair on his jaw made him look like a one-eyed (??) alley cat
- her face was hard as a boulder
- the furrow between his brows could crack nuts
- her French braid swooshed across her back like a satisfied cat (???)
- her traitorous stomach heaved like a discarded sandal in an ocean
- somehow he alsways tracked her down, like some broken record that couldn't get past the introduction
- Wasn't she worth more than the leftovers he gave her?
This might all pass if it was introducing a crime story and the sleuth had to investigate these people. However, the sleuth is the student. The college is in a fictitious California town and we get references to San Francisco which provides a Chinese connection.
I didn't like or enjoy the tale but others might of course like it better than I did. I would suggest making the main sleuth character someone less morally corrupt. Readers need to be sure their protagonist is on the side of good, or they won't care.
I availed of a free download offer. This is an unbiased review.