MYSTERY

Paper Son

Pegasus Crime. (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, Bk. 12). Jul. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781643131290. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781643131900. M
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This 12th series entry from Rozan (after Ghost Hero). Lydia is independent-minded but still lives at home in New York with her mother, who is domineering and intolerant of anyone not Chinese. When Jefferson Tam, Lydia’s cousin four times removed, is arrested for murder in Mississippi, her mother issues orders. No relative of theirs could possibly be guilty of murder. Lydia must go to Mississippi at once and prove him innocent. Bill must go along to keep her from trouble. A century back, Jefferson’s great-grandfather entered the country as a “paper son,” a false adoption—thus Tam instead of Chin. But that’s just one bit of weirdness in a case of escalating near-chaos. Mississippi is different from what Lydia expected. She meets new relatives but racism is rampant. Lydia and Bill run around following false leads but eventually solve the case, and in the process, discover new meaning for the phrase “paper son.”
VERDICT Rozan’s detective stories have won every prize in the book, so expect mystery lovers to flock to this one.

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