Red Blossom in Snow

self-published. (Lotus Palace, Bk. 5). Mar. 2022. 300p. ISBN 9781957952000. pap. $14.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
When an unknown man is murdered at the House of Heavenly Peaches, courtesan Song Yi is thrown back together with magistrate Li Chen, with whom she’s had some previous flirtations. The two at first hold each other at a respectable arm’s length in Changan society, but a trip back to their shared home prefecture gives them a chance to indulge their attraction. As they get closer to solving the murder and the disappearance of Song Yi’s courtesan sister, both characters must also confront secrets from their family’s pasts. Tropes familiar to both mystery and romance readers take on importance to the evolving plot—for instance, they each secretly remember the other from their youth, and that history is important to both their attraction and their investigation. Readers of Lin’s “Lotus Palace” romantic mysteries will recall that Li Chen also led the investigations in previous installments books, most recently The Hidden Moon, which focused on different romantic pairs.
VERDICT Lin’s historical romance will satisfy readers who enjoy a well-paced mystery braided into their love story.
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