Ghost Hero(ine)

Siisters in Crime was founded twenty-five years ago, to support and promote the under-reviewed work of women crime writers.  To celebrate the anniversary, SinC has asked bloggers to post review of books by women authors.  This is the first of my reviews.

I’ll start the Blogging Challenge with the fabulous new Ghost Hero by S. J. Rozan (who is a friend, though I’d love this book even if I’d never met her).  SJ writes a PI series that alternates narrators, between Anglo Bill Smith and Chinese-American Lydia Chin.  This is a Lydia book, and it’s a zinger.

One of the things I admire most about SJ’s writing is her dialogue, scalpel-sharp and always—always—serving multiple purposes: furthering the plot, giving insight into character, throwing in touches of humor, slipping in a few red herrings, and keeping the pace at breakneck speed.  You could teach a writing class out of a Rozan novel, and this one is among her best, weaving together the world of modern Chinese art with the complexities of international politics and a native’s understanding of, and appreciation for, the streets of New York, enlivening the mix with the delicious Unresolved (so far!) Sexual Tension that crackles between Lydia and Bill.

And as I said, humor: Sj writes funny really, really well.  Like the quick throwaway reference to Bill, disguised as a gold-draped Russian gangster, as Lord of the Blings.

There is an excerpt from Ghost Hero, info about Chinese art with a bajillion links on it, and other stuff on SJ’s web page, here.

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  1. Laraine on October 9, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I love that two of my favorite authors are fans of each other’s work! SinC is a good thing.

  2. Laidee Marjorie on October 10, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Laurie, I agree with all that you said about GHOST HERO and S.J.’s writing. It a wonderful part of the series and a good place to start, too. What a caper!

    And that Chinese Art Guide on S.J.’s website with the bazillion links is lots of fun, too!

    For anyone who hasn’t read S.J. before (and why haven’t you???), here is a link to a free download of a short story currently available about Lydia Chin’s mother, “Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case”:


  3. Nancy Lynn Jarvis on October 16, 2011 at 9:51 am

    I hadn’t read her because I didn’t know her. Now I do and I will.This Sisters -in-Crime idea is a great one and Laurie’s review is a great start.

  4. Laidee Marjorie on October 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    That’s great, Nancy. You can start with this one (Ghost Hero) or you can go back to the beginning (and then read at least the first two in the series to get the full impact of S.J’s very smart premise). I won’t give away any more about it! It took me a long time to find S.J. as well, but I saw her name around Laurie’s (from Bouchercon and other stuff) and decided to give her a try. I’m very glad that I did. After all, you can only read Laurie! She can’t write fast enough. Lol.


  5. […] And – oh my goodness, here’s Laurie King, who is rising to the challenge with a few words about S. J. Rozan and her new book, Ghost Hero, a Lydia Chin book that she calls “a zinger.” […]

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