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Publisher's Summary

Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in LA, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader. 

Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.

©2017 Jennifer Kincheloe (P)2017 Jennifer Kincheloe

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A Wonderful Tale

There’s something about turn-of-the-century fiction that really appeals to me and I can’t truly put my finger on just what it is. Maybe it’s the knowledge that things are on the very edge of tremendous change and that life is going to become quite different as well as a good deal less innocent.

Anna is the epitome of these coming changes. Raised in a privileged society, she yearns for something that will engage her intelligence and her interest in people who aren’t nearly so well off and she’s willing to fight for her ambitions (although “ambition” isn’t entirely the right word). Having found that she’s good at detective work—she’s curious and very smart, not to mention bold enough to go after what she considers justice—she goes where no woman has gone before, so to speak, throwing societal mores to the wind. Anna isn’t allowed to be an actual detective but she gets a lot done as an assistant police matron.

This time, Anna is involved in investigating the murder of a white woman in Chinatown which, of course, exposes her to a world very different from anything she’s known before with tongs, brothels, opium dens and the like. At first, she’s assigned to work with Joe Singer but, due to some unfortunate circumstances, she soon has to develop her own leads, much to the dismay of every man she knows.

With a lot of humor from Anna, we get a good taste of how things were at that time and how a feisty young woman could get around some of the restrictions placed on women (and the painful consequences of defying society). The narrator, Moira Quirk, does a wonderful job of bringing Anna to life and, in fact, she makes me think of an older Flavia de Luce transported to America in an earlier day. The combination of Ms. Kincheloe’s well-researched and lively story and characters along with Ms. Quirk’s talent make for a wonderful tale, the first I’ll be adding to my list of favorite books read in 2018.

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Fabulous follow up to Secret Life of Anna Blanc

Loved it! Highly recommend. Several times had me laughing out loud. Can't wait for the next one!

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Anna Blanc is one of the most memorable characters

Anna Blanc is one of the most memorable characters in recent memory! Narrator Moira Quirk is absolutely sensational. If you like historical mysteries don't miss this one!

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Such a fun story!

This book was just awesome! The story is so good! I love the mystery, but I also love the humor! Anna Blanc has quickly become one of my favorite fictional characters! I can't wait to read more Anna Blanc mysteries! The narration is perfect as well.

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Another great story!

What made the experience of listening to The Woman in the Camphor Trunk the most enjoyable?

This book grabs your attention from the very beginning and the twists and turns throughout the story are captivating. I also really enjoyed Moira Quirk as the voice. She really does a great job with all of the characters and fits perfectly for the voice of Anna. Great story with surprises throughout that make you want to keep listening.

Have you listened to any of Moira Quirk’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

It was great to have Moira back for this book as she did great with The Secret Lift of Anna Blanc. The continuity of voice made the story even better.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This is a book you will want to keep listening to all the way to the end!

Any additional comments?

I highly recommend this book. I also enjoyed the end where the author explains which pieces of the book come from true events in history.