Ghost Hero ~ by S.J. Rozan

I’m reading this one for a strange challenge in the 4-Mystery Addicts (4-MA) reading group

The challenge is to read one book from the on-going Top 100 authors list the group has compiled by vote over the years. The book would preferably be by an author you haven’t read. I’ve read book #s 1-25, so here we are into #s 26-50.

Ghost Hero
by S. J. Rozan / 2011 

Read by: Emily Woo Zeller 8h 57m
Rating:  B+ / mystery-detective
(Lydia Chin/Bill Smith #11

This is a straight detective novel with a private investigator and a bit of a thriller thrown in. There’s very little violence or romance which is nice. 

 American-Born Chinese PI Lydia Chin is a New York City PI of Chinese heritage. She gets a visit from Jeff Dunbar, an art collector who wants to know if a certain rumor is true.  It seems that quite suddenly there are rumors of new art works on the market, art works by Chau Chin.  If the rumors is true and if the paintings can be found and if they’re are authentic this is tremendously important and worth a lot of money. If not … well … it wouldn’t be surprising because Chau Chin, aka Ghost Hero, supposedly died at the Tiananmen Square uprising back in 1989.   

But Jack Lee, another PI, is also looking to find out about the paintings, and Lee is working for someone else who wants to find the paintings, if they exist. Jack is a professor at NYU. 

There could be any one of several reasons for these paintings to suddenly appear decades after their author is supposed to have died: 1. someone has been keeping them, 2, they’re forgeries, or 3, the artist, Chau Chun, is alive somewhere. He’s not called the Ghost Hero for nothing. 

The main characters are nicely developed. Bill Smith, Lydia’s partner in business and detecting, is multi-talented, enthusiastic, and knows a lot of people. Lydia’s mother doesn’t like him but that’s okay – Bill and Lydia don’t seem to be personally involved. I had to get used to the wise-cracking style but it was fine when I did.

The main problem I had was the narrator. The accidents were distracting and she was unable to differentiate between the male and female voices.  The best part was the ending, I’m glad I read it.

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