Lydia Chin and Bill Smith pair up again to solve the murder of Lydia’s boss in The Shanghai Moon by S. J. Rozan. I’ve never read the other books featuring Lydia Chin and Bill Smith, but let me assure you it’s not necessary to do so. These books appear to be stand alone, so you can jump in at any point.
Lydia, a free-lance private investigator, is hired by her old mentor, Joel Pilarsky, to help with a new case involving missing jewels that were recently excavated from Shanghai. No costume jewelry here, because these jewels belonged to Jews who fled Europe during World War II and found refuge in Shanghai.
The Shanghai Moon is one of the jewels that is thought to have been stolen and to have found its way to New York City. Around the time Lydia finds out that the Shanghai Moon is one of the jewels she’ll be looking for, someone gets murdered, and shortly thereafter she’s fired from the case. Even though Lydia’s technically fired, she continues working on the case as she’s found letters from the original owner of the Shanghai Moon, Rosalie, to her mother. Lydia feels a connection with Rosalie and wants to find out exactly what happened to her and her jewelry.
I thought the plot moved along at a fair pace and the storyline was interesting, though I sometimes felt a little ho hum about the hullabaloo over a necklace. The letters from Rosalie and the subplot of finding out what happened to her and her family was my favorite part, much more interesting than the necklace.
While the author’s writing is definitely good, her ability to write conversations is great. I know, I should have a great sample for you, but while I was reading, I was like, “I don’t need to mark any parts as excerpts because they’re all great!” And now I can’t find the perfect excerpt. But let me assure you that the writing is top notch and S. J. Rozan writes some of the most life-like conversations I’ve ever read. If you’re a fan of mysteries, you’ll definitely enjoy The Shanghai Moon.
Rating: 85 out of 100