cover image Family Business: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Mystery

Family Business: A Lydia Chin/Bill Smith Mystery

S.J. Rozan. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64313-829-9

In Edgar winner Rozan’s superb 14th mystery starring New York City PIs Lydia Chin and Bill Smith (after 2020’s The Art of Violence), several people jockey to succeed tong leader Big Brother Choi after he dies of a heart attack. Meanwhile, Jackson Ting, a Chinese American real estate developer, wants to buy the headquarters of Choi’s tong, housed in a historic building in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and construct a 20-story apartment building on the site, a project Chinatown residents fear will further gentrify their community. Lydia is asked for help by Choi’s surprise heir, his niece Mel Wu, a real estate attorney devoted to housing justice who’s opposed to the project. But when Lydia accompanies Mel to the building to learn a secret Choi confided in his lieutenant, Chang Yao-Zu, they find Chang’s stabbed corpse instead. Blackmail and an attempted murder ensue amid rumors of hidden treasure. Rozan evokes the milieu perfectly, while smoothly integrating current debates over neighborhood development into an intricate plot. This is another triumph for this talented author. Agent: Josh Geltzer, HG Literary. (Dec.)