A curious lack of corpses. A slew of snobbish suspects. Can this sightless amateur sleuth pinpoint a killer?
Dallas, TX, 1930. Daiyu Wu refuses to be disadvantaged by her blindness. Navigating the world with help from her faithful companions, the young Chinese adventuress celebrates life with a strong thirst for knowledge. So when she scents burned garlic in a customer’s garment, the clever laundress runs an experiment that reveals a dress doused in arsenic.
Determined to provide the unaware authorities with a clue in a murder case, Daiyu vows to chase down the garment’s mysterious origins even though there’s no body to be found. But as the links lead the immigrant girl higher into Texas’s social echelons, she clashes with bigotry, short-sightedness, and a web of lies hamstringing her ability to investigate.
Can she find fresh evidence before she’s hung out to dry?
Black Jade is the playful first book in the Daiyu Wu Mysteries cozy historical series. If you like witty heroines, clever twists, and feisty canines, then you’ll love Gloria Oliver’s period puzzle.
Buy Black Jade to pit instinct against old money today!
A fun interesting take on a historical cozy murder mystery. Most stories I read/listen to tend to be a bit on the monochromatic side, so this one with a blind Asian main character mystery solver was refreshing!
The mystery was a fun one because it starts with Miss Wu detecting arsenic in a dress sent for washing at her family's laundromat. I loved the cast of characters involved. There's the female doctor introduced, members of the peerage in Britain, and wealthy Texans included. The story is told from the chauffeur's perspective due to the main character being blind since birth. I liked they way the author handled racism and general prejudice in the story. I thought it was done well.
It's a good story I would have liked more if I read rather than listened to, mostly due to the narration, but otherwise the story was good. I liked how the mystery played out, with the twists and turns and general whodunit vibe.
I thought the narrator did an ok job. I listened to it at 1.4x speed, since I thought he spoke a bit too slow for my liking. He does a good job with the general narration of describing all the events, though I cannot say he does a good job with the character voices. It stays kind of the same throughout without too much inflection. Once I understood his style, that made the character voice differentiation easier and made listening to the story easier.