Could an old-fashioned ballgown be used to commit murder?
Daiyu Wu is aware that fear of the Yellow Terror has made her nationality a rare breed in the Lone Star State. Being Chinese and blind makes her doubly unique in 1930 Dallas. Despite these impediments, anyone who dismisses her for either fact does so at their peril.
One day, at her family-owned laundry business, Dai detects the scent of burned garlic. With the help of her companion, Jacques, the source is soon discovered. It is a green ballgown. The gown has money pinned inside it to pay for the cleaning, but oddly, it came with no address label to identify its owner. Her extensive knowledge leads Dai to believe someone has committed murder using arsenic. The perpetrator is trying to use White Laundry to hide the evidence. But no mention of foul play turns up in the newspapers, and there's not enough proof to convince the police there's been a crime.
Her curiosity and intellect stimulated like never before; Dai ignores the possible consequences and sets out to solve the mystery with the help of her canine companion, Prince Razor, and her confidant, Jacques Haskins. It's either that or let the killer get away with it — assuming a spoiled popinjay, his jealous self-appointed girlfriend, and Dai's overprotective parents don't get in her way.
A Daiyu Wu Mystery - Book 1
Set in 1930 Dallas, this impressive series launch from Oliver (Alien Redemption) introduces a one-of-a-kind lead. Despite being blind and living in a community infected with anti-Asian prejudice, Chinese immigrant Daiyu Wu has built a life for herself by operating her family's business, White Laundry, aided by her friend and caretaker, Jacques Haskin. Her superior olfactory senses prove essential to solving a crime when she smells something unusual on a gossamer ball gown left hanging on the front door of the laundry, with a dollar and a blank ticket stamped paid pinned to the garment. Daiyu's suspicions that she's detected the odor of arsenic on the dress are confirmed when Jacques helps her to perform a forensic test for detecting arsenic. The laundress concludes that someone was murdered by wearing the toxic gown and sets out on a quest to identify the victim and her killer. Aided by Jacques, Daiyu cracks the case, despite risking her liberty when she's accused of being in the country illegally. The playful banter between Wu and Haskin moves the plot along. Historical mystery fans will look forward to the sequel. (Self-published)