From the New York Times bestselling author of The Downstairs Girl comes a YA murder mystery noir set in 1930s Los Angeles’s Chinatown.
“A captivating and crackling noir full of suspenseful twists. Readers will fall in love with the Chow sisters and their quest for the truth.” —Kathleen Glasgow, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces and The Agathas
LOS ANGELES, 1932: Lulu Wong, star of the silver screen and the pride of Chinatown, has a face known to practically everyone, especially the Chow sisters—May, Gemma, and Peony—Lulu’s former classmates and neighbors. So the girls instantly know it’s Lulu when they discover a body one morning in an out-of-the-way stable, far from the Beverly Hills home where she lived after her fame skyrocketed.
The sisters suspect Lulu’s death is the result of foul play, but the police don’t seem motivated to investigate. Even worse, there are signs that point to a cover-up, and powerful forces in the city want to frame the killing as evidence that Chinatown is a den of iniquity and crime, even more reason it should be demolished to make room for the construction of a new railway depot, Union Station.
Worried that neither the police nor the papers will treat Lulu fairly—no matter her fame and wealth—the sisters set out to solve their friend’s murder themselves, and maybe save their neighborhood in the bargain. But with Lulu’s killer still on the loose, the girls’ investigation just might put them square in the crosshairs of a cold-blooded murderer.
Three girls navigate a murder investigation with personal stakes in this slow-burn mystery by Lee (Winston Chu vs. the Whimsies). In 1932 Chinatown Los Angeles, sisters May, Gemma, and Peony Chow sell flowers as part of their family business. When they discover the body of movie star Lulu Wong, their hometown celebrity and May's former friend, the siblings worry that justice will not be served and endeavor to honor Lulu's legacy—and prevent the killer from striking again—by solving her murder. Led by ambitious, headstrong, mischievous Gemma, the trio push forward with their inquiry, though they're met with resistance from the police, who underplay Lulu's death and reject the plausibility of homicide, and political forces that want to paint Chinatown as a "mysterious and sinister" place full of "drunken and slovenly" people. While poking around town, the girls make discoveries hinting that the mystery goes deeper than they expected—and may involve people they know. Told in alternating POVs and interwoven with details from 1930s Chinese American culture, this immersive narrative gradually unspools an intricate murder mystery while exploring elements of prejudice, grief, and deceit. Ages 12–up.