Wednesday, February 9, 2022

"Family Business"

S.J. Rozan has won multiple awards for her fiction, including the Edgar, Shamus, Anthony, Nero, and Macavity, the Japanese Maltese Falcon, and the Private Eye Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.

She applied the Page 69 Test to her latest Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mystery, Family Business, and reported the following:
On page 69 of Family Business PI Lydia Chin is hiring her young cousin, computer security firm owner Linus Wong, to do a deeper dive than she can into the backgrounds of some of the people connected to the case, including her clients.
"Your clients?" said Linus. "Isn't that, I don't know, disloyal or something?"

"You don't run checks on your clients?"

"Sure we do, but we're sort of in the double-cross business. We never want to find out we've been hired to hide stuff from people who have a legit right to see it."

"For a guy who's disappointed when I say don't do anything illegal, you have an interesting moral code."
Is this page representative of the rest of the book? Completely.

The book's about family, both blood and chosen. Here, Lydia is counting on a member of her family to do what she needs done and follow her rules on how to do it. They kid each other, but their respect for one another governs their actions.

Additionally, the clients Lydia wants investigated are two sisters, who've come to Lydia separately for help. The younger sister, Nat, knows the elder, Mel, has hired Lydia, but Mel is in the dark about Nat's troubles -- which involve Nat's own children, husband, and in-laws: another family.

The family at the center of the book is a chosen one, a Chinese tong, a crime family to which members swear loyalty. Once you're in, the other members are your brothers -- or, very occasionally, your sisters -- and you're expected to treat them as such. But of course, siblings don't always get along...

And of course there's Lydia's own family, her mother and brothers, one of whom plays a major role and one a minor role, in Family Business.

Yes, page 69 is a representative sample of Family Business.
Visit S.J. Rozan's website.

The Page 69 Test: Paper Son.

The Page 69 Test: The Art of Violence.

Q&A with S. J. Rozan.

Writers Read: S.J. Rozan.

--Marshal Zeringue