The Woman in the Camphor Trunk: An Anna Blanc Mystery (Paperback)
In early-1900s Los Angeles-- an era of courting, ragtime, suffragettes, and widespread corruption-- a socialite turned police matron tracks down the murderer of a white woman in Chinatown, while trying to prevent the outbreak of a bloody tong war.
Los Angeles, 1908. In Chinatown, the most dangerous beat in Los Angeles, police matron Anna Blanc and her former sweetheart, Detective Joe Singer, discover the body of a white missionary woman, stuffed in a trunk in the apartment of her Chinese lover. If news about the murder gets out, there will be a violent backlash against the Chinese. Joe and Anna work to solve the crime quietly and keep the death a secret, reluctantly helped by the good-looking Mr. Jones, a prominent local leader. Meanwhile, the kidnapping of two slave girls fuels existing tensions, leaving Chinatown poised on the verge of a bloody tong war. Joe orders Anna to stay away, but Anna is determined to solve the crime before news of the murder is leaked and Chinatown explodes.
About the Author
Jennifer Kincheloe is the author of The Secret Life of Anna Blanc and The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. The Secret Life of Anna Blanc is the winner of the Colorado Gold Award for mystery and the Mystery and Mayhem Award for historical mystery. The novel was also a finalist for the Macavity Sue Feder Historical Mystery award, Left Coast Crime "Lefty" Award, and Colorado Authors' League Award for genre fiction. Formerly, Dr. Kincheloe was the principal of a health consulting firm and a member of the research faculty for the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. She currently does research on the jails in Denver, Colorado.
“Fans of historical fiction starring feisty heroines will love this crime-solving suffragette.”
“Anna Blanc is back with another brilliant and captivating romp! The Woman in the Camphor Trunkis as fast, funny, and rich as the first excellent book in the series, with a tightly plotted mystery, compelling characters, and a vividly drawn setting. The extraordinary Anna navigates turn-of-the-century Los Angeles with a fearless and feisty charm. A fascinating read—not to be missed!”
—CYNTHIA KUHN, Agatha Award–winning author of the Lila Maclean Academic Mysteries
“Jennifer Kincheloe brings turn-of-the-century Los Angeles vividly to life in this novel featuring a police matron turned detective. Anna is delightfully fearless, independent, and a woman way ahead of her time. Her sparring love-hate relationship with the young police detective brings lighter moments to a tense drama involving LA’s Chinatown.”
—RHYS BOWEN, New York Times–bestselling author of In Farleigh Field and the Molly Murphy and Royal Spyness mysteries
“Kincheloe’s memorable heroine, Assistant Matron Anna Blanc of the 1908 LAPD, has a new case to crack—this time in Los Angeles’s Chinatown, where issues of race, gender, and class collide. Readers will race through the pages to follow Anna and her dedicated colleague (and sometimes-beau) Detective Joe Singer as they work to discover who murdered a white missionary and left her body in a trunk in a Chinatown apartment. Current fans, as well as those new to Anna’s plucky spirit and quick wits, will find her latest adventure a delight.”
—CYNTHIA SWANSON, New York Times–bestselling author of The Bookseller and The Glass Forest
“A twisting roller-coaster ride through 1908 Los Angeles, with one of the funniest, most engaging detectives readers will ever meet. The Woman in the Camphor Trunk is the perfect blend of mystery and wit—a real page-turner and an absolute delight.”
—SUSAN SPANN, author of the Hiro Hattori novels/Shinobi mysteries
“[A] winning sequel…. Kincheloe skillfully juxtaposes a witty, playful voice with richly evocative details that bring L.A.’s Chinatown—and its long history of ethnic tensions—to life.”
“The feisty heroine's sleuthing abilities and tricky love life make it hard to put this fast-paced historical mystery/romance down and leave you wanting more.”
“Hold onto your ostrich-feather hat! Jennifer Kincheloe’s Anna Blanc returns with a bucketful of mysteries, snappy banter—oh, and did I mention the severed head? The Woman in the Camphor Trunk builds on the rollercoaster excitement delivered in The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, avoiding the pitfalls that make so many sequels taste like reheated casserole. In Anna, Jennifer has created that rare fictional character who’s so vivid, so real, so flesh-and-blood, you forget she’s fiction. If you have time to read just one mystery novel this year, read both of Anna Blanc’s.”
—Dean Karayanis, host of the History Author Show