NEW YORK, OCTOBER 1928. The Big Apple teems with the glitter of Bright Young Things, Prohibition, and scofflaws–the perfect place for Penelope Harris to start her life over.
As a former opera singer turned Shanghai nightclub owner, she’s seen and done a lot, maybe too much. With any luck, she’ll leave more than the Jade Tiger casino behind her–a murdered husband, a blackmailing torch singer, and Thom Lund, the ex-cop who stole her heart. But Penelope has never had that kind of luck.; her past is already waiting for her in New York.
When someone murders her chiseling blackmailer at an out-of-control party and Thom is accused of the crime, Penelope must face down her darkest memories to prove his innocence.
–from the description of The Jade Tiger
Among the opulent mansions of the obscenely wealthy and the grit of a Hell’s Kitchen speakeasy, Penelope and Thom must navigate double-crosses, bad liquor, bootleggers, and dark, obsessive love to find the murderer before the past reaches out to put a noose around both their necks.
So, one of my goals this year is to read more mystery novels. I’ve always loved them; I remember how much I loved it when my mom read me and my siblings Nancy Drew books when I was a kid! But in recent years, I’ve basically stopped reading any mystery books. Hence, my resolution to read more.
And The Jade Tiger was a great way to start that off!
The first thing that drew me to this book was the historical backdrop; a murder amongst the high society of 1920s New York City is a premise that promises excitement and intrigue, and Cooper definitely didn’t disappoint.
The plot got rolling quickly and immediately had me hooked. Seriously, Cooper did an excellent job weaving together secrets past and present. And the reveals definitely had enough shock-factor to keep the excitement coming! I’ll be honest; in a few places, I found the plot became a little convoluted, but the confusion never lasted long.
As for the characters, I found them to be compelling, as well. Cooper explored a multitude of perspectives throughout the book, which is something that I’ve found I enjoy in mystery novels. Also, I just genuinely enjoyed the different characters. They were well-written and I honestly don’t think any of them was useless, so to speak. Excluding any of them from the narrative would have made the story significantly worse.
Finally, I thought Cooper did an amazing job at maintaining the careful balance between telling the readers too much about the crime and not telling them enough. That’s probably the hardest thing when it comes to mysteries, but she definitely succeeded at it!
Honestly, Cooper wrote a very good book with a compelling plot. I was hooked from the start, and although there were admittedly some points where events seemed to drag a little or become a tad murky, overall, I really enjoyed The Jade Tiger. With plenty of fast-paced excitement and shocking reveals, this one did not disappoint; I would definitely recommend giving it a try.
Find it here!