A MysteryChico Santana Mysteries (Volume 1)
A. E. Roman
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St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781429966856288 Pages
Finalist for the Shamus Award for Best First Private Eye Novel!
Chico Santana is broke and brokenhearted after his wife, Ramona, leaves him. On New Year's Eve, he comes out of his self-imposed seclusion and runs into an old friend from St. Mary's Home for Boys, a member of "The Dirty Dozen." Albert Garcia is now a waiter and a wannabe filmmaker, tangled up with rising film star Kirk Atlas and his wealthy, eccentric family. On learning Chico's a PI, Atlas hires him to track down his cousin Tiffany, a beautiful Chinese-Cuban-American girl who has packed up and left her family, sending letters saying she doesn't want to be found. It seems like easy dough, which Chico could use.
But on the night he gets the job, Atlas's Brazilian maid falls from the rooftop of her apartment in Queens. Albert and everyone else insists it was a suicide, but Chico has a bad feeling. His search for Tiffany is soon thwarted by other family members, and more disturbing and sinister details come to light. Although Chico's being paid good money to look the other way, he's driven to uncover the truth.
Chinatown Angel was a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best First Novel. A. E. Roman's debut is a fast, fun read offering an authentic, vibrant look at New York City and the wide variety of people who make up its streets, bodegas, and penthouses.
I try not to judge, but from the get-go, I didn't like Albert's friend. Kirk Atlas, not his real name, was twenty-seven years old. He was already rich but that wasn't enough. He wanted to be famous. It...
Praise for Chinatown Angel
“Chico is a wonderful creation--a hip-hop/salsa knight-errant, descendant of Philip Marlowe. Lesser characters...are also vividly rendered. Similarly, Chico's Bronx pulses with the vitality of a fascinating Latin melting pot. Chandler fans...[are] sure to enjoy a new take on the classic American PI.” —Booklist
“A gritty and hard-edged debut.” —Library Journal
“Chinatown Angel has an abundance of lively characters; a plot complicated just enough to keep the reader guessing without getting lost; and an authenticity that flows from the pages like the Hudson River pours into the Atlantic Ocean. I'm partial to a good detective yarn that does more than solve the mystery. I want to know who the killer is but I also like relevance, cultural significance, characters that matter, crisp dialogue, clean writing, and action. Roman scores an A on all points.” —Manuel Ramos, author of The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz
“This is a fun urban noir that lampoons the sub-genre....Chico's amusing asides as he escorts the audience through the boroughs make for a lighthearted tale. Fans who enjoy a tough hero will want to join Chico's tour of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.” —Harriet Klausner