The Woman in the Camphor Trunk (Anna Blanc Mystery #2) by Jennifer Kincheloe: A Book Review

The Woman in the Camphor Trunk (Anna Blanc Mystery #2)
Author: Jennifer Kincheloe
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance, Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Release Date: 2017
Pages: 304
Source: This book was given to me by the publisher and the audiobook was given to me by Audiobookworm Promotions blog tour in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis: 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.

     My Review: Former socialite Anna Blanc is a police matron at the Los Angeles Police Department. She and her former boyfriend, Joe Singer, discover the body of a missionary woman in Chinatown. If news of the body would be released, there would be a backlash against the Chinese. To prevent this from happening, Anna and Joe decides to investigate the murder secretly. Can they find the murderer before information about the murder gets leaked?

    As I expected from The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, there was very little improvement with Anna in The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. I had thought that since she was on her own, she would be a bit more mature. However, it seems that she was still the same annoying character, and I still disliked her greatly. She is still very manipulative, selfish, and immature. She made a lot of silly actions that I couldn't understand. Therefore, I was very disappointed in Anna as a character because she did not evolve as a character.

   Overall, there was a bit of an improvement in The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. All the characters have very little character development. I thought that the reason for Anna and Joe’s break-up was very foolish and was handled in a childish manner. However, I really like the mystery aspect and was intrigued that it was inspired by real events. I wished that there was more focus on the mystery rather than the romance. The murder reveal was a bit of a disappointment because the murderer got away. As for the audiobook narration, I enjoyed it because while I did not like the story much, I still thought Moira Quick was a great narrator. I’m still interested in picking up the next Anna Blanc book to see if there is any growth to the characters.

Rating: 2½ out of 5 stars


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