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22 New Books By Asian-American And Pacific Islander Authors Perfect for Mystery Readers


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In honor of Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage month, we’re highlighting the incredible array of crime books and thrillers by Asian-American authors publishing in 2021, so you can keep reading these stories all year long.

JANUARY-APRIL

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Malinda Lo, Last Night at the Telegraph Club
(Dutton)

“Malinda Lo turns her masterful talent toward an under-covered period of San Francisco history. Last Night at the Telegraph Club is by turns gut-wrenching, utterly compelling, and deeply tender. I loved Lily fiercely, and you will too.” —Rebecca Kim Wells, author of Shatter the Sky

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Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Committed
(Grove Press)

“With smoke-and-mirrors panache, The Committed–Viet Thanh Nguyen’s sequel to The Sympathizer–continues the travails of our Eurasian Ulysses, now relocated to France and self-identified as Vo Danh . . . From a satirical James Bond-esque spy story in The Sympathizer, the author shifts to James Baldwin’s intersectional politics in The Committed to address greed, prejudice, and violence . . . The Committed’s revolutionary core is its plasticity–a novel of ideas that continuously shapeshifts to question its raison d’être.”—Thúy Đinh, NPR

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S.B. Divya, Machinehood
(Saga)

* “This stunning near-future thriller from Divya (Runtime) tackles issues of economic inequality, workers’ rights, privacy, and the nature of intelligence. . . . Crack worldbuilding and vivid characters make for a memorable, page-turning adventure, while the thematic inquiries into human and AI labor rights offer plenty to chew on for fans of big idea sci-fi. Readers will be blown away.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

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Geling Yan, The Secret Talker
(HarperVia) 

A suspenseful, intriguing tale of a woman in her psychological crisis.—The Millions

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From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo
(Norton Young Readers)

Yoo skillfully retells the life story of Vincent Chin [and] reminds readers of Chin’s legacy ‘to fight back against hate.’ —Horn Book Magazine (starred review)

 

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Elle Marr, The Lies We Bury
(Thomas and Mercer)

“A deep, deep dive into unspeakable memories and their unimaginably shocking legacy.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Jesse K Sutento, Dial A For Aunties
(Berkley)

Sutanto brilliantly infuses comedy and culture into the unpredictable rom-com/murder mystery mashup as Meddy navigates familial duty, possible arrest and a groomzilla. I laughed out loud and you will too.” —USA Today (four-star review)

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June Hur, The Forest of Stolen Girls
(Feiwel and Friends)

The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting, breathtaking tale that will have readers on the edge of their seats. … Hur is an absolute master of mystery, and I will be reading her gorgeous books for years to come. —Adalyn Grace, New York Times-bestselling author of All the Stars and Teeth

MAY – AUGUST

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David Yoon, Version Zero

“The novel is at its best when satirizing the high-tech business world and internet culture…fans of dystopian fiction will want to check this one out.”—Publishers Weekly

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Kathy Wang, Impostor Syndrome
(Custom House)

“Like John le Carré filtered through Tom Wolfe, Impostor Syndrome encapsulates our Facebook anxieties perfectly.” —The Millions

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Sujata Massey, The Bombay Prince
(Soho)

“Exceptional . . . Massey has never been better at pairing her redoubtable and impressive lead with a challenging murder to unravel.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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Tom Lin, The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu
(Little, Brown)

“In Tom Lin’s novel, the atmosphere of Cormac McCarthy’s West, or that of the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, gives way to the phantasmagorical shades of Ray Bradbury, Charles Finney’s The Circus of Dr. Lao, and Katherine Dunn’s Geek Love. Yet The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu has a velocity and perspective all its own, and is a fierce new version of the Westward Dream.” —Jonathan Lethemsirens-of-memory-194x300.jpg

Puja Guha, Sirens of Memory 
(Agora) 

“An absorbing, well-crafted choice for fans of global thrillers, Mariam’s story is a dangerous journey to empowerment that shifts between harrowing flashbacks of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and her struggle to reclaim herself, even as Tareq’s obsession looms.”―Booklist

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Brian Masaru Hayashi, Asian American Spies: How Asian Americans Helped Win the Allied Victory
(Oxford University Press)

“By making extensive use of the personnel files of the World War II–era Office of Strategic Services, the precursor to the CIA, Hayashi provides remarkable insight into how the intelligence agency used Asian Americans in the fight against Japan.” —Foreign Affairs

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Alka Joshi, The Secret Keeper of Jaipur
(Harlequin)

“In this timeless tale of loyalty, ambition, and love, Joshi explores what it means to create and build–from architectural marvels to chosen families–in a way that not only endures but inspires.” —Nancy Jooyoun Kim, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Story of Mina Lee

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Naomi Hirahara, Clark and Division
(Soho)

“Naomi Hirahara’s Clark and Division opened my heart and mind to specifics of the experience of Japanese Americans during the Second World War. Rich in period detail, it is page-turning historical fiction, a tender family story, and a mystery that plays on two levels: What happened to Rose Ito? and At what cost are Japanese Americans finally seen as full Americans? It’s a story that moved me deeply.” —Attica Locke, New York Times best-selling author of Heaven, My Home

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Katie Zhao, How We Fall Apart
(Bloomsbury YA)

VERDICT Readers who love Karen M. McManus will enjoy this fast-paced, dramatic story. —School Library Journal

SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND

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Catherine Dang, Nice Girls
(William Morrow)

“A refreshingly original and intriguingly written mystery with a flawed, yet relatable protagonist at its heart. Nice Girls drew me in and I found it hard to put down as the tension rose to its I-didn’t-see-that-coming end. A highly recommended and brilliant read.” —Karen Hamilton, international bestselling author of The Last Wife

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Vera Kurian, Never Saw Me Coming 
(Park Row)

“…a powerful puzzle of a murder mystery, as impossible to solve as it is to put down. What starts as a delicious thriller becomes a fascinating investigation of amorality, vengeance, and redemption. A powder keg of a debut.” —Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire and Mother Daughter Widow Wife

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Kendare Blake, All These Bodies
(Quill Tree Books)

“One of the best up-and-coming horror/suspense writers around” —Kirkus Reviews

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Cassandra Khaw, Nothing But Blackened Teeth

“Khaw’s prose oozes dread….Horror readers and folklore fans will find this tale of terror to be brutally satisfying.” —Publishers Weekly

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James Han Mattson, Reprieve
(William Morrow)

“An eventual American classic that is unrelenting in its beauty and incisive cultural critique.” —Kiese Laymon

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Michael Neff
Algonkian Producer
New York Pitch Director
Author, Development Exec, Editor

We are the makers of novels, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

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