Having read this author previously, I looked forward to the opportunity to read “The Fatal Sin of Love” by G.X. Chen. This is a perfect mystery to cozy up with on a quiet afternoon. A wealthy widow dies in her sleep in her home in Beacon Hill, a dog is murdered in Cambridge and man in a remote Chinese village meets his untimely death due to heart failure. Could all of these events be related? Jane learns she is an heir to a fortune and suddenly befalls a number of tragedies in her family. Jane’s roommate, Ann Lee is unconvinced that these circumstances are all happenstance, and she teams up once again with her crime solving partner, Fang Chen, to connect the missing pieces of this mystery. Add a budding romance to the plot and you have all the dynamics for a great read!
“The Fatal Sin of Love” is the second book in the Back Bay Investigation series. I feel certain it would have been to my advantage to read the first book in the series, “The Mystery of Moutai.” Although the stories are certainly stand-alone mysteries, I may have missed out on some of the background character development of Ann Lee and Fang Chen. I also think the romantic development of Jane and Fang Chen needed a bit more depth. The two go from blushing awkwardness to Jane calling Fang Chen “her man” in just a short span of time, with little evidence of their romantic growth in between. That being said, understandingly this is a mystery novel, with the romance being one of the side stories. I personally just wanted to see more.
Chen’s novels should also be considered historical fiction as she always involves very relevant events in China’s history as part of the plot, educating as well as entertaining readers at every opportunity. The settings in the story are delightfully depicted and one can imagine the glorious scenes while touring the fields of tea shrubs, or staying in the charming inns nestled in the mountainside of the Wuyi Mountains.
Overall, this was a great read and I recommend “The Fatal Sin of Love” by G.X. Chen to young adults as well as adult fans of the mystery, romance and historical fiction genres.