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Ghost Hero (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith #11)

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3.77  ·  Rating Details  ·  568 Ratings  ·  110 Reviews
"Rozan again proves that the private detective novel thrives in the 21st century." -- Oline Cogdill, The Sun-Sentinel on On the Line

American-Born Chinese PI Lydia Chinis called in on whatappears to be asimple case. Jeff Dunbar, art world insider, wants her to track down a rumor. Contemporary Chinese painting is sizzling hot on the art scene and no one is hotter than Chau C
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Hardcover, 325 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Minotaur Books
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(showing 1-30 of 971)
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Hallie
May 07, 2015 Hallie rated it it was ok
Shelves: dlr-library
That's a very cranky rating, and would have been a star higher if this hadn't come after TEN BOOKS in the series. It's decidedly weaker than most of them just in terms of the slightly farcical mood of the ending, but that isn't what bugs me. I love the slowly deepening partnership between Bill and Lydia, with little doled-out promises of more (which Bill has wanted all along), and didn't mind the fact that glaciers have moved faster than they have. Didn't mind it too much. Most of the time. I di ...more
Gloria Feit
Oct 21, 2011 Gloria Feit rated it it was amazing
Lydia Chin, young New York private investigator, although she is what she refers to as an ABC [American-Born Chinese], cannot imagine why a new client wants to hire for an investigation dealing with contemporary Chinese art [what he refers to as a “cutting edge collecting area” in the West], freely admitting that she has no clue about art. Despite her reluctance, she agrees to accept his retainer to check out rumors of some new pieces of art by one Chau Chun, known as the Ghost Hero. This despit ...more
Deborah
Dec 04, 2011 Deborah rated it liked it
This has always been a favorite sleuth series - Lydia Chin and Bill Smith. A big part of my enjoyment has been the descriptions of NYC's Chinatown and its people, as well as Lydia's relationship with her mother (and Bill, too).

While "Ghost Hero" had a good story to tell - the validity of art works by a Tienanmen Square protester - and some good description of the contemporary Chinese art scene in NYC, Bill and Lydia weren't all that "present" - they seemed to be on the sidelines. And as a resul
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Kaje Harper
Jan 11, 2014 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
This is one of my all-time favorite mystery series. Having said that, this was not my favorite installment, although it was a very good read. What was frustrating to me about this one was that the romantic/emotional/sexual tension that has always been present between the MCs was almost completely dropped out, leaving a drier-feeling mystery.

In the last book, Bill Smith went through a highly emotional experience (view spoiler). Presumabl
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Linniegayl
Sep 16, 2012 Linniegayl rated it it was ok
I listened to this for my mystery book group and never would have finished it if reading just for enjoyment. I thought I would like this story about the New York art scene mixed with recent Chinese history. But the story didn't capture my attention and I disliked the narrator.

Perhaps I would have liked this more if I had read it in print. But the narrator made all of the main characters (Lydia, Bill, and Jack) sound like teenage or early 20-something females, which made them difficult to take se
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Debra
Oct 02, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it
S. J. Rozan is on my "must read ASAP" list, and Ghost Hero shows why.

Lydia Chin and Bill Smith are hired to discover information about possible new paintings from an artist who was thought to have died at Tienanmen Square.

Of course, the expected plot complications follow, with strands all over NYC and even extending into the PRC. As usual Rozan introduces interesting side characters. Linus plays a part, as does Mama. Jack, however, provides some interesting future plot possibilities (despite lik
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Una Tiers
Feb 09, 2015 Una Tiers rated it it was ok
While I usually enjoy the Rozan books, this plot lacked the cohesion the author is capable of writing. After restarting the book three times, I put it away.
Ann
Nov 19, 2011 Ann rated it really liked it
I love Bill & Lydia, it was great to hear their dialog again. I like Jack and hope to see more of him soon (hint hint, don't make us wait so long between books!) ;) That said, the plot of the book wasn't quite as compelling as The Shanghai Moon, but a very satisfying ending fulfilled my expectations.
Harvey
Oct 07, 2011 Harvey rated it really liked it
This is a fine adventure amongst the NY Chinese art community as Lydia, Bill, and a new affiliated PI take on bad guys from all directions by pulling off multiple ingenious scams (all in the interest of "the truth").

Rozan is in fine form w/ Lydia, et al in wisecracking glory in English and Chinese.

After having some reservations w/ the last book (happy to discuss elsewhere) this one really is a gem.
Sandi
Much better than the previous book in the series. A quick, light read and while I did have a couple of problems with the plotting I really enjoyed having both Bill and Lydia working together and on the same page.
Susan
Mar 03, 2014 Susan rated it liked it
The Ghost Hero was a Chinese painter who was killed in the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square. However, rumors are flying around the art world that new paintings by the artist have been seen. When private investigator Lydia Chin is hired to track down the paintings, she and her partner, Bill Smith, find that other parties are interested in the paintings and are willing to shoot anyone who stands in their way. As the story gets more and more convoluted, Lydia finds that the only way to resolve the ...more
Jan
Jul 08, 2014 Jan rated it it was amazing
I love this series and since I rarely rate anything 5 stars I almost felt guilty offering up still another 5 for this book. But, truth be told I love the characters, find the setting refreshingly different, and the twists and turns of the plot kept me puzzling out the solution to nearly the end. I "read" the audio book version which was extremely well performed! This is the third audiobook version of this series that I've had the pleasure to borrow from my terrific local library. I'm proud of th ...more
Maggie Holmes
Jul 04, 2015 Maggie Holmes rated it really liked it
I went to school with the author so I liked the references to Oberlin and Russian Lit that she put in the book. Oblomov was one of my favorite Russian novels in college.
I really enjoy the Lydia Chin & Bill Smith series. This one was one of Lydia's and introduced a new character, Jack. I wonder if he will show up in the next book.
The storyline turned out to be more of a caper novel than a whodunit mystery. The final revelation did have some foreshadowing so there were some clues to follow. R
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Natlyn
Nov 30, 2015 Natlyn rated it really liked it
The best Lydia Chin mystery since 2001's Reflecting the Sky. There are mysteries upon mysteries that need investigating here and Lydia moves into a new field for her: art. The art world intrigue combined with the Chinese community ambiance, the introduction of a new Chinese "partner," and the stabilization of Lydia's relationship with Bill Smith make this a page-turning joy to read.
Kia
Jun 08, 2015 Kia rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Georgiann Hennelly
Oct 23, 2011 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
Lydia Chin is an American -Born Chinese P.I.Jeff Dunbar , is an art world insider, he wants her to track down a rumor he has heard about some Contemporary Chinese paintingswhich are sizzling hot on the art scene right now.The artist is supposedly Chau Chun , known as the Ghost Hero. A talented and celebrated ink painter.Chau,s work mixes classical forms and modern political commentary. The rumor that he has done new paintings is shaking up the art world. The only problem is that Ghost Hero Chau ...more
Marjorie
Sep 18, 2011 Marjorie rated it really liked it
A Great New Caper Set in the NYC Art World with Investigators Lydia Chin and Bill Smith
*****
There are few authors that can keep a series fresh and entertaining in the way that S.J. Rozan has with her Lydia Chin/Bill Smith PI books. In her 11th, GHOST HERO, she brings her two private investigators into the world of art (Chinese and Chinese-American) in the galleries of New York City where they cross paths with another PI. I won't say any more because I know that part of the joy of reading a book
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Kathleen Hagen
Ghost Hero, by S. J. Rozan, B. Narrated by Emily Woo Zeller, Produced by AudioGO, downloaded from audible.com.

American-Born Chinese P.I. Lydia Chin is called in on what appears to be a simple case. Jeff Dunbar, art world insider, wants her to track down a rumor.
Contemporary Chinese painting is sizzling hot on the art scene and no one is hotter than Chau Chun, known as the Ghost Hero. A talented and celebrated
ink painter, Chau's highly-prized work mixes classical forms and modern political comme
...more
Barbara
Oct 17, 2011 Barbara rated it liked it
Wonderfully twisty mystery set in the world of modern Chinese art.
It all starts with what seems to be a simple job for Lydia and Bill. There are rumors that there are new painting out there by Chau Chen, "Ghost Hero". Jeff Dunbar hires our duo to find out if the paintings exist and, if they do, are they real or fakes. Chau Chen died a hero in Tiananmen Square. But there were rumors around that people had seen him after that-hence the 'ghost hero'.
As the story progresses more players are added: j
...more
Kelly Knapp
Jan 20, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, art lovers
Recommended to Kelly by: Goodreads Firstread program
This is my first taste of S.J. Rozan's P.I. novels. I was impressed with Ghost Hero. The protagonist, Lydia Chin is an in-depth fully developed Chinese –American private detective character. Rozan’s characters are not die cut stereotypes, except when this works to their advantages. These characters will use whatever means necessary, including a little lying, cheating, and blackmail to solve their cases and do right by their clients.
In this, Rozan's eleventh novel about Chin, she has apparently g
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John
Jul 09, 2015 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I thought the audio narration was bringing down the quality of the book ("ruining" is a bit dramatic), but later I realized that Zeller's reading made a flawed story harder to take. For those unfamiliar with the series, the author took several years off before returning a year ago with On the Line, featuring Bill Smith's frantic search for a kidnapped Lydia. I enjoyed that one just fine - William Dufris did a terrific job with the audio.
Rozan alternates her protagonists' point-of-view
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Kathy
Nov 15, 2012 Kathy rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Monica
Nov 28, 2011 Monica rated it really liked it
A new Lydia Chin and Bill Smith adventure is always a very good thing. When someone who isn't who he claims to be hires Lydia to track down a rumor about new paintings by a Chinese dissident artist who was killed at Tienanmen Square, things are off and running.

Bill consults Jack Lee, a friend of his, a Chinese American PI who is knowledgeable about the art scene, and it turns out that someone has hired Lee to find out about the same paintings. Lee, Bill and Lydia decide that it makes sense to t
...more
Peggy
Jan 15, 2015 Peggy rated it it was amazing
I listened to this audiobook and enjoyed it very much. Lydia Chin and Bill Smith are NYC private eyes who work together. Some of the books in this series are Lydia-centric and some are Bill-centric. This one focuses on Lydia, who has been hired to find some paintings rumored to have surfaced some 20 years after the painter's death at Tiananmen Square. The story is satisfying because it has a complex plot with several layers.
Jane (yesmissjane)
Feb 25, 2015 Jane (yesmissjane) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015, crime
A really quite satisfying private detective mystery featuring a female first-generation American Chinese PI, Chinese contemporary art, New York galleries and a bunch of rumours about a Chinese political dissident who died in the Tiananmen Square incident. Or did he?

Violence level : 2 out of 5 (a couple of shots fired but no-one hit, tense moments, but nothing graphic), Romance level 2 out of 5 (flirtation between Lydia and two other characters, and a bit of jockeying between these two other char
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Dan Downing
Oct 20, 2013 Dan Downing rated it liked it
By my count this is S.J. Rozan's 11th Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mystery. Constructed along traditional lines, the mystery here is more a side line to the straight goings on in the day to day lives of two PIs, equipped with the usual accessories: a convenient new part time 'partner', an off stage but reliable cousin who happens to be a world class computer hacker, and a Jewish mother who happens to be Chinese.
The writing is clear without the edge of noir nor the fustiness of cozies; Lydia, as narrato
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T
Dec 17, 2015 T rated it liked it
First book of this author for me, somewhat light in that the bantering and dickering between partner is sometimes humorous. Reminds me of Leslie Glass and her April Woo NY cop series.

A lot of double crossing and subterfuge going on in this one, surrounding China politics and art. Lydia and Bill work with another Chinese PI to resolve this case....Bad accents and acting abound.
Glenn Harris
Mar 13, 2015 Glenn Harris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mystery, this time immersing the two private detectives in the world of Chinese art. They are on the trail of some previously unknown paintings done by an artist who's been dead for twenty years, a radical killed by the Chinese government. The case gets much more complicated--and dangerous--when it appears the paintings may be both legitimate...and new.
Belinda
Dec 05, 2011 Belinda rated it it was ok
I started reading Rozan with Shanghai Moon, which I loved. When I looked at her backlist, the way the characters perceive each other is so different from the way they reveal themselves when they're narrating, I quickly became fascinated with Rozan's technique. Since coming back to the series, she seems to be trying different styles - historical mystery (Shanghai Moon), action thriller (the beat-the-clock On The Line) and now . . . not sure what to call this. The Sting meets Chinese art? I applau ...more
Matt
Nov 10, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
(Disclaimer: I received this book free from goodreads.)

This is probably the best Good Reads giveaway I have won. The style, writing and mystery are superb. The backdrop, China Town and subject matter, Chinese art and Chinese oppression make for a thought provoking and interesting read.

I really enjoy finding a large series by an author and usually do not like to start in the middle of an established narrative, but this is an excellent book that could stand alone. I never felt lost, nor, if this
...more
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SJ Rozan, a native New Yorker, is the author of the Bill Smith and Lydia Chin detective series as well as several stand-alone novels. She has won the the Edgar, Nero, Macavity, Shamus and Anthony awards for Best Novel and the Edgar award for Best Short Story. She is a former Mystery Writers of America National Board member, a current Sisters in Crime National Board member, and President of the Pri ...more
More about S.J. Rozan...

Other Books in the Series

Lydia Chin & Bill Smith (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • China Trade (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #1)
  • Concourse (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #2)
  • Mandarin Plaid (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #3)
  • No Colder Place (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #4)
  • A Bitter Feast (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #5)
  • Stone Quarry (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #6)
  • Reflecting the Sky (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #7)
  • Winter And Night (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #8)
  • The Shanghai Moon (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #9)
  • On the Line (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #10)

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