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The Woman in the Camphor Trunk: An Anna Blanc Mystery

(Anna Blanc Mysteries #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  190 ratings  ·  67 reviews
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. Her lover has fled. If news gets out that a white woman was murdered in Chinatown, there will be a violent backlash against ...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by Seventh Street Books / Prometheus Books
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  190 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
I read The Secret Life of Anna Blanc in the beginning of this year and I loved the book. It's one of those historical mystery books that really had it all, interesting mystery, humor and a romantic side story that worked. The big question was, would the sequel, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk, be as good? I'm glad to say that this book also was a great read, although I found that I was more captivated by the story in the first book. But, that doesn't mean that this one is in any way bad. It just ...more
To say that Anna Blanc is a woman ahead of her time in 1908 is the definition of understatement. Her bravery and commitment in being an independent woman is undeniable. Forsaking a life of leisure and riches as the daughter of a wealthy banker to pursue a career in police work defies her contemporaries’ understanding and resulted in her father disowning her. Introduced to Anna in The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, readers will be delighted to learn that she hasn’t changed her unconventional ways of ...more
Oct 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I read and enjoyed The Secret Life of Anna Blanc when it first came out. It had a rather unusual premise, that of a rich debutante, unsatisfied with her life, becoming, against all odds, a police matron in early 1900s Los Angeles. That story was amusing, with all the adjustments Anna had to begin making to her formerly spoiled life, along the way solving a murder mystery and falling in love with handsome Detective Joe Singer, the police chief's son.

This new story gives us more of the same, altho
Heather C
Oh dear Anna Blanc, how you get yourself into even bigger scrapes in this book than you did before! One might have thought you would have learned something…but it is just as hilarious, so keep bringing it. That is one thing that I have to mention – while this book is a historical mystery and sometimes thriller, there is so much comedy in the writing and dialogue that it keeps me listening hour after hour!

Book 2 picks up just a short time after the culminating events of the previous installment –
Mary  (Biblophile)
I didn't care for this second Anna Blanc book as much as the first one in the series. Anna's character hasn't grown much as she's still silly and superficial. The romance with Joe felt flat and immature on both their parts. The story itself, while interesting and seemingly well researched, seemed uneven and over-the-top at times. Overall, I found this one a bit of a disappointment and hope the next book will rectify some of the current flaws.
James Ziskin
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Anna Blanc is a one-in-a-million character. Combination of innocence, spunk, beauty, and intelligence. She’s adorable and maddeningly unmanageable at the same time. Set in LA’s Chinatown in 1908, THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK is a brilliant, funny, addictive read. Highest recommendation.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The opening scene of this novel has the protagonist running down the beach, with a rotting head in a bucket, trying to escape a policeman. Hampered by long, tight, skirts and fancy shoes, she almost doesn’t make it, but in the end she escapes.

Set in 1908 Los Angeles, Anna Blanc, society girl, has (in the last novel, which I did not read) turned crime solver and spurned her arranged engagement. This has caused her father to disown her and cast her out without a penny. She is living in a rundown
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
3.5 STARS - Disclaimer: This ARC was generously provided by the author's publicist in exchange for my honest review.

Ever since I read the first Anna Blanc book two years ago I've been itching to read the next book in this historical mystery series. Anna set herself apart from other main characters - she was sassy and ahead of her time in terms of women's right to choose what they want to do with their lives. This series is a mystery, with sides of humour and romance, set in 1908 Los Angeles. But
Aleen ~Lampshade Reader
Originally posted on

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy (received via the publisher) of this book.

Anna Blanc is back in The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. The police matron with the most still delights with her antics and stubbornness.


I read book 1 and 2 consecutively, but writing this review makes me miss Anna already and I can’t wait for more in the series. In this installment Anna finds her self solving a murder in Chinatown. Amidst a gang war that is going on, A
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: partner-read
Thanks to Prometheus Books for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

I've always loved historical fiction and mysteries. So when they're combined I'll always be intrigued enough to pick it up! THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK follows Anna Blanc in her investigation to hunt down a killer in Chinatown in the early 1900's.

The setting is Los Angeles in 1908, specifically in the dangerous area of Chinatown. Police Matron, Anna Blanc, and Detective Joe Singer discover a body. The white miss
Suspense Magazine
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Chinatown is the scene for this absolutely terrific book. It is the year 1908, in Los Angeles, when a body is discovered inside a trunk that resides in the apartment of the corpse’s lover. This scares the police more than anything else, seeing as that this Caucasian missionary female is the victim and her Chinese boyfriend is the only suspect. The L.A. police are more than frightened that a race war could begin.

It is Anna Blanc, Police Matron, and her former boyfriend, Detective Joe Singer, who
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Anna Blanc! Ever since I finished reading The Secret Life of Anna Blanc I have been keeping an eye for the sequel, because yes there had to be a sequel, the author couldn’t leave us readers hanging - wondering what happened between her and Detective Joe Singer.

Who is Anna Blanc? She is a woman ahead of her time, she doesn’t want to confirm to her father’s wishes and thus now struggles while living on her own. It isn’t easy but she is determined. She is innocent yet spunky, has some of the
Lelia Taylor
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: full-reviews
There’s something about turn-of-the-century fiction that really appeals to me and I can’t truly put my finger on just what it is. Maybe it’s the knowledge that things are on the very edge of tremendous change and that life is going to become quite different as well as a good deal less innocent.

Anna is the epitome of these coming changes. Raised in a privileged society, she yearns for something that will engage her intelligence and her interest in people who aren’t nearly so well off and she’s wi
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Once again, I am totally enamored with Anna Blanc's stories of crime fighting. Jennifer is such a talented writer and her style makes you feel like you're walking the streets of Los Angeles with Anna. I love that her stories include multiple mysteries that get resolved at different points throughout the story, all of which intertwine into one final, exciting climax. I also love that this book gave me a look at something I didn't know existed; the life that Chinese people lived in turn-of-the-cen ...more
Michael Sauve
This book was an absolute hoot! Set in the early 1900’s, the author has created a real gem that is a superb mix of intrigue, mystery and a journey in problem-solving that is up with the best of them. The main character, Anna Blanc, is a feisty and determined gal that is a force to be reckoned with. Solving this who done it was never in doubt. As you read the book you picture yourself back in 1908. All that was missing was a shootout at the OK Corral! And if Anna Blanc was one of the shooters, ju ...more
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of my favorite series, even though it is only 2 books thus far ( I understand book 3 is due to come out later 2019). The main character, Anna, is brave, determined, and does her own thing...even when it goes way out of the accepted norm for that time period. I particularly love that she loves fellow detective Joe...but when faced with making Joe happy vs. doing what she thinks is right, she always chooses herself and Joe just has to deal with it. Most importantly, these characters ar ...more
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I saw that there was another book coming out featuring Anna Blanc, i knew I had to read it. I loved the first one and loved this one too. The character of Anna Blanc is just a joy to read. She is a smart society girl who want to be a police detective. In this outing Anna is on the hunt for the killer of a woman that was found in a trunk in Los Angeles's Chinatown. She gets a lot of resistance when she is investigating, since she is a woman, but she investigates on. A very good read although ...more
Maura Weiler
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a ride! Anna Blanc is a whip-smart delight as she takes insane risks in 1900s Chinatown to capture killers, break glass ceilings and raise awareness of heartbreaking racial injustice. Like her police detective lover, I felt like I was tugging at Anna's skirts, trying to pull her back while also basking in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of a vibrant, dangerous and fascinating Chinese culture that only Anna could show me. Don't miss it.
Kathy Heare Watts
Aug 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful turn of the century murder mystery in Chinatown and Los Angeles.

I won a copy of this book during a Goodreads giveaway. I am under no obligation to leave a review or rating and do so voluntarily. So that others may also enjoy this book, I am paying it forward by donating it to my local library.
Benjamin  Thomas
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Anna Blanc is one of the most memorable characters in recent memory! If you like historical mysteries don't miss this one!

This book was quality historical fiction in my opinion. I found it extremely entertaining on many levels!  Anna Blanc is a very delightful, fiercely independent character. Jennifer has created one of the most memorable characters that I can remember. Anna Blanc reminds me of the talented young sleuth, Flavia de Luce penned by Alan Bradley.

Loved all the interpersonal conflict
Doward Wilson
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anna Blanc has left her life as a privileged socialite in 1908 Los Angeles to pursue a career as a police matron, to atone for the sins of her father. Working alongside her love interest, Detective Joe Singer, the son of the Chief of Police, they discover the murdered body of a white missionary woman in a trunk in her Chinese lover's apartment. They know they have to act fast and quietly to prevent a bloody backlash against the residents of Chinatown. The woman's Chinese lover has fled and they ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A trip into the culture of early 1900s Chinatown in LA. Anna and Joe work through another set of crimes this time trying to head off a culture war in China Town. I hope we see more of Ms. Blanc
Ceillie Simkiss
This book was better than the first, narrative-wise, but I still have... just so many problems.
Fatimaeliza Gonzalez
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer has for sure done it again!!!!

What an absolutely wonderful read where I was turning the pages wanting to find out and solve Anna’s case, and how bittersweet when it ended because I just love being a part of it all! If you want a good read that keeps you wanting more and keeps a smile on your face with such wonderful characters and personalities, then pick up this book!

And I loved how it ended, biggest smile on my face! Thank you for the gift of Anna Blanc, Jennifer!!
Kathleen Gray
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's Chinatown Jake. OK, that's a cheap way to introduce a review of this novel, which explores racial tensions in 1908 Los Angeles when a white woman is found murdered in Chinatown. Anna, who is an intrepid woman if ever there was one - she defies convention and her family to do her job- is determined the find the truth. Along the way, she's also dealing with her ex- Joe- who is protective. They may or may not rekindle their relationship. I'd not read the first book in this series but I don't t ...more
Kim Rader
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-in-2018
Love it! Anna is such a fun character - I wish I had read the first book. I didn’t realize it was a series. Well-researched and compelling. I hope there is a book #3 soon.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaway-wins
Anna is like a I Love Lucy detective so funny how she gets herself in so much trouble and has to find a way out. I like how the author puts fiction with true historical events.
Kathy McKerlie
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very refreshing book. Enjoyed from start to finish.
nikkia neil
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thanks Edelweiss for this ARC.

Loved the whole kit and kaboodle. Anna goes thru hell in this one but her spirit and spunk make this novel fun to read. This is a adventure, romance, and murder mystery that balances out beautifully.
Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works as a stand alone.

I didn’t realize how much I missed Anna Blanc until I returned to her world of early 1900s Los Angeles. She’s such a charming character having a kind of innocence but also a deep determination once she’s decided on a course of action. I love how she can judge certain traits about a person while also finding the person as a whole to be worthy. Some would say that her current circumstances are all her own making as she could
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Jennifer Kincheloe is a research scientist turned writer of historical mysteries. THE WOMAN IN THE CAMPHOR TRUNK will be in bookstores November 14, 2017. Her first novel, THE SECRET LIFE OF ANNA BLANC, was a finalist in the Lefty Award for Best Historical Mystery, the Colorado Author's League Award for Genre Fiction, the Macavity Sue Feder Award for Historical Mystery, and the winner of The Myster ...more

Other books in the series

Anna Blanc Mysteries (3 books)
  • The Secret Life of Anna Blanc
  • The Body in Griffith Park (Anna Blanc Mysteries, #3)
“Anna Blanc was the most beautiful woman ever to barrel down Long Beach Strand with the severed head of a Chinese man.” 0 likes
“Anna shouted, “Help me! I’m naked and covered in honey!” Wolf slid across the kitchen tile, heading for the basement stairs like Hermes in a footrace. “Hold tight, honeybun! Here I come!” Joe Singer charged behind him with the lantern. Wolf was not going to see Anna in her honey, even if he had to shoot him. This was not police work. This was personal. He hurled himself at Wolf. “She’s my girl!” “Not anymore!” 0 likes
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