“In for a penny, in for a pound.”

— English aphorism

The snappy noir action…is syncopated with fascinating elements of Chinese politesse and tradition…keeping the reader off balance.Janice MacDonald, bestselling author of the Randy Craig mystery series

A double murder. A tangle of deceit.
A woman committed to the truth.

A chance reunion with her schoolgirl crush, Stuey Lim, has Lola Starke dreaming of new possibilities, but her nascent hopes are brutally crushed as she witnesses Stuey and his best friend, Tommy, a world-famous comedian, gunned down in front of Crescent City’s most exclusive club. Shocked and grieving, Lola is nonetheless duty-bound to investigate the deaths at the request of her mentor, Nicky Lo.

Puzzling out the intricate history of Tommy’s tight-knit show business family, intent on guarding their status as closely as their secrets, is dangerous enough. But Lola must also protect Stuey’s parents from a gangster with suspect claims to Stuey’s cherished missing pocket watch—all while navigating a new phase in her contentious relationship with her Ghost, Aubrey.

This is the ’30s and this is Crescent City, where hauntings are a normal part of life and magic-fuelled funeral rites determine the dead’s journey in the sacred cycle of reincarnation. Where traditions and family can nurture a comedic genius—or destroy him. And where, no matter how old the secret, blood will out.

See Ms. MacDonald’s full review below

In For A Pound (Lola Starke #2)


(above) Burning funerary paper, meant to serve as money for ancestors in the after life.

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Full review from acclaimed author Janice MacDonald:
“The world of Lola Starke, PI, is the fantastical imagining of Los Angeles if colonialism had come from the East rather than the West, along with the magical rendering of Ghosts for some residents. These ghosts, which at first seemed like Pullmanesque daemons, turn far more dangerous in IN FOR A POUND, and Lola is up against much more than the corporeal world in her investigations. The snappy noir action and violence is syncopated with fascinating elements of Chinese politesse and tradition in religion, theatre and family compacts, keeping the reader off balance. And within the core of this text are the gleaming seeds of the next book, where I fear all hell is going to break loose.”