Author: Charles Colyott
Publication Date: February 8, 2012
When a young woman is found murdered in a seedy massage parlor near his neighborhood, the police recruit Randall Lee - an American acupuncturist and Tai Chi master -- as a translator and expert in Chinese culture, to assist in the investigation. Lee discovers that the murderer is an expert in a forbidden Chinese martial art - the dark mirror to his own healing practices - and joins in the hunt for the killer to escape his own inner demons and save the woman he loves.
The Characters: Can I just say that I may have developed quite the literary crush on Dr. Randall Lee? He is everything a girl like me looks for in a man: smart, hard working and quite the smart ass. Even in dangerous situations, Randall is just whipping out these hilarious lines that I just couldn't get enough of. In fact, I enjoyed all of the characters in this story, not one of them disappointed me. Each character was strong and believable and had their own special quirks that I loved, especially the foul-mouthed, cranky old Master Cheng!
The Setting: I was truly impressed with the author's ability to set a scene. I've never been to a very large city, nor to Chinatown, so the fact that I could easily picture Randall's shop and neighborhood was a great thing. Buildings, streets, and parks among other landscapes were expertly detailed in order to give the reader a clear view of the area without long winded descriptions.
The Storyline: Not only is this a great mystery, but there are so many other aspects to the story that make you want to sit and read straight through the night. What starts out as just a "who done it" quickly turns into a very emotional journey for Randall. Dr. Lee is initially called by Detective Knox to help translate for witnesses after a girl is found murdered. However, Randall quickly becomes more involved in the case when it's clear that he can be of better assistance. As time goes on, we learn that Randall is dealing with a pretty huge personal crisis of his own and maybe finding this killer will not only save others, but also himself.
The Writing: So, so good! There isn't a dull moment in this book, the author keeps you permanently on your toes. Once you think you have everything figured out, you are pulled in a completely different direction. His writing is clear and clever, adding in some pretty hilarious one liners that made me appreciate his work even more. I originally thought that the martial arts talk might weigh down the story, but it doesn't at all. Everything is explained in a way that even the most clueless person (me lol) would be able to understand the moves and styles. I was thrilled to see that there will be more stories involving Dr. Randall Lee and I will be buying them for sure!
Overall, I absolutely loved this book. It was funny, yet intense at the same time. I can't recommend it enough!
Want to check out Changes: A Randall Lee Mystery for yourself? Now is the time! You can get your copy for only $2.99(!!!) from Amazon or BN.com.