The Red Hot Empress (The Annie Szabo Mystery Series)

Written by Meredith Blevins

“Blevins succeeds in weaving humor, zany characters, and the occult into an entertaining mystery with serious undertones.” —Publisher’s Weekly “Great plot and insight into Gypsy culture!” ~ Library Journal, starred review. The spicy Szabo women would like to kick back with a lover, a good movie, and a few laughs, but life has something else in mind. One meeting with an extraordinary boy leads them headlong into another wild, and hair-raising, adventure.

Annie Szabo has discovered a miracle—Jimmy Qi, a kid from Chinatown with the power to heal using music. He’s dazzling, he’s a scoundrel, he is sensitive, and he makes a great newspaper article. But now? Everyone wants Jimmy.

Feeling responsible for creating San Francisco’s latest hot commodity, Annie enlists her mother-in-law, the audacious fortune-teller Madame Mina, to help keep Jimmy safe from his avid pursuers: an evangelist; an ex-hero with a troubled past; the tongs; a CDC doctor; a dolphin fanatic; and an FBI agent who seems too good to be true.

A set of aging twins with a vivid past and a dubious future offer Annie protection. The women have powerful alliances, and they like Annie’s style. She has reservations, but after an afternoon spent slamming back Bombay Gin with the ladies, Annie accepts their help.

And then the bodies start turning up. Annie grabs Jimmy and runs, luring the killer through a tangle of Chinese New Year celebrations and north, up the deserted California coast, where she and Madame Mina force the killer to face justice.

“A madcap dash through San Francisco’s Chinatown and the crumbling Haight-Ashbury district with a cast of bona fide eccentrics!” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“The Red Hot Empress is witty, clever, and slyly wise—all at the same time. No doubt about it, Meredith Blevins is a magician who changes words into music.” Margaret Coel, New York Times bestselling author of ‘Wife of Moon’

“A roller-coaster thrill-ride through San Francisco’s Chinatown. Sexy, colorful, and just plain fun.” Denise Hamilton, bestselling author of ‘The Jasmine Trade.’

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