Book Review: “Caught Dead” by Andrew Lanh

February 17, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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Andrew Lanh in his new book, “Caught Dead book coverCaught Dead” Book One in the Rick Van Lam Mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press introduces us to Rick Van Lam.

From the back cover:   One of the beautiful Le sisters is dead.

Hartford, Connecticut’s small Vietnamese community is stunned. Mary Le Vu, wife of a poor grocery-store owner, is gunned down in a drive-by. Her twin sister insists dutiful Mary “wouldn’t be caught dead” in that drug-infested zone. The police rule it an unlucky accident. Skeptics hire private eye Rick Van Lam to get to the truth.

Amerasian Rick—his father an unknown US soldier—is one of the Bui Doi, children of the dust, so often rejected by Vietnamese culture. But his young sidekick, Hank Nguyen, a pureblood Vietnamese, can help Rick navigate the closed world of Little Saigon. Surrounded by close friends—a former-Rockette landlady, his crusty mentor, and his ex-wife Liz—Rick immerses himself in a world that rejects him, but now needs his help. Especially when a second murder strikes in Little Saigon.

Rick and Hank delve into the families of the Le sisters, one poor, one very rich, and uncover a world of explosive ethnic tension and sinister criminal activity ranging from Hartford’s exclusive white suburbs to the impoverished inner city. To solve the murders—and bring closure to Mary’s grieving circle—Rick looks to long-buried memories of his Buddhist childhood for the wisdom that will lead him to a murderer.

Caught Dead starts a smart, unusual series.

Who knew all this was happening in Hartford, CT? I had no idea there was a Vietnamese community in Hartford. As far as I knew Hartford was the rich section of CT. I am sorry to admit this but All I really know about Vietnam was that we fought a war there in the sixties and that I really like the food in a local restaurant. Reading “Caught Dead” opened my eyes to a lot of new ideas and events. Rick is half American, half Vietnamese, that makes him almost an outcast. However once the murder occurs the people turn to him to find the answers that they need. The story hums along at a fast pace as Rick is working to figure out just what is going on. There are fascinating characters that seem very real and a killer that seems impossible to discover.  “Caught Dead” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Mr. Lanh has provided us with a marvelous new hero in Rick Van Lam and I look forward to reading about more of his adventures.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Partners In Crime.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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  1. Thanks for sharing thoughts on this 1st in series mystery with us. It’s on my TBR stack!

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