Winston Wong used to test video games but has left his downward spiraling career to follow in the footsteps of Encyclopedia Brown, his favorite childhood detective. When the Pennysaver misprints his new job title, adding an extra “s” to his listing, Winston becomes a “Seniors Sleuth.” He gets an easy first case, confirming the natural death of a ninety-year-old man. However, under the surface of the bingo-loving senior home is a seedier world where a genuine homicide actually occurred. Winston finds himself surrounded by suspects on all sides: a slacker administrator, a kind-hearted nurse, and a motley crew of eccentric residents. To validate his new career choice (and maybe win the girl), he must unravel the truth from a tangle of lies.
Winston needs a new career after a financial disaster in the dot.com industry. His sister bales him out, pays for the house he lives in, and he sets up an office as a "sleuth" - not as PI since he has no training other than his problem-solving skills from being a gamer. He places his first ad, and in walks Cameron with her grandmother, apparently with dementia. His first case - convince Eve that dd "Teddy's" death was not murder is seemingly more complex than it first appears. He sets off and discovers that there are more secrets among the elderly and those who work with them than he could have imagined. As he unravels what happened, his gaming skills come in handy and somehow he might just win the girl.
This is a well-written story that intertwines Asian culture and values, a not-so-pretty picture of what some versions of nursing homes for the elderly might look like, and very likable and unique characters like Jazzman and the Vietnam Vet. Winston is a bit bumbling but works hard and even after the easy solution, looks to be sure he has gotten it right. He's no smooth talking PI, but Winston's got heart and after this he has lots of calls for cases to take. This is a fun, quick beach read with hopefully more to come in the future.
Jennifer J Chow is Asian-American Author of:
The 228 Legacy
-Honorable Mention, 2015 San Francisco Book Festival
-Finalist, 2013 Foreword Reviews' Book of the Year Award
-Runner-Up, 2015 Beach Book Festival