Raina Sun Mystery Series by Anne R. Tan

Raina Sun, an American Chinese woman lives in the small town of Gold Springs. She struggles with finishing her degree and doing odd jobs to sustain herself. However, her dead grandfather also put the responsibility on her to give three million dollars to his secret family in China. Her college adviser/ex-boyfriend cons her to give him most of her rent money. After confronting him to pay the money back, he’s found dead. Thus begins her murder investigations. Another ex-boyfriend Matthew Louie is a Detective who’s hired by the local police to investigate the case. In the mist of all this, Raina’s grandmother, Po Po arrives at her apartment and assists her in solving the murders in quirky ways.

Raina is a smart and intelligent woman who puts others before her. Most of the time. Despite being conned and the family pressure, she tries to maintain a stable mind. Po Po, her grandmother also is fun who invents different techniques in catching the murderers in the various mysteries.

But there’s also the family element. Because of her grandfather’s infidelity, he has a second secret wife and family in China. Being the ‘good girl’, Raina promised him, on his death bed to reach out to the other family and give them three million dollars. Unknown to this fact, Raina’s immediate family and cousins blame her for getting all the fortune for herself while they didn’t get much. Po Po, knowing this reason still insists to Raina to keep it a secret. Why her grandfather got a second family remains a mystery which she tries to uncover.

Her love life isn’t much exciting. Matthew Louie, who was brought up by her family, was her one true love. However, he has commitment issues and so Raina avoids him. But because of being a Detective, he helps her in solving the murders.

This shows that our lives aren’t much different. All of us have experienced between trying to balance one’s job, personal life and family obligations. We can relate to Raina Sun about being different and trying to keep up with expectations from others. On the her hand, her grandmother tries to keep her mind off her husband’s betrayal by aiding Raina in catching the murderers. At the same time, the two of them have clashes which results in her grandmother abandoning her. However, Raina keeps on going to being the ‘good girl’ of the family despite all odds.

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