Mimi Lee just found an extra perk to being a pet groomer at Hollywoof (other than cuddling animals all day long, that is). Pixie St. James, one of Mimi’s clients and the investor behind Hollywoof, has offered her and her boyfriend, Josh, a getaway at her vacation home, nestled on beautiful Catalina Island. With the island just outside of Los Angeles but still far enough from the hustle and bustle, Mimi, Josh, and their cat Marshmallow (who, of course, wouldn’t be caught dead in a dingy pet hotel) are excited for their relaxing stay. That is, until Pixie’s last renter, Davis D. Argo, turns up dead.
Jennifer J. Chow recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest mystery, MIMI LEE CRACKS THE CODE:
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
The relationship between Josh and Mimi was the biggest challenge. This novel delves into the cracks in how they interact with each other. Their usual easygoing bond gets shaken, but I thought it was a great opportunity to make their relationship more realistic and dynamic.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
There’s a part in this book where Mimi has to take a deep look at herself and how she identifies as an Asian American. I didn’t realize that this was something she was wrestling with until it showed up in the scene.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
Instead of having the plot on hand and then researching the location, I did this book backwards. I went on a trip to Catalina Island and was so inspired that I decided to make sure it was featured in this novel.
Jennifer J. Chow is the Lefty Award-nominated author of the Sassy Cat Mysteries and the forthcoming Night Market Mysteries (Berkley/Penguin Random House). The first in the Sassy Cat series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, was selected as an Overdrive Recommended Read; a PopSugar Best Summer Beach Read; staff picks for Changing Hands Bookstore, Escondido Library, and Richland Library; and as one of BuzzFeed’s Top 5 Books by AAPI authors. Jennifer has also published other Asian-American novels involving secrets and mysteries. She’s active in Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Color.
Find Jennifer on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook under @jenjchow, or to learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.