by Lorie Lewis Ham
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of the book, and a link to purchase it.
Pauper and Prince in Harlem is the fourth book in the Ross Agency series. It features private detective SJ Rook, known by most as just Rook. He works for Norment Ross and his daughter Sabrina. Rook is also dating Sabrina, or Brina as he calls her.
The book starts off with Rook playing chess in the local park with Zaire, a 13-year-old young friend of his who is good with computers and wants to do some work for their detective agency. When Zaire runs off to chat with his friend Whip he is suddenly shot down in a drive by shooting. Rook races across the street and chases after Whip hoping he might have seen who did it. Whip leads Rook to a homeless encampment known as the Palace, but gives him the slip.
Rook is determined to find Whip and catch Zaire’s killer whatever it takes. He soon learns that Whip is a transgender boy living on the streets because his mother won’t accept him for who he is. Rook’s inner conflict with accepting and understanding Whip makes him question his own ideas and beliefs. When he finally finds Whip, their time together has a huge affect on Rook and their interactions are very sweet.
While trying to find Zaire’s killer and keep Whip from becoming another victim, Rook has to deal with vicious thugs and the mob. He gets help from a homeless couple who have secrets of their own, and Rook’s contact with the homeless digs up memories of a darker time in his life. Rook also has some personal issues to deal with involving his relationship with Brina.
Pauper and Prince in Harlem is a well-written gritty mystery filled with twists and turns. The characters are real and believable. Rook has a dark past that often haunts him, which goes hand in hand with street smarts that make him a better detective. His relationship with Brina is sweet, and they stand by each other even when things aren’t perfect. I loved Whip’s story and it was nice to see a transgender teen play an important role. Even though this is the first book in the series that I have read, I didn’t have any trouble jumping right in. I look forward to going back and reading the rest of the books in the series.
To enter to win a copy of Pauper and Prince in Harlem, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “harlem,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 12, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE THAT IT WILL TAKE MUCH LONGER THAN USUAL FOR WINNERS TO GET THEIR BOOKS DUE TO THE CURRENT CRISIS.
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