The body of an elderly Chinese importer of rare jade lies on the carpet of a quietly expensive house in Pasadena, California. In a rough semicircle around his head rest four pieces of jade; protruding from the heart is a fifth-the Ya-Chang ritual knife.Who murdered the importer? Was it Yumeko, the beautiful half-black, half-Japanese girl who lived with him? Johnny Wu, a rich Chinese-American? Another customer? Or a political enemy from overseas?Black homicide detective Virgil Tibbs finds himself in the middle of a deadly situation involving hard drugs, Communist Chinese agents, and the exotic settings of the jade trade as he coolly tracks down the murderer.Praise for John Ball"A nice tight murder puzzle."-Times Literary Supplement "A taut, dramatic yarn."-Charlotte Observer
About the Author
The son of a scientist, John Ball was born in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Milwaukee. He attended Carroll College in Wisconsin. He subsequently worked as a science staff writer on Fortune, a music critic and feature writer for the Brooklyn Eagle, a daily columnist on the New York World-Telegram & Sun, a broadcaster for a Washington radio station, and a Director of Public Relations for the Institute of Aerospace Sciences. His In the Heat of the Night was awarded a Mystery Writers of America "Edgar" for the Best First Mystery Novel of the Year, and since had been followed by The Cool Cottontail, also featuring his African-American detective, Virgil Tibbs. Mr. Ball has also authored a number of notable young adult books.