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April Woo Books In Order

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Publication Order of April Woo Books

The name ‘April Woo’ refers to a series of novels written by Leslie Glass. The books explore the trials of a female detective that is transferred to a New York City Precinct.

+The Story

The April Woo series began publication in 1993. At the time, the concept of the books was almost revolutionary. The cases the books worked with were also a little controversial. While the books haven’t necessarily aged terribly, the biggest draw of the April Woo novels has lost some of its spark.

When the April Woo series first started its publication, the books stood out because they followed the exploits of an American Detective with Chinese roots. April Woo is transferred out of China Town to the Upper West Side and it doesn’t take her long to feel like a fish out of water.

Not only must she deal with the racial complexities that her background sometimes introduces into the mix but she must also contend with the fact that she is a woman operating in the male-dominated field of law enforcement.

When April Woo is first introduced in ‘Burning Time’, she is struggling to prove herself. Despite being a detective, people just refuse to take April seriously. It isn’t until she comes across a routine missing person’s case that turns into a heated hunt for a savage killer that April Woo finally gets the attention she deserves.

As the series progresses, April is able to establish herself in her new department. However, life is far from rosy. There are still those elements in law enforcement who, for one reason or another, make it their goal to see April fail.

Additionally, April struggles to balance her Asian roots with her American values. It doesn’t help that she has an overbearing mother who always seems determined to bring conflict into her life.

The April Woo series has plenty of interesting characters. As April goes about her business as a detective, she meets new people and makes interesting connections with unexpected people whose presence continues to be felt throughout the run of the series.

Chief amongst these characters is Doctor Jason Frank, an imminent psychiatrist that helps April study and catch dangerous criminals. Then there’s Mike Sanchez, April’s Spanish partner who she begins to fall for.

Leslie Glass’ premise of a Chinese-American woman trying to make it in a male-dominated police precinct was a big draw in the 1990s where the idea of women making waves in law enforcement as a novelty.

However, since then, numerous stories about female detectives of varying racial backgrounds working in law enforcement have been written. As a result, the April Woo series went from being a unique entity in the crime drama genre to being just one of several such stories on the market.

+The Author

Leslie Glass is a journalist, a filmmaker, and a novelist. Over the years, she has produced over a dozen novels. Many of the author’s titles have become New York Times Bestsellers.

Before Leslie started writing fictional stories about disgruntled Chinese-American police officers, she was working in advertising and journalism. Some people might know the author for her work at New York Magazine, specifically the Intelligence column.

When the author first started conceptualizing her April Woo series, Doctor Jason Frank was the primary protagonist. The first book was supposed to be about psychiatrists. However, during the planning phase, Leslie found that Jason needed a police officer to achieve his objective.

Leslie created April Woo to fill that role. She didn’t think April would take the spotlight away from Jason and keep it for the rest of the series. Leslie enjoyed writing the April Woo books. She was primarily drawn to April’s personal and professional journey and the changes she underwent moving to New York, struggling to fit in, finding her voice and eventually gaining the confidence to do what is right, regardless of the resistance.

Leslie is always looking for new ways to take April to the next level, allowing her to mature and to rise through the ranks of her department. Leslie enjoys using April to show the drastic contrast between Chinese and American sensibilities. April is unable to stand up for herself for the longest time not because she is timid but because of the culture in which she grew up.

For Leslie Glass, writing the April Woo series requires more than an understanding of Chinese culture. The author does extensive research into policing in New York in order to accurately present the ordeals April encounters when she is working.

Do not be surprised to find the author at a police firing gun range. It is there that she learns about the realities of police work and the professional and personal heartaches the field can elicit.

+Burning Time

When the remains of a co-ed are found in the California desert, the signature he leaves in the corpse’s flesh alert the police to the presence of a killer.

April Woo didn’t think much of her missing-persons case. She had just been transferred from Chinatown to the Upper West Side, and she was a little preoccupied with fitting in. The beautiful Chinese-American detective grows curious when her missing-persons case intersects with that of a famous doctor who learns about the secret his wife has been keeping.

There is a serial killer in New York City, and he seems determined to keep claiming new victims. And despite the naysayers, April might be the only detective that can stop him in his tracks. The detective is forced to seek help from a shrink after she learns that her killer might be the furthest thing from ordinary.

April Woo’s first adventure in the Upper West Side sees her going against a ruthless killer. Fortunately, April Woo is no ordinary detective and she’s more than capable of stopping her unhinged foe.

+Hanging Time

April Woo and Doctor Jason Frank have a killer to stop and they do not have much time to do it. Jason immediately smells a rat when a salesgirl dies rather savagely. The NYPD isn’t in the place to solve the crime. The undercurrent of sexual politics and ambition has become an obstacle to solving the barbaric crime. The only one capable of shedding light on the situation is a prominent psychoanalyst that must maneuver the revelations of his patient.

Book Series In Order » Characters » April Woo

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