Child of My Winter

Andrew Lanh (Author)


"This complex and very timely story is a riveting study of greed and betrayal." --Booklist

Rick van Lam is bui doi, "a child of dust," as the Vietnamese scornfully called a mixed-blood kid whose father was an unknown American GI. But Rick was lucky--in time he was sent to America. And he's ended up in Hartford, Connecticut, where he's made a life as a private eye after leaving a career as a cop at the NYPD.

Rick is also teaching a part-time course at Farmington College where brainy Vietnamese student Dustin Trang, a scholarship student with no social skills and an oddly hostile family, is scorned and bullied. It reminds Rick of his own miserable days in a Saigon orphanage and he reaches out. But Dustin rebuffs him.

One night as a blizzard strikes, a professor is shot down in the campus parking lot. The man had befriended Dustin, but their relationship had visibly soured. Dustin is everyone's hot suspect for the murder, but Rick believes the boy is innocent. Oddly, Dustin seems indifferent to others' suspicion that he's a killer. And he seems resistant to helping his case.

Rick knows he owes who he has become to the loving support of his friend, Hank Nguyen, and Hank's multigenerational family. To pay it forward for Dustin, Rick persuades Hank, a state cop, and some of his circle of Hartford friends to dig into Dustin's dysfunctional world, interviewing faculty and students, relatives, and a busy congregation that seems to be a focal point for the fractured Trang family.

As the investigation stalls and the cops close in, Rick realizes he has to break through a web of lies, anger, and betrayals, and force Dustin to reveal whatever it is he fears more than arrest for murder.

Product Details

Poisoned Pen Press
Publish Date
July 04, 2017
5.7 X 1.1 X 8.6 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

Andrew Lanh is a pseudonym of Ed Ifkovic. Ifkovic taught literature and creative writing at a community college in Connecticut for over three decades, and now devotes himself to writing fiction. A longtime devotee of mystery novels, he fondly recalls his boyhood discovery of Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason series in a family bookcase, and his immediate obsession with the whodunit world. MAKE BELIEVE is the third mystery in his Edna Ferber Mystery series for Poisoned Pen Press. Previous books are LONE STAR (2009). ESCAPE ARTIST (2011), and MAKE BELIEVE (2012).


"So we have a sort of double mystery: who killed the professor, and what is Dustin refusing to reveal, even at the risk of being convicted of murder? The book also gives us a revealing picture of the little-known community of Vietnamese around Hartford, while offering a few looks back at the horrors and confusions of the Vietnam War."--John Teel "Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association "
"This complex and very timely story is a riveting study of greed and betrayal."--Barbara Bibel "Booklist "
"Lanh poses an excellent mystery with a surprising twist while exploring the psychological scars inflicted by a war long ago."--Kirkus Reviews on No Good to Cry, Rick Van Lam #3
"As complex and tricky as Lanh's other Vietnam-centric mysteries, with a psychological component that makes this installment especially intense."--Kirkus Reviews
"Lanh (the pseudonym of Ed Ifkovic) excels at creating quirky, complicated characters."--Publishers Weekly