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Friday, July 13, 2012

‘Rizzoli And Isles’ Creator Mines Chinese Roots In Latest Book

Tess Gerritsen author of 'The Silent Girl.' (Photo by Jessica Hill)

Tess Gerritsen author of  “The Silent Girl.'”(Photo by Jessica Hill)

Tess Gerritsen is the author who introduced Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles to the world in murder mysteries that are the basis of the popular TNT series “Rizzoli and Isles.”

She has written nine “Rizzoli and Isles” books, but the latest “The Silent Girl” is the first to mine Gerritsen’s Chinese roots. And it’s the first with a significant number of Chinese or Chinese-American characters.

She had avoided Asian characters after she was told early in her career that they wouldn’t do well in the marketplace. But after considerable success with her Rizzoli books, she decided to go for it with “Silent Girl.”

The novel is set in Boston’s Chinatown, which, as Gerritsen told Here and Now producer Emiko Tamagawa, she felt was a ideal place because of its history and its ghosts.

Gerritsen said her mother believed in ghosts, and claimed to have seen them in China. Though Gerritsen hasn’t seen a ghost, she says that if you were to find one it would be in Chinatown’s oldest parts.

This segment originally aired in 2011.


  • Tess Gerritsen, “Rizzoli and Isles” creator

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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