Plano Reads: The Verifiers
4 mins read

Plano Reads: The Verifiers

For May’s meeting of the Mystery Book Club, we are reading The Verifiers by Jane Pek. Join us for some lively discussion on Thursday, May 18 at 7pm at Davis Library in the Hardy Room and virtually through Zoom. If you would like to attend the meeting virtually, please register here.

The Verifiers by Jane Pek

Available in Print | eBook | eAudiobook

Claudia Lin is looking at a cliched post-college future as a chronically underemployed English major–much to the consternation of her mother, who wants her to settle down and start dating a nice Chinese boy already; her brother, who pushes her to follow in his model-minority footsteps; and her sister, who can’t get over Claudia’s privileged place in their mother’s affections. But Claudia is used to keeping secrets from her family. Such as the fact that she prefers girls–and that she’s embarking on an unsuitable but supremely fun career.


Veracity, a two-and-a-half-person detective agency that operates out of a Manhattan townhouse and verifies people’s online dating personas, has recruited Claudia via an online murder mystery game. A lifelong reader of mystery novels, Claudia takes to her new job sniffing out cheaters and catfishers like a latter-day lovechild of Elizabeth Bennet and Sherlock Holmes. But when one of her very first clients turns up dead, Claudia breaks with Veracity’s protocols to investigate what happened, unconvinced by the story everyone else believes. The deeper she digs, the more she discovers that nothing–her client, the death, the dating platforms that claim to know us better than we know ourselves, Veracity, even her own family–may be as it seems.

Part literary mystery, part family story, The Verifiers is a witty and incisive examination of how technology shapes our choices, and what role romantic love plays in the digital age.

A cool, cerebral, and very funny debut novel about a young woman who works for an agency that investigates potential online dating partners and who has relationship questions—and quests—of her own.

Claudia Lin has a pretty excellent job. She works at Veracity, a detective agency that helps vet potential partners for clients pursuing romance via dating apps. Claudia is very much into literary mysteries—her go-to comfort reading is a murder-mystery series featuring one Inspector Yuan—as well as literature in general. Her astute, often acerbic observations prove a heady combination, contributing to Claudia’s engaging voice: She keeps the narrative moving at a fast-paced clip. When a new client wants Veracity to investigate a recent online flirt who’s ghosted said client—and when this request is followed in quick succession by another verification request—Claudia is all in, ably abetted by Finders Keepers, a proprietary app that can track people’s whereabout through their cellphones. Meanwhile, in her personal life, Claudia has a stake in keeping her own secrets hidden from her more conventional immigrant family: Not only is she dead set against the type of Chinese husband her mom wishes for her, she also regularly measures herself against her much higher achieving brother and sister. Beautifully complemented by entertaining secondary characters that include Claudia’s artistic roommate, Max, and Lionel, Claudia’s sister’s boyfriend, Claudia is the seductive protagonist in a tale that delves into the dark heart of contemporary technology, not to mention the foibles of the human heart. With an inquisitive, clever, and curious narrator, this adventurous mystery is both scary and hilarious. — Kirkus Reviews

Jane Pek was born and grew up in Singapore. She holds a BA from Yale University, a JD from the New York University School of Law, and an MFA in Fiction from Brooklyn College. Her short fiction has appeared in The Brooklyn ReviewWitnessConjunctions, Literary Hub, and twice in The Best American Short Stories. She currently lives in New York, where she works as a lawyer at a global investment company. — Publisher

For more about Jane Pek, visit her website:

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