Check out another awesome review of CLEANING UP FINN on Tom Leins’ blog DIRTY BOOKS.

Here’s an excerpt:

“This debut novella from Sarah M. Chen is a sun-blurred, booze-soaked excursion into the grubby underbelly of a Californian beach town.”




Today a killer review for FINN posted from the Col’s Criminal Library. Woo hoo!

Here’s a snippet:

“You feel like your sympathies shouldn’t really rest with our main man, but somehow in the hands of Sarah Chen, they do. Can Finn clean up his act, get out from under and find some measure of redemption? Or is he doomed to repeat the mistakes of his past?”

Read More

Thank you, Colman!


My FINN “celebration” party (I don’t call it a launch since the book has been out already for a month) was last Sunday at the Baleen Kitchen in Redondo Beach near the marina. It was a fantastic party and I am so touched by all the friends and family who showed up to help me celebrate. We also lucked out with great weather and the sun broke through the June gloom just in time for my party. There was plenty of drinks, food, and CAKE. And of course, books!

I wanted to hold the party at Baleen Kitchen because that served as my inspiration while writing FINN. I renamed the hotel / restaurant the Waterfront Grill and Hotel in the book and this is what I envisioned as Finn’s workplace. It’s the perfect location as it overlooks King Harbor (where Porter’s boat is docked).

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Check out Out of the Gutter today where reviewer Derrick Horodyski gives FINN a thumbs-up.

Here’s a little excerpt: “I absolutely loved Cleaning Up Finn by Sarah M. Chen. I defy anyone who reads this tightly wound novella to find anything wrong with it. It has a classic noir main character, death, despair, and—best of all—a full-throttle plot that picks up more and more speed as the plot unfolds.”

Read the rest here: GUTTER BOOKS

Woo hoo! Thanks to Derrick and the Out of the Gutter team!


It was a fantastic night at Book Show where the audience participation was the best I’ve ever seen! It was like having a discussion on writing and novellas in someone’s living room. A great time and a fabulous book store. I’ll have to go back.

Book Show 2016

With S.W. Lauden, Eric Beetner, Gary Phillips, and the owner of Book Show, the awesome Jen Hitchcock.


On Saturday, June 4, at 8pm, I’ll be participating on a panel with Eric Beetner, S.W. Lauden, and Gary Phillips where we’ll discuss the novella in modern crime fiction.  It should be an entertaining night and since I’ve never been to Book Show, I’m doubly excited as it’s always fun to check out new venues.

Of course novellas (like CLEANING UP FINN) will be for sale! Hope to see you there!



Life is a constant party for restaurant manager, Finn Roose. When he seduces an underage woman on one of his booze cruises and loses her—literally, it sets off a massive search involving the police, her parents, and a private investigator. Finn is an expert manipulator but his endless lies only tighten the screws on himself and his unsuspecting best friend. Finn scrambles to make things right which may be too much to ask from a guy who can’t resist a hot babe and a stiff drink.

“Majorly screwed up. But in a good way.” — Brett Battles, USA Today bestselling author of the Jonathan Quinn thrillers

“Chen creates a compelling character with restaurant manager Finn Roose. Readers with certain taste (like me) will enjoy watching this self-deluded ladies man bumble from one mistake to another, trying to hide his involvement with a missing teenage girl. Sarah M. Chen creates a hybrid West Coast restaurant noir novella. A great read.” — Travis Richardson, author of the noir novella, Lost in Clover

“A speedboat ride along the Southern California coastline where the sun shines a light on the lecherous locals. Finn Roose is an opportunistic restaurant manager who finally gets in over his head when he meets an underage femme fatale. Lives are shattered and bullets fly through the salty ocean air in this fast-paced debut from Sarah M. Chen.” — S.W. Lauden, Bad Citizen Corporation and Crosswise

“If you like your crime fiction the way Finn Roose likes his women, hard and fast, you’ll love Sarah M. Chen’s debut novella. A challenging, unsentimental look at a man who may be beyond redemption. Chen is a writer to watch.” — Matt Coyle, author of the Anthony Award-winning Rick Cahill crime series

“Cleaning Up Finn is a complex morality tale of debauchery, selfishness, sacrifice, and guilt. This romp of a noir through Southern California’s South Bay will stay with you, challenging your ideas of poetic justice and leaving you wanting more from Sarah M. Chen.” — James W. Ziskin, Anthony-, Barry-, and Lefty-nominated author of the Ellie Stone Mysteries,
Styx & Stone, No Stone Unturned, Stone Cold Dead, and Heart of Stone

“A gritty and compelling journey, Chen navigates the intricate labyrinth of great modern storytelling with believable style. I’ll be tapping my foot waiting for more from this incredible author and more of her character Finn.” — Darrell James, author of the Award Winning Del Shannon series

Purchase on Amazon or Indiebound