Crazy Rich Asians meets The Devil Wears Prada in [The Fraud Squad] this propulsive novel by debut author Kyla Zhao, about a working-class woman who infiltrates Singapore's high society to fulfill her dreams, only to lose herself in the process.
For as long as she can remember, Samantha Song has dreamed of writing for a high-society magazine—and she'd do anything to get there. But the constant struggle to help her mom make ends meet and her low social status make her dream feel like a distant fantasy.
Now, Sam finds herself working at a drab PR firm. The closest she’ll get to that life is living vicariously through her socialite coworker and friend, Anya Chen. Then she meets Timothy Kingston: the disillusioned son of one of Singapore’s elite families—and Sam’s one chance at infiltrating the high society world to which she desperately wants to belong.
To Sam’s surprise, Tim and Anya both agree to help her make a name for herself on Singapore’s socialite scene. The borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every glamorous event can only get her so far; the rest is on Sam, and she’s determined impress the editor-in-chief of Singapore’s poshest magazine. But the deeper Sam wades into this fraud, the more she fears being exposed—especially with a mysterious gossip columnist on the prowl for dirt—forcing her to reconcile her pretense with who she really is before she loses it all.
Kyla Zhao had her first women's magazine byline at the age of sixteen, writing about weddings for Harper's Bazaar Singapore before she'd even had her first kiss. Since then, she has also written for the Singapore editions of Vogue and Tatler—experiences which helped shape the settings in this book. A native Singaporean, Kyla now works in Silicon Valley after graduating from Stanford University in 2021 with an MA in communications and BA in psychology. She's still trying to understand why Californians adore hiking and Patagonia fleeces so much.
Ava Reid is the author of critically acclaimed adult fantasies Juniper & Thorn and The Wolf and the Woodsman, as well as the forthcoming A Study in Drowning, her young adult debut. After obtaining her degree in political science from Barnard College, she moved to Palo Alto, where she continues to haunt university libraries.
Kyla Zhao photo courtesy of the author; Ava Reid photo courtesy of the author