"An engaging insightful tale"
When the invitation came from the Washington DC Museum
of Asian Arts to provide a talk on Edo era kimonos,
American expatriate Rei Shimura accepts. Not only is this
a chance to speak on her favorite topic, the Tokyo antiques-
buyer will visit her parents in California. As Rei
transports the exhibit with her, she meets Hana Matsura and
several other Japanese female tourists on the plane.
In Washington not long after the pan Pacific Ocean
flight lands, an invaluable uninsured kimono is stolen from
Rei and than someone murders Hana, who had Rei's passport
at the time. With her former boyfriend lawyer Hugh
Glendinning turning up and the police suspecting her, Rei
begins making her own inquiries to prove her innocence at
the same time she wonders why she cares so much for both
Hugh and her wealthy Japanese boyfriend Takeo Kayama.
Though an engaging insightful tale, the latest Rei
mystery spends a lot of paragraphs on sidebars such as how
to use a kimono and tidbits on shoguns and samurai. For
those readers who enjoy engaging asides this enhances the
who-done-it. For those who prefer a concentrated amateur
sleuth tale with a subplot on cross-cultural relationships,
these cultural insights take away from the plot. Rei
retains her spunk that the audience observed in THE
FLOATING GIRL. Thus how much a reader relishes Sujata
Massey's latest amateur sleuth novel depends on how much
depth the audience desires for the subplots.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted September 27, 2001