The Samurai's Wife (Sano Ichiro Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – 21 Jun 2001
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"You'll immediately recognize [Sano] as an ancestor of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade."--"Denver Post" "As a fan of "Shogun, " it's easy to say that "The Samurai's Wife" provided me with the same sense of place and culture that was so invigorating in James Clavell's epic yarn...Rowland's a pretty terrific storyteller."--"Chicago Tribune"
From the Back Cover
IN THE IMPERIAL CITY OF KYOTO, POWER IS MERELY CEREMONIAL. BUT AN ANCIENT EVIL STILL SURVIVES...
Far from the shogun's court at Edo, Most Honorable Investigator Sano Ichiro begins the most challenging case of his career. Upon the insistence of his strong-willed and beautiful wife Reiko, Sano arrives with her at the emperor's palace to unmask the murderer -- who possesses the secret of kiai, "the spirit cry", a powerful scream that can kill instantly. A high Kyoto official is the victim. Treading carefully through a web of spies, political intrigue, forbidden passions, and intricate plots, Sano and Reiko must struggle to stay ahead of the palace storms -- and outwit a cunning killer. But as they soon discover, solving the case means more than their survival. For if they fail, Japan could be consumed in the bloodiest war it has ever seen...
A legendary land comes alive in this compelling murder mystery set in seventeenth-century Japan. Filled with finely drawn characters and suspenseful plot twists, The Samurai's Wife is a novel as complex, vivid, and artful as the glorious, lost world it portrays. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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The Shogun sends his Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, Sano Ichiro to make inquiries into the death of Konoe and to uncover what the minister learned. Sano knows he must succeed because the failure of his previous case not only dishonored him but also left the Shogun wondering whether to replace him. Over his initial objections and his fears how the Shogun will react, his new wife Reiko insists on helping him with this dangerous case. As the newlyweds get closer to the truth, their lives and that of the nobility is endangered, as civil war seems eminent unless they can expose the culprit.
THE SAMURAI'S WIFE, the fourth historical mystery starring the Samurai Detective Sano, continues in the tradition of providing readers with entertaining novels. The who-done-it is cleverly designed and the lead couple is a fascinating duo working as a team over Sano's objections. However, what makes talented author Laura Joh Rowland's novel a jubilation for historical fans is the resplendent descriptions of Feudal Japan that makes the audience feel they are visiting the island in the late seventeenth century.
The characters in this one were really interesting, at times you almost want to root for the suspects, such as: Lady Jokyoden. Besides from the fact that it was good, it was informative.The culture is really well researched.
Some people may think it's a little over the top, with all the "events", but things like this probably happened in 1600's Japan. It's dramatic but believable and this plot was cool, because it incorporated the imperial family. Who didn't even govern the country, but were just considered living gods.
If you've read the other ones you have to read this, it's the best.
On top of this problem, the character of Reiko is annoying. Her prime function seemed to be to get in her husband's way. I found myself hoping that Sano would turn to the bald headed nun. The most compelling love story the book was between Sano's arch rival, the Shogan's second in command and his cunning new lover, Hoshino. There are more books in this series but this it for me.