Having read the second Hana Walker mystery first I was keen to see where the character of Hana had originated. Half-Japanese, half-English, she is a pretty unique voice with an oddball mind to match. Excellently brought to life by Patrick Sherriff, Hana is a very modern young Asian woman, influenced by both her heritages but not beholden to either.
Sherriff is also remarkable for the pen pictures he fashions of life in Japan. His powers of observation and description are finely honed, bringing Hana's world to life in true high definition.
We've had a lot of thrillers and mystery novels set in Scandinavia. I recommended giving the Japanese equivalent a go if you're looking for something fresh and original.