Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I usually love historical murder mysteries, but for some reason I just couldn't connect to this one. It's set in 16th-century Japan, and while the author has clearly researched the period and included some curious and interesting details, I didn't feel a sense of otherness, of "atmosphere." Maybe it's phrases like, "he did all he could to discourage the foolish crush." After page 100, I found myself skipping passages and pages. I didn't much care about Hiro (the detective) or the Portugese priest. They're out to prove the innocence of a girl in the teahouse, but I didn't understand why the victim's family assumed she'd done it when there were other people in and out of the teahouse that night. I also don't tend to like books that have a cliff-hanger  ending most of the chapters, and this one does. "He had almost reached the shadowed space when a voice yelled, 'Help! Murder!'" But this novel gets 4 stars on Goodreads, so I may very well be an outlier here. : )

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