The Pillowbook of Lady Wisteria Laura Joh Rowland

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The Pillowbook of Lady Wisteria  by  Laura Joh Rowland

The Pillowbook of Lady Wisteria by Laura Joh Rowland
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Samurai sleuth Sano Ichiro has a very personal motive in determining who killed the shoguns heir apparent with a hairpin: hes trying to save himself from being executed for the crime. The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria introduces readers intoMoreSamurai sleuth Sano Ichiro has a very personal motive in determining who killed the shoguns heir apparent with a hairpin: hes trying to save himself from being executed for the crime.

The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria introduces readers into Yoshiwara, the well-ordered but cruel pleasure quarter of 17th-century Edo (Tokyo), where the corpse of Lord Mitsuyoshi is found sprawled on a bed. The woman with whom hed spent his final hours, a top-ranking courtesan known as Lady Wisteria, has disappeared, along with her private journal, which might supply clues to her complicity in this slaying.

In the absence of both, and with the capricious old shogun ordering that Mitsuyoshis family not be quizzed about his death, Sano is left to look for assassins among the courtesans attendants and prominent clients. Meanwhile, Sanos enemies vie for credit in solving the murder (even if they must pin it on Sano), a womans headless body is found wearing Wisterias kimono, and Sanos amateur investigator wife, Reiko, threatens to discover the link between her samurai and the enigmatic prostitute.Laura Joh Rowland cooks up wonderfully knotty plots.

Yet its her renderings of Sanos world--with its Machiavellian politics, exotic fashions, and hierarchical communities--that make her series particularly interesting. Although this seventh installment lacks the cinematic violence of its immediate predecessor, Black Lotus, it still makes you glad to be observing shogunate Japan from afar. --J. Kingston Pierce



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