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Month in review

Reviews
The Accidental Law Librarian by Anthony Aycoch
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Birds of a Feather by Francisco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais
The Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey
Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
A Dog's Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Dogma of Cats for Kids by Debra Snyder
Drive by Andrew Bush
Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie
Firestorm by Nevada Barr
The Floating Girl by Sujata Massey
For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco
Fuddles by Frans Vischer
I'm a Shark by Bob Shea
A King's Ransom by Jude Watson
Lettice the Flying Rabbit by Mandy Stanley
The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
The Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McClafferty
The Power of Thinking Differently by Javy W. Galindo
Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2 by Gail Carriger
Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap
The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
Wind Song by Carl Sandburg

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




The Bride's Kimono: 12/11/13

cover art

The Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey is the fifth Rei Shimura mystery, and, as my luck oft plays out with series, the first one I've read. Rei Shimura, antiques dealer in Japan, is called back to the United States as a courier, carrying a priceless collection of Edo period kimono.

Of course as soon as she steps foot on the plane, things start to go wrong. She's forced to move out of First Class. Then when she arrives, not all the kimono are inventoried at the museum and she is forced to keep them in her hotel. Before she can even get them locked up properly, one of them is stolen. In the middle of all that chaos, someone is murdered — and Shimura feels compelled to solve the mysteries.

What makes the mystery work is Massey's attention to detail. She includes observations on Japanese culture, history and language (although Shimura struggles to read kanji) and the difficulties of being a Japanese-American living and working in Japan. Since she looks Japanese — she is expected to be Japanese and is more harshly criticized than a full blooded foreigner would be for any slip ups she makes.

Although the setting is modern day Washington D.C. and surrounds, the mystery with its various shady characters working at cross purposes reminded me most of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. Despite being able to figure out who was behind the mayhem, I was still wrapped up in the story.

Five stars

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