The fantastic first book in Laura Joh Rowland's 17th Century mystery series featuring Sano Ichiro
Seventeenth-century Tokyo is the setting for Rowland's first book in a murder mystery series featuring Sano Ichiro the Senior Police Commander in the district of Edo. Ichiro is a samurai whose academic background puts him at odds with most of his peers.
When beautiful, wealthy Yukiko and low-born artist Noriyoshi are found drowned together in what seems to be a shinju, or ritual double suicide, everyone believes the cause was their forbidden love. Everyone, that is, but Sano Ichiro.
Despite the official verdict and being warned off by his superiors, the shogun's Most Honourable Investigator of Events, Situations and People suspects this double death was not only a tragedy - it was murder. Risking his family's good name and his own life, Sano will search for the killer across every level of society, determined to find answers to a mystery no one else seems to want solved . . .
An exotic and beguiling mystery story; a tour de force of imagination
Intriguing... an interesting... exciting tale. - New York Times Book Review
Nearly impossible to put down. - The Washington Post Book World
Rowland... shows sure command of her background material and demonstrates that she is a writer of depth and potential. - Publishers Weekly