From Publishers Weekly
Disjointed and confusing, this 11th tale in the Superintendent Otani series ( A Haiku for Hanae ) is a resounding disappointment. Japanese police superintendent Tetsuo Otani is alerted by his sister-in-law, professor Michiko Yanagida, to the strange atmosphere at the first session of the International Summer School on the Traditional Arts and Crafts of Japan, which she is attending at Anraku-in. While Otani and his wife, Hanae, meet with Michiko, gangster Keizo Hosoda celebrates his release from prison with friends. Then Minoru Kido, the Japanese head of the summer school, succumbs to the third attempt on his life and Hosoda turns up missing. Otani and his troops investigate. A good portion of the book is squandered on stilted matchmaking as Otani's men are paired with female professors at the summer school. Fans will be dismayed by the lack of actual detecting and a dearth of the insights into Japanese customs and thought that have distinguished Melville's previous books.
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