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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial (July 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060597909
  • ASIN: B0046LUCLG
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Kidnapping, death and intrigue are all on the menu for Rei Shimura in Massey's winning seventh mystery (after 2003's The Samurai's Daughter) to feature the half-Japanese, half-American antique dealer and sometime sleuth. After moving in with her fiancé, lawyer Hugh Glendinning, in Washington, D.C., Rei takes on the decoration of a trendy new Asian restaurant, Bento. Barred from reentering Japan, where her business was originally based, she hopes to plan her upcoming wedding and find a market for the art objects she's stored locally. All hell breaks loose when Rei's cousin Kendall Johnson disappears during the opening dinner at Bento, leaving Rei with Kendall's twin toddlers. Then Bento's hostess approaches Rei for help in locating her Japanese-born mother, a war bride who went missing from her Virginia home more than 30 years earlier. Finally, sweet Aunt Norie arrives from Japan to help with the wedding preparations and ever-dependable Hugh makes himself scarce for propriety's sake. Crosscultural misunderstandings and prejudices, plus behind-the-scenes machinations, add spice to an already volatile mix. Adept at crafting dead-on dialogue and juggling serious issues with humor, Massey has produced another triumph. FYI: Massey has won Agatha and Macavity awards.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

No longer allowed to live in Japan because of a previous misadventure, Rei Shimura is residing in Washington, D.C., with her Scottish fiance, Hugh Glendinning. Followers of Rei's adventures will not be surprised that an engagement ring doesn't necessarily lead to smooth sailing for the volatile couple. As she tries to adjust to life with Hugh, Rei is introduced to Bento, a new Japanese restaurant, by her yuppie American cousin Kendall. When Bento's eccentric owner Marshall hires Rei to decorate the restaurant, she welcomes the chance to jump-start her Japanese antique dealership in D.C. Impeding her work are Marshall's incessant demands and a new friendship with a prickly hostess named Andrea. When Kendall is abducted outside of Bento, Rei attempts to find out who took her and why--and then becomes a victim herself. Foodies will love the inside look into the restaurant scene, and Massey fans will delight in the chance to gain more insight into their heroine, Rei. Jenny McLarin
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Something went wrong with this book.
Teresa A. McTigue
Sujata Massey develops some of the most interesting and complex mystery plots I've ever encountered.
Maia
It captured my interest from the start and I could not put the book down until the end.
Tabitha Mashburn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Vilches on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rei Shimura is living in Washington DC with her fiancé Hugh after being forced to leave Tokyo. She feels a little lost and aimless in her new home and isn't excited about planning her wedding, so she's delighted when the opportunity to decorate a new Japanese restaurant drops into her lap. Rei jumps into her work with both feet and things are going well until her cousin Kendall is abducted from the opening dinner. Was it politics, a restaurant rivalry, or something even more sinister?

While the police are investigating the kidnapping, the restaurant's snooty hostess asks Rei to investigate the decades-old disappearance of her Japanese war-bride mother. Andrea reached out to her because they are both half-Japanese, and Rei feels obligated to help. Just as they launch their plan to get more information from Andrea's father, Rei's Aunt Norie shows up from Japan to plan her wedding. Norie soon gets pulled into the missing-mother mystery. When Rei's investigations into the past turn dangerous in the present, it threatens to ruin her relationship with Hugh.

This is Massey's seventh Rei Shimura book, and although most of the others have taken place in Japan, Rei is no stranger to America. This can easily be read stand-alone, but it might be helpful to start earlier in the series to get a better feel for the relationship between Rei and Hugh.

Massey is very good at drawing tension from the conflict between Japanese traditionalism and American individualism and independence. On the one hand, Rei obviously finds it hard to say no to people and is horrified that Norie might find out about her living arrangements with Hugh. But at the same time she is reluctant to take on the role of a wife and wants to be in full control of her own destiny.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Wendy Kaplan on October 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Those of us who have read the wonderful Rei Shimura series from its inception have followed with great interest her adventures in Japan. Half Japanese, half American, Rei fits completely into neither culture, which is the main reason for her enormous charm. But in the last book or two, she is in the United States, and I hope this isn't forever.

Mindful of spoilers, I won't tell those who have not read the entire series the story of Rei's departure from Japan. It is mentioned in this book, but only in passing. Rei now lives in Washington, DC, with her hunky fiance, Scottish lawyer Hugh Glendenning. At the beginning of this book, they are planning their wedding, and as always, Rei is reluctant to commit (a trait that becomes annoying for the very first time, at least to me, in this installment).

A struggling antiques dealer, Rei is thrilled when she gets a commission to decorate an up-and-coming Japanese restaurant newly purchased by a trendy DC restauranteur. But as she becomes involved with the kitchen help, the nasty but interesting hostess Andrea, and a cast of other characters, Rei once again switches from onlooker to sleuth. Somebody kidnaps her wealthy cousin on the eve of the restaurant's gala opening, and the plot thickens from there.

Rei's delicious Aunt Norrie is in this book, fresh from Japan, and a welcome reminder of Rei's background--like a delicate spice in a Japanese soup. And Rei is her own difficult self, with the old push-pull of her traditional ways and her ultra modern self. But some of the piquancy of the earlier novels has been lost in the all-American venue, and I miss it.

I would never miss one of Sujata Massey's novels, and I eagerly look forward to the next one, but like other reviewers, I hope that she allows Rei and Hugh to go back to Japan--at least for the next few books!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on August 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Rei and Hugh are finally engaged, and Rei should be frantically preparing for her upcoming wedding. Except that a strange kind of malaise seems to have infected her: she's beginning to dislike living in Washington D.C. and she's really missing living in Japan. So that when (through her well connected cousin, Kendall) Rei is presented with the opportunity of decorating a new and trendy Japanese restaurant, Bento, Rei fairly leaps at the chance to earn some money. Plus she may actually latch onto a new market for her antique goods!

Working at Bento, Rei becomes acquainted with the restaurant's prickly hostess, Andrea -- a seemingly cold and standoffish individual, and not someone that Rei would want as a friend. So that when Andrea asks Rei to help her discover what happened to her mother, Rei is floored. But Andrea's story of how her Japanese mother, Sadako, broke with tradition in order to marry Andrea's father (an African American soldier) in the midst of the Vietnam war, of Sadako's subsequent disappearance almost 30 years ago, and her father's reluctance to divulge anything to Andrea that could help her understand Sadako's disappearance, moves and intrigues Rei; and she soon finds herself totally absorbed with Andrea's problem to the extent that she's even involved her wise and beloved visiting Aunt Norie in her investigation. The more Rei uncovers about Sadako and her early difficulties in trying to adapt to her life in America and as a new wife, the more Rei begins to question her the wisdom of getting married so soon. Defnitely, her love for Hugh is true and all consuming (as is his love for her) but is it enough? Can Rei give up her independence and become the perfect wife? And can she make do with life in America when she still wistfully yearns to return to Japan?
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More About the Author

Sujata Massey was born in England to parents from India and Germany. She grew up mostly in the United States (California, Pennsylvania and Minnesota) and earned her BA from the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars program. After that she worked as a reporter at the Baltimore Evening Sun newspaper before marrying and moving to Japan. The area where Sujata once lived, an hour south of Tokyo, forms most of the settings of her Rei Shimura mysteries. The series has collected many mystery award nominations, including the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark awards, and has won the Agatha and Macavity prizes for traditional mystery fiction. The Rei Shimura mysteries are published in 18 countries, and an audiobook of one of these books, The Typhoon Lover, is also available. The first book in the series is The Salaryman's Wife, and the tenth is Shimura Trouble.

In 2013, Sujata began a new series of a novels set in India. This series, Daughters of Bengal, kicks off with The Sleeping Dictionary, to be published as a trade paperback Aug 20, 2013 by Simon and Schuster. It's a historic espionage novel set in 1930s-40s Calcutta told from a young Bengali woman's point of view. Dreamworks is producing an audiobook of the novel, and the book will be released by different publishers in India, Italy and Turkey.

Sujata lives with her family near Washington DC, where she continues to write more Rei Shimura and Daughters of Bengal books.

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The Pearl Diver: A Novel
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