Paperback, 400 Pages, Published 2002

ISBN 9780061031151
0061031151 | 0-06-103115-1 | 978-0061031151 | 978-0-06-103115-1

Sujata Massey’s lively bicultural series featuring Rei Shimura, the Tokyo antique dealer who can’t seem to keep out of trouble, brings her heroine back to her American roots in this engaging tale of corruption and chicanery in the museum exhibition game. Rei is unexpectedly invited to accompany a treasure trove of antique kimonos to a Washington, D.C., museum and to deliver a couple of lectures on the cultural history of the gorgeous garments. A last-minute decision to substitute a priceless wedding kimono for one that’s too fragile to travel sets in motion a chain of events that lands Rei in serious peril. When Rei’s former boyfriend, Scottish attorney Hugh Glendinning, turns up at the Washington museum, she’s caught up in a romantic crisis, having just settled into a new relationship with Takeo Kayama, the Japanese playboy she met two books ago (in The Flower Master). But that dilemma is soon eclipsed by the theft of the wedding kimono, which was uninsured, and by the disappearance of Rei’s seatmate on the flight from Japan. When the seatmate’s dead body and Rei’s passport and tickets turn up in a Washington dumpster, Rei is suspected of murder, larceny, and even prostitution. Through all this, Massey does a nice job of imparting a wealth of fascinating information on the kimono tradition. Rei gets more appealing with every outing, and in this one Massey ratchets up the romantic tension and action–maybe because Rei’s in a country that’s more obsessed with sex than with tradition. Nicely plotted, well characterized, and carefully crafted, this may be Massey’s best yet. –Jane Adams

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