Books by Sujata Massey

SHIMURA TROUBLE by Sujata Massey
Released: June 1, 2008

"Rei's tenth adventure (Girl in a Box, 2006, etc.) meanders a bit, but the upbeat narrative and resourceful heroine make for an appealing read."
Even on vacation, hyper-curious Rei Shimura can't resist probing a dangerous old mystery. Read full book review >
GIRL IN A BOX by Sujata Massey
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"A voyeur's tour of consumption-crazed Tokyo is the real point here, with Rei-san, as always, a companionable guide."
Shopaholic spy infiltrates a suspiciously successful Tokyo department store. Read full book review >
THE TYPHOON LOVER by Sujata Massey
Released: Oct. 4, 2005

"Where has Massey's humor gone? Rei's turned glum, maybe because she sees that if she really is about to embark on a spying career, her series has run out of steam. "
The federal government recruits an Asian art expert to find a missing Mesopotamian vessel. Read full book review >
THE PEARL DIVER by Sujata Massey
Released: Aug. 1, 2004

"The ending is improbable and sappy, but Massey's pungent take on mixed marriages and East-West culture clashes is first-rate."
Something's fishy in Washington's newest Japanese restaurant. Read full book review >
Released: March 7, 2003

"For all the densely woven texture, there are a few too many dangling threads. Regrettably, the most interesting of them, the geopolitical ramifications of war reparations, gets short-changed in the end."
Catastrophe magnet Rei Shimura (The Bride's Kimono, 2001, etc.) once again attracts trouble, this time while working on something as seemingly innocent as documenting her family's history. When the American-born, Tokyo-based antiques buyer flies home to San Francisco to interview her father Toshiro, a psychiatrist, she finds that he and her shopaholic mother Catherine have graciously taken in a shy medical student, Manami Okada. Toshiro is loathe to discuss a scroll he sold from the Emperor to a forebear, and the ultraconservative Manami is upset when Rei's almost-fiancé, international lawyer Hugh Glendinning, who is mounting a class-action suit seeking reparations from deep-pocketed Japanese companies for the Asians they forced into slave labor and prostitution during WWII, is housed in the bedroom next to her. Then one of Hugh's contacts, former "comfort woman" Rosa Munoz, is murdered; Manami vanishes; and Hugh and Rei must hie back to Tokyo to find the connection. Scarcely one plane behind are greedy lawyer Charles Sharp and his smarmy translator Eric Gan. When Rei's suspicions lead her to burgle their hotel rooms, she's arrested and deported. Back in San Francisco, she puts her antiques savvy to good use in unraveling some of the motives and relationships key to the puzzle as she contemplates her new life as a deportee. Read full book review >
THE BRIDE’S KIMONO by Sujata Massey
Released: Sept. 1, 2001

"Step-by-step instruction on how to don a kimono and its attendant paraphernalia, chatty digressions on shoguns and samurai, but mostly the problems inherent in cross-cultural romance, without the snap, crackle, and trendiness of The Floating Girl (2000) and its three forebears. "
With priceless Edo-period kimonos on loan from the Morioka Museum strapped into the plane seat next to her, American-born, Tokyo-based antiques-buyer Rei Shimura is on her way to the Museum of Asian Arts, in Washington, D.C., to fill in as the exhibit's guest lecturer—and safely courier the kimonos. Seated to the other side of her is Hana Matsura, engaged but hoping for one last fling before settling down to an arranged marriage. Both will be staying at the slightly déclassé Washington Suites. Well, maybe more than slightly, since soon after they check in, Hana disappears, then turns up dead in a dumpster, and one of the valuable kimonos is stolen from Rei's hotel room. Why was that kimono, added at the last minute and not insured, the only one taken? Curator Allison Powell doesn't know, but Rei is determined to find out—though she barely has time for detective work when she's juggling two boyfriends, wealthy Japanese playboy Takeo Kayama and sexy redheaded Scottish lawyer Hugh Glendinning, and dodging mysterious men wearing black, blue cars tailing her, her mother insisting on a shopping spree, and, ultimately, a knife-wielding smuggler in the deserted museum lobby. Read full book review >
THE FLOATING GIRL by Sujata Massey
Released: May 12, 2000

"A sly, humorous look at Japan's burgeoning anime (comics) phenomenon, with friendly swipes at Japan's xenophobic reactions to outsiders. If the plot is not quite as attractively laid out as those platters of sushi, a few hours of the company of Rei-san are well worth your time."
To boost circulation, the Gaijin Times, on orders from its owner Mr. Sanno, is about to convert to Japan's best-selling format—manga, or comic-book style. Freelance art columnist Rei Shimura (The Flower Master, 1999) is assigned to write up the historic and artistic significance of manga for the next issue, and Rika, the Showa College student interning at the paper, is to help with her research. Scooping up her boyfriend Takeo and a slew of comics, Rei is impressed with the Showa Story interpretation of Mars Girl, which reworks the mainstream comic heroine into a superheroine of the next century who goes back in time to the 1930s to solve prewar Japanese problems. Rei decides to interview Mars Girl artist Kunio Takahashi, but he proves elusive, and other members of his art circle are equally hard to pin down. His neighbor Nicky is soon found floating in the river dolled up as Mars Girl, a symbol sketched on his brow perhaps indicating a Yakuza connection. Still determined to interview Kunio, Rei chats up the raunchy male dancers at the Show a Boy club, where Nicky worked; collides with the family of printers who produce the Mars Girl comics; swims with The Fish, who insists Nicky had no gang connections; and dons a Mars Girl costume herself to chase after suspects at a comic-book convention. Read full book review >
THE FLOWER MASTER by Sujata Massey
Released: April 21, 1999

Agatha-winner Massey's hardcover debut takes her antiques-buyer sleuth Rei Shimura to Tokyo's Kayama School of ikebana, where her aunt Norie hopes she'll learn the ancient art of flower arrangement. Rei is so untalented in ikebana that she earns a rare public reproof from her teacher, Sakura Soto, and an even rarer public defense from Norie. But she hardly has time to join Norie's plans to apologize by presenting Sakura-san with a pair of scissors before the scissors, 15 minutes after Norie brings them into the school, are found embedded in the teacher's neck. Gravely courteous Lt. Hata, of the Metropolitan Police, clearly thinks Norie is the prime suspect, but as he's murmuring noncommital pleasantries to her, Rei is already wondering about the alternatives. What about Natsumi Kayama, the spoiled heiress of the wealthy school, or her twin Takeo, who can't decide whether he wants to make romantic overtures to Rei or accuse her of stealing his family's ceramics? What about Mari Kumamori, the Korean student whose pottery Sakura-san had smashed? What about Che Fujisawa, the head of Stop Killing Flowers, who argued that Japan's demand for fresh flowers endangered thousands of Colombian workers who came into contact with dangerous pesticides? Massey not only fleshes out each of these subplots but weaves them together to illuminate conflicts of old and new in Japanese manners, morals, family, and love. (Author tour) Read full book review >