A Sort of Samurai (p. 237) introduced Japan's Supt. Otani and his underlings--amorous dandy Kimura, tough veteran Noguchi; and now they're back, working to solve the murder of English teacher David Murrow, a homosexual whose life-style was hardly commensurate with his salary. So the investigation soon focuses on Murrow's shady social life--especially when Otani finds a series of file cards listing all of Murrow's Japan acquaintances, each with a coded notation. And, meanwhile, likable young Andrew Walker--British vice-consul in Osaka--is playing amateur sleuth as he shepherds the murdered man's brother through the local mourning rituals. Eventually, then, a maze of perversion and corruption is uncovered, some of it in very high places; but, as in Melville's debut, the decent plotting here is secondary to the above-average characterization--and, above all, to the intimate glimpses of contemporary Japan, with its engaging interplay between the exotic and the mundane.