Even on vacation, hyper-curious Rei Shimura can’t resist probing a dangerous old mystery.
When elderly Toshiro Shimura survives a stroke, his daughter Rei fulfills a personal commitment to take care of him. Her promise puts a strain on her two part-time careers as an antiques dealer and undercover spy. And when Toshira receives an invitation from a long-lost relative named Edwin inviting him to a family reunion in Hawaii, Rei can’t bear to be the party pooper, even though she’s slightly suspicious of this overly friendly newfound cousin. Nevertheless, after telling her boss and sometime lover, commitment-phobic Michael Hendricks, what she’ll be doing, Rei dives into the three-week odyssey with typical verve. It doesn’t take long to learn that Edwin has an ulterior motive. He wants Toshiro’s help in recovering a piece of property he believes was stolen from him during World War II. At a coffee bar called Aloha Morning, Rei flirts with owner Kainoa Stevens and learns more about Josiah Pierce, the alleged disreputable land baron. A little research uncovers the curious fact that all the landowners whose property passed to Pierce Holdings were women. The case soon reaches a boiling point. Luckily, both Michael and ex-lover Hugh join Kainoa on the scene, so that it’s raining men.
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.