DORIS FEIN: THE MAD SAMURAI by T. Ernesto Bethancourt


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Doris Fein, Bethancourt's unlikely government spy, is now a freshman at the University of California; and her friend Carl Suzuki is an assistant district attorney in New York, now visiting Los Angeles for Nisei week--and for what will be a deathbed visit to his Uncle Jichi. But Doris has no sooner joined Carl and his old family friend Ed Gilson of the LAPD for a restaurant meal than they are called away to investigate a millionaire's murder. (Or, rather, Gilson is called away, Carl is invited along, and Doris insists on accompanying them.) It turns out that the dead men cheated the Suzuki family during World War II and has now been chopped to pieces (a sight so gory, we're told, that neither Doris nor the reader is allowed a glimpse) with just the sort of Japanese sword that is expertly employed by Jichi's militant son, who has sworn revenge. But there are alternate suspects, especially the tycoon's expensive-looking second wife and his resentful son. Before the adventure is over, Doris finds herself alone with the real killer, gamely striking back with wads of dirt while he swings his sword. More and more, the series seems to indulge in extravagant developments (as this ends, Doris inherits old friend Harry Grubb's millions) and simplistic, heavily outlined plots and conversations (much talk about Japanese ethnic identity). Its chief appeal to readers and their arbiters is no doubt Doris' feminist assertiveness--which verges here on plain self-centered brattiness.

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1982
Publisher: Holiday House