Meet Rei Shimura, an underpaid English teacher in Tokyo who wishes she was doing something better with her life. Her chance comes unexpectedly, when she goes on a New Year’s vacation to the Japanese Alps and finds the body of a Japanese executive’s wife in the snow. Who killed Setsuko Nakamura, and why is Hugh Glendinning, the handsome Scottish lawyer who works with Setsuko’s husband leaning so hard on Rei for help? It’s great to start off with the first book in a series, and this book is especially rich in details of Japanese urban life
Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 1
Japanese-American Rei Shimura is a 27-year-old English teacher living in one of Tokyo’s seediest neighborhoods. She doesn’t make much money, but she wouldn’t go back home to California even if she had a free ticket (which, thanks to her parents, she does.) Her independence is threatened however, when a getaway to an ancient castle town is marred by murder.
Rei is the first to find the beautiful wife of a high-powered businessman, dead in the snow. Taking charge, as usual, Rei searches for clues by crashing a funeral, posing as a bar-girl, and somehow ending up pursued by police and paparazzi alike. In the meantime, she manages to piece together a strange, ever-changing puzzle—one that is built on lies and held together by years of sex and deception. click to read more
Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 2)
Life in modern Tokyo is a blast for Rei Shimura, a young Japanese-American woman who enjoys busy days as an antiques dealer and steamy nights with a devoted new boyfriend. But things come to a standstill when Rei overpays for a rare old chest of drawers for a wealthy client, the owner of a famous Zen temple in Kamakura. The exquisite tansu turns out to be a fake: the worst deal Rei has ever made. When the temple family turns on Rei — and the con man who sold the tansu is murdered — she realizes she’s opened a Pandora’s box of deception and murder. A young martial artist, an aspiring rock singer, and an elderly antiques mentor all become part of Rei’s search for the killer through the shadows of an ancient culture. As her world begins to rapidly and inexplicably unravel, Rei realizes that it will take strength, wit, and a Zen attitude to survive.
The Flower Master: (Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 3
Rei Shimura, a California girl living in Tokyo, has an antiques business that’s only slightly more successful than her love life. When her aunt enrolls her in the Kayama School of Ikebana to learn how to arrange flowers, disaster strikes. A mean teacher is found with scissors in her neck, and Takeo Kayama, the sexy billionaire heir to the school, considers Rei’s aunt the main suspect.
Rei strives to prove her aunt’s innocence but becomes enmeshed in a web of upper-class ladies, edgy environmental protesters, and young immigrants trying to make it in one of the world’s most exciting and expensive cities. As danger rises, clues are sent to Rei in haiku poems that hint her family played a role in an old Kayama School tragedy that threatens not just her romantic future with Takeo–but her own life.
The Floating Girl: (Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 4)
Comics, beaches, and college kids collide in Rei Shimura’s fourth Tokyo mystery. Rei, a young American antiques dealer, thinks writing a magazine column on the history of Japanese comic books will boost her reputation. During a weekend at her boyfriend Takeo’s beachside house, she fixes on the perfect subject: an exquisite modern comic that reveals the disturbing social milieu of pre-World War II Japan. But when one of the comic’s young creators is killed, Rei is drawn into Japan’s youth underground. She floats through strip clubs, anime shops and coffeehouses, and ultimately, into the Pacific Ocean itself. But will she get the story before the killer gets her
The Bride’s Kimono (Rei Shimura Mysteries Book 5)