Japan, March 1700. Near a Shinto shrine in the hills, a windstorm knocks down a tree to uncover a human skeleton, long buried and forgotten. Meanwhile, in the nearby city of Edo, troops ambush and attack Lady Reiko, the wife of Sano Ichiro, the samurai detective who has risen to power and influence in the shoguns court. The troops who attacked Reiko appear to belong to Sanos fiercest enemy, Lord Matsudaira, who denies all responsibility. But if the rivals are not to blame for each others misfortune, who is?
Just as Sanos strife with Matsudaira begins to escalate to the brink of war, the shogun orders Sano to investigate the origins of the mysterious skeleton, buried with swords that identify it as belonging to the shoguns cousin, who disappeared forty years earlier on the night that a cursed kimono touched off a fire that nearly destroyed the city.
Suddenly, Sano and Reiko are forced to confront dangerous, long-buried secrets that expose Sanos own mother as the possible culprit. The shogun gives Sano and Reiko just three days to clear her nameor risk losing not only their position at court but their families lives.
Starred Review: "Rowland has given her hero his greatest challenge yet in this suspenseful look at feudal Japan." - Publishers Weekly.
"Far from being distracting, the historic setting is mesmerizing. Great escape fiction." - Kirkus Reviews.
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Laura Joh Rowland is the daughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants. She grew up in Michigan and was educated at the University of Michigan, where she graduated with a B.S. in Microbiology and a Masters in Public Health. She lives in New Orleans with her husband, Marty, and their three cats. She is the author of 13 books featuring the samurai detective Sano Ichiro, as well as several fictional novels featuring the adventures of Charlotte Bronte.
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