The Fire Kimono: Book summary and reviews of The Fire Kimono by Laura Joh Rowland

The Fire Kimono

A Sano Ichiro Novel

by Laura Joh Rowland

The Fire Kimono
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  • Published in USA  Nov 2008
    304 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

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 shogun’s court. The troops who attacked Reiko appear to belong to Sano’s fiercest enemy, Lord Matsudaira, who denies all responsibility. But if the rivals are not to blame for each other’s misfortune, who is?

Just as Sano’s 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 shogun’s 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 Sano’s own mother as the possible culprit. The shogun gives Sano and Reiko just three days to clear her name—or risk losing not only their position at court but their families’ lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

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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Author Information

Laura Joh Rowland Author Biography

Laura Joh Rowland is the daughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants. best known for her series of historical mystery novels set in the late days of feudal Japan, mostly in Edo during the late 17th century. Her main protagonist is Sano Ichiro.

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 has authored of 18 books featuring the samurai detective Sano Ichiro, as well as several fictional novels featuring the adventures of Charlotte Bronte.

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