Zen Attitude

Sujata Massey, Author
Sujata Massey, Author HarperTorch $6.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-104444-1
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
Rei Shimura, the Tokyo-based, Japanese-American freelance antiques buyer whom smart mystery fans will remember from The Salaryman's Wife, finds herself the owner of an overpriced, ersatz Edo-period tansu. Bad karma comes with this to-die-for chest of drawers, and Rei becomes, in rapid succession, murder suspect, then murder target. Stuck with bad goods, financial losses and a relationship frayed around the edges, she skips out on her boyfriend and his luxurious lifestyle, and ends up befriended by ex-judo champ Akemi Mihori, who offers her a place to stay on the grounds of the famous Zen temple Horin-ji. Exhausted, scared and a little malnourished, Rei battles growing paranoia that leads her to confuse friend and murderous foe. As with her first novel, Massey manages to combine a very entertaining mystery with lessons in Japanese culture. Caveat lector: Japanese speakers will find clues embedded in characters' names. (June)