The Assassin's Touch ) is even more of a page-turner than its predecessors. Sano Ichiro "/>

Red Chrysanthemum

Laura Joh Rowland, Author . St. Martin's Minotaur $24.95 (298p) ISBN 978-0-312-35532-6

Rowland's 11th 17th-century Japanese historical (after 2005's The Assassin's Touch ) is even more of a page-turner than its predecessors. Sano Ichiro has risen through the ranks from his position as the shogun's special investigator to the powerful station of chamberlain, but the shift in his duties has not shielded him from political opponents. He faces his greatest crisis yet when his terrified pregnant wife, Reiko, is discovered naked and blood-covered beside the corpse of a nobleman suspected of treason. Aided by his friend and successor, Hirata, the dogged and principled samurai sleuth must probe both personal and political motives for the crime, even as he entertains doubts about his beloved's innocence. Rowland matches her talent for storytelling with her ability to render convincing historical detail in this long-running but fresh series. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/28/2006
Release date: 11/01/2006
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