Kill the Shogun: A Samurai Mystery

Dale Furutani, Author
Dale Furutani, Author William Morrow & Company $23 (240p) ISBN 978-0-688-15819-4
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Hardcover - 340 pages - 978-0-7862-3190-4
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Anthony and Macavity award winner Furutani manages a fluid mix of cultural history and swashbuckling adventure--the swordplay conjures memories of Sabatini--in this concluding volume of the Samurai Mystery Trilogy (Death at the Crossroads; Jade Palace Vendetta), set in early 17th-century Japan. Samurai Matsuyama Kaze's solitary quest to find the young daughter of his slain Lord and Lady, who figure in the previous two books, brings him to Edo (Old Tokyo), the bustling new capital of Japan, where fortune has made Tokugawa Ieyasu the new Shogun (ruler). Tokugawa is rebuilding and expanding Edo, recently ravaged by fire, at a feverish pace. Kaze's search for the young girl, who's been sold into slavery as a child prostitute, is difficult enough in the large city, but when he's mistakenly identified as the unsuccessful assassin who fired a shot at the Shogun, it becomes dangerous too. Single-mindedly pursuing his goal, Kaze adopts various disguises and eventually locates the brothel where the girl is likely kept. He then has to plot to extricate her while at the same time figuring out how to prove himself innocent of attempted assassination. A memorable cast of warriors, gamblers, merchants and craftsmen adds dimension to the proceedings. Kaze's subtle humor, supreme sword skills and calm spirituality are appealing, as Furutani succeeds in making this final volume stand alone as a complete and entertaining period mystery. (Sept.)
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