Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

July 02, 2007

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn

By Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
Rating: 4 1/4 stars
Finalist for Edgar Allan Poe Award
Reviewed by Noelle

This is a great new take on the mystery genre. Historians Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler set their mystery in Japan. Seikei is a merchant's son living in 18th century Japan, traveling with his father to the city of Edo. Seikei wishes he could become a samurai, but you are born into your role in life, and he is set to be a merchant. At an inn on the journey, Seikei witnesses what he thinks is a ghost stealing a samurai lord's jewel. When the local samurai judge, Judge Ooka, arrives to investigate, he is impressed by Seikei's alertness and quickly deputizes him. When a lead points at kabuki actors, the judge sends Seikei undercover to try and discover both the thief and his motive. Throughout his mission, Seikei does his best to act like a true samurai warrior would, even when he is full of doubt, and the reader learns a great deal about the samurai as well as about 18th century Japan. The mystery is involving and readers will absorb this story and all its history with pleasure. Fans of Sherlock Holmes will enjoy the logical deductions that Seikei and the judge make to solve the crime. Happily for us, it is also a series! Readers can continue with Seikei's adventures in The Demon in the Teahouse.


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