An Only in Tokyo Mystery #2 By Jonelle Patrick

InterMix (Penguin Group's eBook imprint); March 19, 2013 ($4.99)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Tokyo is famous for many things, including its bright nightlife. Yet there is also a nightlife cloaked in shadows that most tourists don't even realize exists...

Yumi Hata works as an English translator in Tokyo. She often feels ill at ease in Tokyo's traditional world because she has also spent time in the United States. At her mother's insistence, Yumi is about to be married to the son of a wealthy, traditional Japanese family through an arranged marriage. As the wedding date approaches, she is plagued by doubts about the marriage. In the meantime, her attention is diverted to the plight of a friend, Coco, whom Yumi suspects is working in a sex club. Japanese sex clubs encompass more than prostitution, which is technically illegal in Japan. They cater to an elite clientele. Patrons willing to pay huge sums of money for the company and attention of the handsome and charming staff. Young attentive women in clubs for the desperate men and young attentive "boytoys" in clubs for the equally desperate female clients.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Kenji is investigating the death of a young hostess from one of the clubs. Yumi's presence in the club catches him off-guard. They were childhood friends and Kenji still has a crush on Yumi even though he knows about her impending wedding. The club owner and staff are less than cooperative. Kenji convinces Yumi to help him investigate. Soon the two of them are in more danger than they realize.

The author has constructed an intriguing and entertaining tale. Readers will find themselves feeling the danger as Yumi delves into a darker side of Tokyo's nightlife; one that few tourists understand, even if they glimpse it.

Readers can begin with FALLEN ANGEL, the second book in the series (but will want to read the first one, too!)

NIGHTSHADE is the first "Only in Tokyo Mystery."

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