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GIRL IN A BOX


By Sujata Massey

HarperCollins, 2006
($23.95 US, $31.00 CAN)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-076514-9
ISBN-10: 0-06-076514-3

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Rei Shimura, the plucky Japanese-American former antiques dealer, returns for another adventure. The reluctant sleuth seems to attract trouble no matter where she is, be it Japan or the United States and fans gladly follow along on her escapades.

The book jacket blurb describes Rei as being "chronically underemployed." I think that is one of the key elements that keeps this series so fresh. Rei isn't tied down to one locale or one job. She is able to plop herself in various dangerous situations without predictability. No one looks at Rei and utters "Well, I wonder who is going to die this time?" (Although, maybe they should...)

In this outing, Rei goes undercover as a clerk in a large department store in Tokyo. The store has been inflating its profits, which isn't unusual in itself. Japanese companies frequently fudge the numbers to "save face" with their shareholders and impress their competition. In this case, however, the numbers fudging may be more than just "saving face." It may be an illegal scheme that is worrisome to the Treasury Department (of the U. S. Governement). The task of investigating is given to a small three-lettered (spy) organization and Rei is the "chosen one" to go in undercover. The last person who tried to inflitrate at the department store ended up floating in a river...

The author has delivered another fast paced thriller that is sure to keep Shimura fans happy and attract even more fans to the series. If you haven't read the previous books in the series, GIRL IN A BOX is as good a place as any to jump right in. You can always go back and catch up with the other books in the series later. Readers new to the series will quickly get a handle on Rei and it is not necessary to know (or have read) all of the previous information about Rei, her friends, and family in order to thoroughly enjoy GIRL IN A BOX.

It's hard to believe that this is the ninth book in the series. I hope that the author has at least another nine planned!

We have reviewed other titles in this series. If you wish to read the previous reviews, please click on the title from the books listed below.

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