NIGHTSHADE:


An Only in Tokyo Mystery #1 By Jonelle Patrick

InterMix (Penguin Group's eBook imprint); August 14, 2012 ($4.99)

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Yumi Hata attended school in the U.S. but has returned to Tokyo and is living with her parents. She works as an English translator. She feels distanced from the people and the traditions, as if she no longer fits in the Japanese society. When her friend Rika is found dead, suspected of taking part in a suicide pact (jisatsu), Yumi is shocked.

The policeman investigating Rika's case is Kenji, a childhood friend, who now works for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. As they consider the evidence, they begin to suspect Rika's death was something more sinister than suicide. Yumi wants to learn the truth and clear her friend's name so she teams up with Kenji and assists him with the investigation.

The author weaves a fascinating story with glimpses into the oft times seemingly mysterious culture that is Japanese. With just the right mix of Japanese terms (fully explained by the storyline), mystery, suspense, and just a hint of romance, the author has created a charming protagonist readers will want to follow for many, many titles. NIGHTSHADE is a fabulous start for a new series.

One aspect of the e-book that will delight readers is the inclusion of nearly two dozen photos of Japan. I was pleasantly surprised to find a photo of the type of house Yumi lives in when I accessed the underlined word "house" in the text. The inclusions made me like my e-reader just a wee bit more. (I have a mostly "I hate you" attitude towards my e-reader.)

The second book in the series is FALLEN ANGEL.

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