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A SAMURAI NEVER FEARS DEATH


By Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler

Sleuth/Philomel, March 2007 ($12.99)

Grades: 5-9
Reading level: Ages 9-12

ISBN: 978-0399246098

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

18th-century Japan is one of the main characters in this continuing series featuring Seikei, the 16-year-old adopted son of a samurai, Judge Ooka. Seikei's own family is from the merchant class. On a return visit to his hometown, Seikei finds much to investigate. It appears his brother is involved in something shady, and his sister is in love with a puppeteer who is arrested for murder.

Although this series is written for young readers, I find it thoroughly enjoyable and I wouldn't want to miss a single adventure. The authors seamlessly blend historical information with an intriguing mystery that will captivate readers young and older.

Other titles in this series include THE GHOST IN THE TOKAIDO INN, THE DEMON IN THE TEAHOUSE, IN DARKNESS, DEATH and THE SWORD THAT CUT THE BURNING GRASS.

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