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SHIMURA TROUBLE


By Sujata Massey

Severn House, 2008 ($15.95)
ISBN-10: 184751054X
ISBN-13: 978-1-84751-054-9

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

A previously unknown family relation invites Rei's dad to a special, 88th birthday party in Hawaii. Her father is recovering from a recent stroke so she accompanies him since she has been helping him during his recovery. When they arrive and finally meet these relatives, Rei is uneasy and not sure she can trust them. They want money.

The plot thickens a bit from there. One of the newly discovered relatives is suspected of arson as wildfires erupt on the island.

But this is not the Rei readers loved when the series first began. This is a silly Rei. Who, among the readers, really believes that she is a competent spy? And after the tumultuous years with Hugh Glendenning, her Scottish lawyer lover, who is really satisfied with this romance with Michael Hendricks, her spy boss?

The sass is gone from Rei. The characters are uninteresting. Hawaii is boring. This book would have been better left unwritten.

I enjoyed Rei's adventures in most of the previous books but I much prefer the first three books in the series when she's in Japan. Rei is at her best when she is in Japan struggling to make a go of her antiques business and unwittingly stumbling into trouble. If you are new to the series, you will want to start with those books (THE SALARYMAN'S WIFE, ZEN ATTITUDE, THE FLOWER MASTER, and THE FLOATING GIRL). I can't recommend this book to anyone except those who feel they must have every title in the series.

This is 10th in the series and reported to be the last.

Other titles in the series include THE SALARYMAN'S WIFE, ZEN ATTITUDE, THE FLOWER MASTER, THE FLOATING GIRL, THE BRIDE'S KIMONO, THE SAMURAI'S DAUGHTER, THE PEARL DIVER, THE TYPHOON LOVER, and GIRL IN A BOX.

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