Information about the author.
Japanese-American Rei Shimura is a 27-year-old English teacher living in one of Tokyo’s seediest neighborhoods. She doesn’t make much money, but she wouldn’t go back home to California even if she had a free ticket (which, thanks to her parents, she does.) Her independence is threatened however, when a getaway to an ancient castle town is marred by murder.
Rei is the first to find the beautiful wife of a high-powered businessman, dead in the snow. Taking charge, as usual, Rei searches for clues by crashing a funeral, posing as a bar-girl, and somehow ending up pursued by police and paparazzi alike. In the meantime, she manages to piece together a strange, ever-changing puzzle—one that is built on lies and held together by years of sex and deception.
Rei Shimura, a twentysomething part-California girl, part-Japanese antiques dealer, can’t quite find her place in Tokyo society. Lately Rei’s love life has fallen off the radar screen, and despite all her efforts, her new business isn’t doing much better.
At her aunt’s insistence, Rei enrolls in a course in ikebana, the famous Japanese art of flower arranging. Little does she realize what a cutthroat class it will be; she’s hardly completed a lesson before her instructor is murdered.
Rei is ready to track down the killer, but suddenly the case hits close to home. She and her aunt are battered by waves of police questioning, press attention, and mysterious warnings. Skeletons are rattling in her family’s closet, and Rei must open the door to a dangerous secret. …[more]
A dazzling engagement ring and the promise of a fresh start in a new country bring antiques dealer and sometime-sleuth Rei Shimura to Washington, D.C. But while she tries to play catch-up with her beautiful, politically connected cousin, Kendall, and is commissioned to furnish a chic Japanese-fusion restaurant, things start to go haywire. First, Kendall vanishes from the restaurant’s opening-night party, and then Rei is drafted to help Andrea, the restaurant’s elegant, cagey hostess, investigate the disappearance of her own Japanese mother thirty years earlier.
As the strands of these puzzles begin to come together, Rei finds that her relationship with her fiancé, Hugh, has changed from sizzle to burn. At the same time, she faces troubling questions about what it means to be a loving mother—and whether her own independent streak will endanger the women to whom she has grown close. …[more]
Antiques dealer Rei Shimura has managed to snag one of the most lucrative and prestigious freelance jobs of her career: transporting a packet of exquisitely embroidered nineteenth-century kimonos from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., for an exhibit, and to give a lecture on them.
It’s been years since Rei has set foot in the land of her birth, and in that time, she’s become estranged from it. On the other hand, she does not exactly fit in with the band of Japanese office ladies she’s accompanied, who have traveled to the United States for a week’s worth of shopping. Still, everything seems to be going well enough, until one of the kimonos is stolen from her hotel room and Rei’s passport shows up in a Dumpster behind a shopping mall—on the dead body of one of the office ladies. In the middle of this, Rei’s ex-boyfriend, Hugh Glendinning, inexplicably arrives in town. …[more]
Half-American, half-Japanese, Rei Shimura is finally beginning to feel like Tokyo is home. Now a writer on art and antiques at the Gaijin Times, a comic-style magazine aimed at affluent young readers, Rei’s latest assignment is a piece on the history of comic book art. During a weekend of research and relaxation at her boyfriend Takeo’s beachside house, Rei stumbles upon the perfect subject: an exquisite modern comic that reveals the disturbing social milieu of pre-World War II Japan.
Rei art story, evolves into something much darker. One of the comic’s young creators is found dead—a murder that soon takes the tenacious Rei deep into the heart of Japan’s youth underground. Immersed in the investigation, she finds herself floating through strip clubs, animation shops, and coffeehouses to get the true story—and save her own skin.
It’s Tough to Keep Cool When the Heat Is On
Japanese-American Rei Shimura finally has a life to be proud of in Tokyo: running her own antiques business and living with her Scottish lawyer boyfreind. But when Rei overpays for a beautiful chest of drawers, she’s in for the worst deal of her life. The con man who sold her the Tansu is found dead, and like it or not Rei’s opened a pandora’s box of mystery, theft, and murder.
Only Rei sees the Tansu as the key. It will take a quick wit, fast feet, and above all a Zen Attitude for Rei to discover what a young monk, a judo star, and an ancient scroll have in common, and why her own life hangs in the balance.