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The Flower Master (Rei Shimura #3)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  1,056 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Agatha Award-winning author Sujata Massey makes her hardcover debut with The flower Master, the third entry in her wonderfully successful mystery series featuring a savvy young Japanese-American woman in modern-day Tokyo.

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

Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 7th 1999 by Harper (first published 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 05, 2007 Nicole rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan, mystery
So, this book was actually pretty good. Half-Japanese Rei Shimura frequently cracked me up with her total disregard for proper Japanese behavior and other odd antics. She even manages to solve a murder and find a cute Japanese man who most likely only exists in fiction but was yummy nonetheless. That being said, you might find it exciting to discover there are about 7 more books in the Rei Shimura series. Don't bother. At first, I thought the problems in the rest were authorial inexperience or f ...more
Feb 04, 2015 catechism rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction, japan
This is the third installment of the series, and I seem to remember the other two being better-written. I read all the way through this one, pretty quickly, but I was slightly annoyed the whole time, and disappointed at the end. It was full of weird exposition and stilted dialogue, and it was full of plot points that were either meaningless or unresolved. The heroine is a Japanese-American antiques dealer living in Tokyo, and she spends the entire book trying to sell off a set of nine plates. Th ...more
Jan 03, 2016 Harley rated it it was amazing
I read mystery novels not so much for the plot. In fact, I could not tell you the plot of many of my favorite mysteries. What I read for is the unique voice of the main character. I want to enter their world as they see it. Rei Shimura is one of those voices. Rei was born in America of a Japanese father and American mother. She is living in modern Japan but is not accepted as Japanese. This is my first Rei Shimura mystery and I found it a good read. I enjoyed learning about Japan. I have since p ...more
I sort of like reading this series, even though the heroine is really annoying, with her condescending attitude towards Japanese and foreigners alike... actually, it's her unlikeable personality that makes these books fun to read. I just keep looking forward to her getting in trouble and I'm amply rewarded for the most part. She doesn't care for anyone (her uncle has a serious problem, and she just shrugs and doesn't even offer a word of sympathy) and judges everyone; yet she feels compelled to ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire

If you'd have told me that I'd enjoy a mystery with a theme of flower arranging I'd have thought that you were off your head. However Massey weaves another good (and quite un-cozy) plot around the cut throat world of Japanese ikebana.

There was a good bit of timing here for me, this book takes place during the cherry blossom season in Tokyo with everyone running around... ooops no, one doesn't run in Tokyo in a dressy kimono.... walking around to cherry blossom viewing parties. The reason this i

Feb 09, 2014 Ladiibbug rated it really liked it
#3 Rei Shimura - Mystery

Rei Shimura is a young part American, part Japanese woman working to build her antiques business in Tokyo. Rei's Aunt Norie has been most insistent that Rei join her in a course on ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging.

Little does she realize the cutthroat nature of this delicate art; Rei has hardly completed a lesson before one of the women in her class is murdered.

Rei and Aunt Norie are surprised when the police and press overwhelm them. Rei is befriended by ma
Jul 16, 2009 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: interested in japan, cross cultures, foreign mystery settings
Shelves: mystery, series
First book I have read about inadvertent detective Rei Shimamura. Rei is an American ex-pat of American/Japanese heritage running an antique business in Tokyo. Her aunt, Norie, has her involved in ikebana class where the senior instructor is found murdered by pair of shears her aunt had bought the same day.

Gives a glimpse of the cultural differences and issues a "half-breed" faces in the ethno-centric Japanese culture. I lived in Japan for two years a decade prior to the book's publication date
May 13, 2014 Heidi rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery lovers, Japanophiles
This author is addicting, because I love mysteries, and I love fictional stories of contemporary Asian culture (mainly to see the differences and similarities to American culture). This is the second one I've read, and because of my small library, I'm really out-of-order, so I do like how Massey keeps a continuous storyline in her series without providing too much of the too-obvious "Last time, our intrepid heroine was doing X, Y, and Z...!" recap.

This story was a lot of fun, and also provided
Jul 30, 2014 Allen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is probably very difficult to proof, seeing as it is filled with Japanese words and expressions. Trying to pronounce them in my head also slowed down the reading speed. I found way too many errors in this book, despite the proofing difficulties, I saw 17 which means it really needs to be proofed again. Having visited Japan, I was fascinated with the things she inserted into her story about the many flowers that make up the Japanese culture.
Sep 19, 2014 Anne rated it liked it
This was a fun book to read. It was great to have a peek into the Japanese culture from this 'outsider' trying to fit in. The mystery was good, although the clues to discover the killer were not clear enough to actually lead you to the discovery until near the end.

I look forward to the next one, to find out how our heroine does and whether the budding romance blooms, like the flowers she's learned to arrange.
Jan 18, 2013 Angela rated it liked it
The Flower Master is a straightforward mystery set in the world of ikebana schools of Japan. The details are good, the characters are engaging but not always fully fleshed. The ending is a little pat; what should be a shocking twist comes across more like a copout. It's as if the author didn't know who to pin for the murder, so she just picked a random character and then added a really lame reason to justify murder. It was an entertaining couch read, but not great.
Oct 15, 2008 Emiko rated it it was ok
I keep reading these because I'm a sucker for a series. Or maybe because I'm obsessive-compulsive? Thankfully my public library has them all, so I can continue to read them for free. They aren't very well-written, or even very mysterious, but I guess I'm better off reading mystery novels than watching TV. Unless it's Jon Stewart.
Jul 04, 2009 Beth rated it liked it
This is the third book I have read by this author. They are fun, quick little mysteries that take place in Japan. The main character is a American Japanese arts dealer living in Japan who seems to always find herself in the middle of a murder scene. The characters are enjoyable, you learn about the culture and some history while following a murder mystery. Great summer read!
Jul 28, 2009 Annthelibrarian rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Rei’s Aunt Norrie drags her to courses in flower arranging (ikibana), but then the teacher is found murdered with a pair of flower shears, and Aunt Norrie is under suspicion. Good story about Rei, a Japanese-American living in Tokyo trying to find her place in the tradition-bound society and her place with her tradition-bound relatives. Suspenseful and compelling. 3rd in the Rei Shimura series.
Jul 23, 2016 April rated it liked it
In this interesting mystery novel, a Japanese American who has moved to Japan discovers death in her aunt's flower arranging school. Massey is full of interesting anecdotes and explanations for how Japanese culture differs from American culture. I never quite fully warmed to Rei, the main character, but I enjoyed seeing her maneuver, sometimes successfully, sometimes not, around Japan.
The third installment of the Rei Shimura mysteries takes the reader into the world of ikebana...who would have thought the art of flower arranging would turn out to be such a deadly business? The story moved at a brisk pace and offered up a lot of the same elements that I enjoyed in the first book.
Sep 07, 2009 Babette rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-suspense
It has been a while since I last ready Sujata Massey. This book did not disappoint me. I enjoy the insights into the Japanese culture - the traditional as well as the contemporary. Of course the characters at the heart of the mystery are also an amusing mix.
Jan 28, 2009 M.E.G. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
This was okay, a decent travel read...A fluffy murder mystery involving ikebana and set in Tokyo. I never read the first two of this series though. This one ended up on my To Read list somehow so when I saw it at the NYPL a few years back for 50 cents, I got it and just now got around to it.
Aug 25, 2007 Jamilah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About a young Japanese-American woman from California, Rei, who is living in Japan and having challenges navigating the cultural landscape. Very likable character, interesting setting, interesting relationships. It's a mystery and of course Rei turns out to be the one who needs to solve it.
Jul 27, 2012 Noora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Pidän Shimura-kirjoista, eikä tämä suinkaan ole poikkeus. Murhaajaa oli todella vaikea arvata, koska hänellä ei tuntunut olevan lainkaan motiivia, vaikka se toki lopussa selviääkin. Hyvä kirja ja japanilaisesta kulttuurista lukee mielellään.
Aug 06, 2013 Cindy rated it liked it
I love the Japanese atmospherics this author creates. Who knew Japanese flower arranging could be so cut-throat?? The plot, however, was somewhat week and disconnected. Her later books seem better developed.
Jul 29, 2008 Rosemary rated it really liked it
I enjoy contemporary views of life in foreign countries added to the intrigue of a good mystery. This is a good one and introduces one to the arcana of ikebana. I am eager to read her others in this series. This one is number 3.
George Thomas
Jan 20, 2015 George Thomas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-books
Having studied Ikebana, some years ago, and have a collection of ikebana suiban, and kenzan, I still make arrangements when I find flowers which inspire me, I felt completely at home with the ambiance of the plot, and again thoroughly enjoyed the book. Now moving onto book 4 in the series.
Jul 25, 2011 Minni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dekkariksi aika kevyttä kesälukemista, plus ehkä hieman liikaa päälleliimattua tietoutta ikebanoista ja -astioista. Kiinnostavaa miljöö- ja elämäntapakuvausta kuitenkin, joten mahdollisesti luen kirjalijalta joskus toisenkin opuksen Japanin-nälkään.
Noni Barker
Mar 08, 2015 Noni Barker rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book more than the previous one that I read in this series. There are interesting insights into Japanese culture and the story moved along quite smartly, although the identity of the murderer was a complete surprise and the motive was not convincing.
Lansing Public Library
The group liked this book. They liked learning about the Japanese culture and, they were glad that the author included a Cast of Characters in the beginning of the book. They did, however, think the ending was weak.
Nov 02, 2011 Cora rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I always enjoy her books - really easy to read, and the Japanese culture immersion is fascinating. Fun and adventurous (although occasionally really foolhardy, but she's a mystery heroine, so that isn't unexpected) main character, and enjoyable (if sometimes not quite believable) plot.
The Library Lady
Apr 19, 2012 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-mysteries
Greatly enjoyed this one. Have now read the next 2 in the series and am finding that while for the most part I find them highly enjoyable, though I think the romance elements are less than believable and at times downright awkward.
Robin Hemmer
for some reason I had a hard time sticking to this book - it is written well but didn't hold my interest.
Mar 11, 2014 Judith rated it really liked it
Rei tackles murder, deception, accidents, and love in this story that centers around the Kayama School of Ikebana.
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Sujata Massey is the author of historical and mystery fiction. She's well-known for the Rei Shimura mystery series, ten books which have won the Agatha and Macavity awards and been nominated for the Edgar, Anthony, and Mary Higgins Clark awards. The eleventh book in the series, THE KIZUNA COAST, will be published in November 2014.

Sujata also writes historical novels set in 19th and 20th century I
More about Sujata Massey...

Other Books in the Series

Rei Shimura (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Salaryman's Wife (Rei Shimura #1)
  • Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura, #2)
  • The Floating Girl
  • The Bride's Kimono
  • The Samurai's Daughter
  • The Pearl Diver
  • The Typhoon Lover (Rei Shimura Mysteries (Paperback))
  • Girl in a Box
  • Shimura Trouble
  • The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)

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