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Girl in a Box (Rei Shimura #9)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  761 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Chronically underemployed Japanese-American sleuth Rei Shimura has taken a freelance gig with a Washington, D.C., alphabet agency that just might have ties to the CIA. Her mission, should she choose to accept it, is to go undercover as a clerk in a big Tokyo department store. It's a risky assignment, but it also gives Rei a store discount that allows her to freely indulge ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Harper Perennial (first published 2006)
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Jul 29, 2011 Laurie added it
This is perhaps my least favorite of the five or so that I have read, perhaps due to its subject matter. A spy novel that turns on department stores and their yakuza connections may have just as much violence as the cold war versions, but the stakes are less compelling. Massey seems to enjoy describing fashion, so here she in her element, and will probably appeal to young brand-conscious women, who will not only recognize Prada or Coach, but also "Nice Claup" khakis. More interesting to the non- ...more
Rei is working for a branch of the CIA that focuses on culture. She is to go to Tokyo and infiltrate a department store that has been fingered as a place that might threaten US financial interests. What ensues are murders, a lot of name dropping of designer clothes at the department store; detail on wire tapping including sewing mics in bras, money laundering by two Japanese gangs, and the beginning of a love affair for Rei and her boss, Michael, who comes to save her in Tokyo. I think that auth ...more
Belle Wong
Mar 23, 2011 Belle Wong rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-copy, mystery
Enjoyed this one, although there were moments when Rei didn't act quite as smart as I would have liked. And (being cryptic here, because I don't want to include a spoiler) I really did think she could have prevented the final murder in the book - warning bells were going off in my head at the crucial moment, and should have gone off in hers, too (and Michael's, when she told him). The book could also have used better copyediting, but all in all, it was a good read. I like Rei in the spy role!

Oct 01, 2007 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery Readers
Another in the Rei Shimura mysteries. Massey has a great series here featuring Rei Shimura an American born half American half Japanese young woman. Stories deal with her trials and tribulations of living in Japan trying to make a living, her romantic relationships, and adjusting to the language and customs. Provides interesting insights into Japanese culture and customs as Rei becomes involves in various mysteries.

This story has her continuing to work for an American intelligence agency, OCI, w
Mar 26, 2016 Josephine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Really not particularly buying the plot of this one either. She's been an antiques dealer all along, and now the [insert agency here] has not only sent her back to Japan to pose as a department store clerk in order to uncover possible financial skulduggery at one of the largest stores in Tokyo....when she has no background in banking, finance, international law or even any real chance of getting up close and personal with the family running the store. Just a mild talent for placing bugs.

At least
May 18, 2013 T rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little lighter reading, this is kind of like the Asian Stephanie Plum...."kind of". Rei is a Japanese-American gal who in this tale is undercover to try and get more information on a large Japanese clothing store. She used to deal in Asian antiques and must now pass herself off as a young Japanese salesgirl in order to infiltrate the store.

I've read a few of these but it's been a long time....I enjoy the dose of Asian culture, I guess....
Aug 15, 2012 Noora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Hyvä Shimura-kirja, parempi kuin pari edellistä. Nyt Rein uteliaisuudelle on uskottava selitys, samoin niille tapahtumille, joihin hän joutuu. Miinusta sen sijaan tulee kirjan nimestä, joka paljastaa loppuratkaisun ennen ensimmäistäkään sivua ja saa näin ollen loppuhuipennuksen lässähtämään totaalisesti. Samoin kirjan takakansi paljastaa luvattoman paljon ja on enemmänkin tiivistelmä juonesta kuin esittely kirjasta... Muuten hyvä kirja!
Nov 02, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bernye Ayer, Alyx Ayer, Christiane De Filippis, Jane Rader
Shelves: murder-mystery
This is my second favorite book in the series, the first being "The Bride's Kimono". If you can picture Rei as a clandestine CI; you will really enjoy this romp through Japan's shopping district. This series definitely reminds me of the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich. If you like that series, you will love these books as well. One more in the series to go. Reading Sorbet for the Soul. The only thing missing is Grandma Mazur.
Aug 16, 2012 Scilla rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually a 3.5 - better than the average 3. Rei Shimura is sent to Japan as a spy to try to work for large Tokyo department store to try to figure out why their profits seem to have suddenly spurted. Rei finally makes friends with her colleague in the sprecial department for foreign customers, plants bugs, and gets into dangerous situations, all while falling in love with her boss.
Feb 21, 2010 Christine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-mystery
Another enjoyable Rei Shimura. Such a guilty pleasure. I don't want to give too much away but I particularly enjoy finding out the next plot twist in her relationship with the Scotsman with each book. I really don't want the series to end. And I think the author's dialogue-writing skills are improving as the series moves along. Can't wait to pick up the next installment.
Thomas Stevenson
An agent/detective for an ambiguous agency linked to the CIA is sent to Japan to investigate shady dealings in a department store. The purpose of the investigation never seems clear as an issue for the US government but no matter because the story plays out well with fewer of the twists, turns, and musculature of male characters.
Feb 11, 2012 Judith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
Rei is back on track with some of her most interesting (albeit, implausible) adventures. Lots of interesting information about working & work ethics in Japan. And things with Michael heat up.

Unfortunately, I have to read this series out of order, since the libraries don't own all the titles. But thanks to CPL for buying more for me!
Another great Sujata Massey book--not her best, but hard to put down nevertheless. Rei Shimura goes to work in a Tokyo department store as a spy for the U.S. government. Some of the plot details are a bit murky, and it doesn't all hold together as well as it could, but I loved reading about the inside of a Japanese department store!
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Mar 28, 2010 Cindi (cheesygiraffe) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010-read
Well it was very interesting learning about how Japanese Department store are run. But this has to be my least favorite of the books. I miss the old Rei. This one is toned down and a spy not the antique loving Rei from the other books.
Valerie K
A fun sleuth story, enjoyable light reading. Not quite edge-of-your-chair, but I looked forward to getting back to it, so it definitely kept me engaged. Interesting to dip into the worlds of japanese culture and high-end fashion a little bit, not too deep but I guess it didn't need to be.
Aug 10, 2009 Kip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 09summerreading
As always, love the settings in this series: high end department store, ryokan. I would have given this 4 stars but for the painfully dumb and unsatisfying last page, which made Michael and Rei both seem like stock characters in a bad romance novel.
Mar 26, 2016 Don rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A spy fashion murder mystery!

I kept waiting for the action to start. I did enjoy Rei as the spy. I wish I had read some of the earlier Rei Shimura mysteries before reading Girl in a box. I think I would appreciated this story more.
Nov 14, 2007 Bethany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Sujata Massey read. As usual, the storytelling and cultural descriptions were the best part. She often wraps up the ending a little too quickly and this was no exception, but it kept me page-turning.
I had to decide how many stars. It was very interesting with the Japanese background and the spy? background. I just was a little slower than usual reading it. I will read this author again (I have read her before).
May 25, 2011 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved learning about a segment of Japanese society as much as I did the actual story. I really liked this one.
Jan 23, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book as it has a great tension between the hero and heroine and provides a great look into Japanese culture, particularly in the Japanese department store.
Feb 26, 2010 Fran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very entertaining, with lots of great detail about Japan. For a quick read, well written and a bit of a mystery.In short, fun.
Richard Janzen
Jul 30, 2011 Richard Janzen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a bit hard to buy into the premise of this book, but somehow I was sucked in by the end. I feel like I was tricked into liking it.
Jul 26, 2010 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has a nicely engaging plot. I liked it much better than the last couple. This is not as good as the beginning of the series, but I still think these are fun to read.
Jul 04, 2007 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Must need to have read other books about the main character to like her. I did not like her from just this one book and therefore was annoyed by her the entire book.
Sharon Stine
Mar 20, 2015 Sharon Stine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading inside descriptions of Japanese Depato...department stores. This and characters more important than actual mystery
Mar 05, 2009 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
such a fun read. this is one of her newer books i would love to read some of her early ones, it would help to know the kei better. but I do recomend this for a fun fast read.
Aug 15, 2008 Emiko rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some annoying continuity errors, but still a fun and very fast read. Of course I enjoyed reading about a hapa heroine!
Aug 16, 2013 Bernye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy this series since it provides an insight into the Japanese culture and many nuances. Rei is off on another adventure...under cover!!! At least this time she has a steady income.
May 14, 2008 Errol rated it liked it
Not the best book in the Rie Shimura series, but still a must read for fans of the Japanese-American free spirit.
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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 Flower Master
  • The Floating Girl
  • The Bride's Kimono
  • The Samurai's Daughter
  • The Pearl Diver
  • The Typhoon Lover
  • Shimura Trouble
  • The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)

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