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The Floating Girl (Rei Shimura #4)

3.68  ·  Rating Details  ·  974 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
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 t ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published July 3rd 2001 by Avon Books (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,391)
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Set in the early 2000s, the series is about Rei Shimura, an antique dealer, who finds herself involving in various mysteries having emigrated to Tokyo. The novel was introduced to me by a friend as dealing with the manga industry in Japan and it piqued my interest. It is told in an outsider narrative, however, and it works in one sense. Being Japanese-American, Rei Shimura will not feel completely fit in with either her Japanese or "American" culture, but I often feel like there is a disdain and ...more
#4 Rei Shimura series - Mystery

Another interesting murder mystery set in and around Tokyo, Japan. Rei is an American-born, half-Japanese, half-American woman. She is now feeling comfortable living and working in Japan, and has a new boyfriend.

Rei Shimura has established a growing antiques business. Writing articles on art and antiques for a comic-style magazine for foreigners living in Tokyo has grown her business by one-third. A change in the magazine's staff results in Rei's assignment to writ
Mar 20, 2014 Ann rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rei Shimura is an antique dealer living in Japan. She was born and raised in America but is half Japanese. She is hired to write a monthly column for a local newspaper on antiques but is assigned to write an article on local comic book history and collectibles. This search for information gets her involved in murder and intrigue. I'm not sure what I think about this book. I'm not interested in manga or Anime so that part didn't get my interest up. I think part of my problem is that I am unfamili ...more
Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson
Jan 15, 2015 Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I love this mystery series set in Japan. The heroine is Rei Shimura, a Japanese-American who writes about art and antiques. After a takeover of the magazine she writes for that involves changing the format into a graphic/comic format Rei must write about the history of comics. In the process there is a murder that involves a manga heroine and the artist who draws her. The settings and cultural viewpoints seem very realistic and well-done and it's a view of modern Japanese culture that comes acro ...more
Laura Martinelli
Jun 12, 2014 Laura Martinelli rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, library-reread
Some backstory here—I picked this up like, seven or eight years ago, on the recommendation of a coworker because I had mentioned that I’m a huge anime fan. And I had managed to find it at the Borders (moment of silence) near my college, bought it, and I tried reading through it a few times before ultimately giving up on it. And then it got regulated to a box of books that was in our garage until my mom unearthed it last summer.

I think that my gut instinct was trying to tell me something, conside
Kirsty Darbyshire

I should have learnt from reading the previous book (about the Japanese art of flower arranging called ikebana) that Massey is capable of turning the least likely themes into decent settings for a mystery. But I still expected to be disappointed in a tale based around the comic art of manga. I wasn't of course, I should really learn to trust Massey to make any aspect of Japanese culture interesting.

Once again there is a decent plot here though I didn't think it was quite as well resolved as in

Jun 26, 2008 Antoinette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stressed students, mom, people interested in japan, women
Shelves: silly-series
I picked this up at a tent sale for a local publishing company. The book was put together weird, so when I read it, I appeared to be reading it upside down and at an angle. Thought it is the fourth in the series, I absolutely loved it. At first I was disgusted, and then amused. Who begins a book with a bikini wax? ...Sujata Massey, that is who, and she almost gets away with it. I don't know why I like these books, but I will be sad to see the series end. Rei Shimura, daughter of all nations, is ...more
Jul 29, 2011 Laurie added it
The Floating Girl takes the reader to a Manga-obsessed Japan, full of yakuza bosses, and hunky foreign men who dance in clubs for voracious young japanese women. The main character, Rei Shimura, is a Japanese-American antique dealer who is writing for a publication called the Gaijin News, which under new ownership decides to publish an all-manga issue. This sends Rei scrambling to find the elusive amateur artist of a manga with surprisingly good production values. It also brings her into a murde ...more
Kelly Butler
Still fun but probably my least favourite of the Shimura series - the resolution of the crime isn't particularly satisfying
Apr 12, 2014 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Two stars for an ending that doesn't really flow from the earlier chapters. Still, a nice little mystery for a day spent recovering for a cold. This series is ok.
Jan 23, 2012 Lydia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Massey has written an engaging and elegant novel. Her main character, Rei Shamura finds herself in a position where her antique business is not producing enough income. So, she turns to writing for the Gaijin Times -- a newspaper style publication that is actually a forum for the owner's advertising business. But what can Rei do when the owner decides to turn the Times into a Manga comic book? This mystery has a certain taste of intrigue, romance and novelty. I can therefore recommend ...more
May 26, 2008 Kendra rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
4th book in the Rei Shimura series -- and nothing spectacular, just like the first three. What I do always like about these books is that I learn interesting things about Japanese culture. In this book, Rei has a new freelance magazine writing job that leads to research about manga (Japanese comic books) and her unlikely involvement in the death of a manga fan. The author still hasn't learned how to write a smooth story, but for some reason, I keep coming back...
Sari Lynn
Aug 02, 2009 Sari Lynn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Japanophiles & fans of manga
Shelves: mystery
The fourth in the series of mysteries involving Rei Shimura, a young Japanese American woman living in Japan. This time she gets involved with the world of manga - Japanese comic books - and befriends a couple of male exotic dancers. When one of them is killed, Rei has to find the connections between the worlds, while trying not to become the killer's next target. Like the previous books in the series, this is well written and engaging.
The Floating Girl is the second novel by Sujata Massey that I read in the last two weeks and I like it even better than the first. Prior to starting The Floating Girl, I read a couple of negative reviews complaining about Rei Shimura, the main character. I couldn't disagree more. I enjoy being in the company of Rei. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel.
Jul 27, 2012 Noora rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Takakannen teksti valehtelee hiukan, mutta siitä huolimatta ihan viihdyttävä dekkari, tosin ei ihan aiempien Shimura-kirjojen veroinen. Se, mikä on aiemmissakin kirjoissa ollut hyvää, eli japanilaisen kulttuurin kuvaus ja esiintuominen, on tässäkin yhä tallella, mutta juoni ja loppuratkaisu eivät ole ihan yhtä mukaansatempaavia tällä kertaa.
Oct 17, 2012 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christiane defilippis, Jane Rader
Recommended to Mary by: Bernye Ayer
Shelves: murder-mystery
Let's send up a cheer for Great Falls Library; I put all of her books on hold in the order that I wanted to read them ( i.e., publication date), but they screwed up and gave me books 4-10 versus 1-3. One word, fabulous. Thank you so much.

Loved this one; stayed up late reading to finish it. Nice light whodunit.

Characters: pretty much caricatures. Setting: bizarre side of Japanese society (fun). Mystery: okay I guess, but I lost interest in it fast. I can't understand why Rei always insists on finding whoever killed a person she didn't care about in the first place. Oh well. Overall: okay I guess, don't remember much now, sorry.
Jun 03, 2008 Rose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers!
Shelves: fiction
A mystery set in Tokyo... my old hometown :) I now have a better understanding of manga... and I was interested in the main character's insights into relationships. A little far-fetched at times... but a good, rollicking read! I'm keen to read her other mysteries set in Japan.
Oct 20, 2012 Janet added it
Shelves: 2009, fiction, mystery
I generally enjoy these mysteries set in Japan and featuring Rei Shimura, and did enjoy this one, but not as much as I recall liking the others. It felt as though it was rushed through, without quite enough time questioning the logic of events and editing.
Richard Janzen
Although I'm really getting hooked by this series, I don't think I enjoyed this as much as the next in the series, The Kimono Lover. Getting a peek into the world of manga was interesting. I didn't feel much of a build to a climax in this one.
Sarah Sammis
As I know more about manga and anime than I do about kimono, I found Rei's reluctance to learn about either a hindrance to the overall mystery.
Cindi (cheesygiraffe)
Mar 19, 2010 Cindi (cheesygiraffe) rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-read
I found this a bit harder to read the previous ones. I guess manga doesn't interest me as much as other Japanese things do. Still a good mystery and I really didn't have a clue who done it this time.
Feb 04, 2015 catechism rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, fiction, japan
Slightly better than the previous book in the series, but still... I don't know. I think she got through a third of the book before you even figured out what the mystery was.
Oct 05, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I've heard her other books in the series are better. If the content excluded certain "adult" themes, it would be 'tween to teen reading level.
Aug 16, 2013 Bernye rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Each of Rei's adventure is so much fun. I think Mary likened this series to Janet Evanovich in Japan. That says it all !!
May 13, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
another entertaining mystery read set in japan. the dialogue is funny because it reads like translated japanese. quirky and fun.
Jan 25, 2010 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this author's insight into Japanese culture, the murder-mystery plot I can take or leave.
Oct 26, 2012 Ste2fanie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this, especially given I'm very into the culture it's about. Fun little mystery :)
Jan 30, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
really enjoyed all her books and hope she continues to write
Jan 08, 2014 Samira rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, novels
Well executed, but the series is no longer holding my interest.
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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 Bride's Kimono
  • The Samurai's Daughter
  • The Pearl Diver
  • The Typhoon Lover
  • Girl in a Box
  • Shimura Trouble
  • The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)

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