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Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria (Sano Ichiro, #7)
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Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria (Sano Ichiro #7)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  914 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Samurai sleuth Sano Ichiro has a very personal motive in determining who killed the shogun's heir apparent with a hairpin: he's trying to save himself from being executed for the crime.

The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria introduces readers into Yoshiwara, the well-ordered but cruel pleasure quarter of 17th-century Edo (Tokyo), where the corpse of Lord Mitsuyoshi is found spr

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,544)
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Another great entry in this fun, imaginative mystery series. The cultural elements add a great deal of additional tension to the plot, as the heroic samurai detective is once again forced to work a murder case amidst a backdrop of corrupt politics and moral depravity. Anybody interested in feudal Japan should really enjoy it.
Well hey, it seems this is the first of hers I've read since starting with Goodreads. This detective series has been terrific to date - set in Edo period Japan, a feudal time rife with power struggle and intrigue, she (at least to this lay person) nails it in every respect. From tone, to the crimes and mysteries themselves, to motivations and realities, to matter-of-fact attitude toward things carnal - it all feels genuine. She seems to have really settled in with this installment, allowing more ...more
Jadetyger Sevea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm really confused on what I want to award this book. I'm wavering between three and four stars, and I wish I could just make it easier and give it 3.5, but Goodreads won't let me.

I want to give it the higher number because it's as well written and tightly plotted as any of the previous books in Rowland's long running Sano Ichiro series. The depictions of Feudal Japan are as vivid and colorful as ever, and they evoke the same mixture of intrigue, fascination, and disgust that her novels always
Jan 09, 2009 Denise rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Denise by: Mystery Book Club Friend
Really liked this book. I give it 4.5 stars. Lots of layers and I particularly liked the unconventional (at the time) relationship between Sano and Reiko, husband and wife, who investigate together, along with Hirata, Sano's second in command. Hated the time period because of the discrimination and class restrictions, so I tried to put myself into this story as a party to those things, which made it more palatable. Intrigue, lying, twists, turns, manipulations. This book is not for everyone and ...more
I was kind of mixed about this one. While I liked the setting of the story (17th century Japan) and the descriptions of Shogan-era Japan, I didn't quite buy the premise of the Shogan's investigative and police forces. The investigator, Sano, seemed too much like an Agatha Christie-like detective from the 20th century. I kind of doubt that Medieval Japan would employ such investigators/police (I could be wrong). The story itself, about the murder of the next-in-line for Shoganship at a brothel wa ...more
This is one of the best series I've ever read...I cannot get enough of it! Once again, Ms. Rowland had me at her mercy day in and day out until I was able to finish this book. Finding time to read was somewhat challenging during the past few weeks so it took me a little longer to get through this one, but what an incredible read! The rapturous completion of time well spent nicely coincided with a day at the Honolulu Academy of Arts this past weekend where viewing the art of Utagawa Kuniyoshi pun ...more
All right. I'm losing my patience with these books. There is some nice research, but it doesn't really serve anything. The story is an example of an "idiot plot" - it could happen only because all the characters behave like idiots, and they are monstrously unbelievable, psychologically, historically and culturally and grammatically lol. Ahh I shall say no more. Only a bit of m/m love would have made it bearable, but alas, no such luck, as the moments when Yanagisawa and his lover Hoshina do appe ...more
Apr 24, 2014 Tom marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: japan, r
Sano #7
I am torn between 4 and 5 stars... I'll go with 4.

The beginning was a little slow, for quite some time I wasn't sure where the book was going to... but the ending was brilliant and surprising.
But Sano annoyed me a little during the story, he should learn to tell Reiko what's going on and I think I like Hoshina even less than before, but he is still a great villain-character.

But I couldn't put the book down and really enjoyed reading it.
Yet another episode in the life and trials of Sano Ichiro, set in late seventeenth century Japan.

The book does what it sets out to do. A moderately complex plot, lots of intrigue, and insight into the social and political system of early Japan. To European eyes quite an alien and at times brutal place. Enjoyable and easy to read, although not as strong, I feel, as the previous novels in the series.
I read this book out-of sequence (like the first one I picked up). The writing, pacing and plot are ok. The details of life under the Shogunate are interesting and appear to be reasonably researched (versus other historical books I have read of the era). I will probably read more books in this series, but there's no burning desire to go out and get them.

I picked this book at a used book sale because the idea of a mystery set 17th century Japan was intriquing, but the actual solution of the mystery depended too much on the deaths of the various suspects. I did find the setting in the court of Imperial Japan interesting, but I have no idea how realistic it was.
Mayte Sánchez
De la serie de Sano Ichiro, quizás el más intrigante que haya leído hasta ahora.
Las aventuras de este detective samurái son muy entretenidas y te permiten conocer las costumbres de Japón del siglo XVII.
Recomendables para ratos de evasión.
I only recently starting reading Ms. Rowlands books, but enjoy them. This is another murder mystery based in feudal Japan. It deals with a murder and a missing prostitute in the "floating world", where people come to practice some debauchery.
This mystery series gets better and better. The historical detals are fascinating, but what really makes this book shine is how it reveals the complexities of the relationship between husbands and wives/lovers, and former lovers.
Portrayal of feudal Japan is cool but the dialogue and character behavior sounds like modern American. And the plot wasn't compelling enough to keep me reading. I ended up reading a chapter before bed to help me fall asleep...!
The characters in this series are really interesting, and their lives are entangled because they all must serve and obey the shogun. Things are not easy for a detective surrounded by court intrigue.
Faithangel366 Stoyanova
T1j kato stranicite ne savpadat s balgarskoto izdanie tazi kniga q otbelqzvam kato pro4etena.Az taka ili ina4e 6te q zav1r6a i zasega mnogo mi haresva.Tazi poredica vinagi mi e bila mn interesna :)
This is one of the best one in this series of feudal Japan detective stories with intrigue in the Tokugawa court, a detective story, a love story, betrayals and revelations. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Serge Pierro
By this point in the series, Rowland has found her voice and the characters are becoming more interesting. Fans of feudal japan, samurai and its culture would enjoy this series.
I'm getting tired of this series. The characters are always the same and the ineptitude of the shogun is irritating. But still, it is a good mystery.
The Sano Ichiro series is my brain fluff -- I enjoy that it's set in feudal Japan, and sometimes need to read something that's not too involved / deep.
Steve Woods
Been in airports a lot recently...and very tired. Ok fodder for that context but given that I've been through a few, I think I'm done!
Love this whole series. A scrappy honorable Samurai and his unconventional wife solve mysteries while fighting off evil politicians.
Really enjoyed this book in the series. It progresses with characters nicely and the plot is interesting.
Mary Lou
A mystery set in early Japan. Fascinating look at customs and ways. Good story line too.
When you start to doubt your judgment, then you are at the mercy of wild gossip.
Aug 12, 2007 Caroline rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caroline by: Xarah
Really enjoyed this, even if the series gets a bit repetitive.
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Granddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer.
More about Laura Joh Rowland...

Other Books in the Series

Sano Ichiro (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Shinju (Sano Ichiro, #1)
  • Bundori (Sano Ichiro, #2)
  • The Way of the Traitor  (Sano Ichiro, #3)
  • The Concubine's Tattoo (Sano Ichiro, #4)
  • The Samurai's Wife (Sano Ichiro, #5)
  • Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro, #6)
  • The Dragon King's Palace (Sano Ichiro, #8)
  • The Perfumed Sleeve (Sano Ichiro, #9)
  • The Assassin's Touch (Sano Ichiro, #10)
  • Red Chrysanthemum (Sano Ichiro, #11)
Shinju (Sano Ichiro, #1) The Concubine's Tattoo (Sano Ichiro, #4) The Samurai's Wife (Sano Ichiro, #5) Bundori (Sano Ichiro, #2) Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro, #6)

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