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Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura, #2)
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Zen Attitude

(Rei Shimura #2)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,388 ratings  ·  78 reviews
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 opene
Paperback, 336 pages
Published November 29th 2005 by Harper Perennial (first published 1998)
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3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,388 ratings  ·  78 reviews

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An utterly satisfying, entertaining, and well-crafted mystery novel set in late 1990s Japan. Rei Shimura, Japanese-American, a young, enterprising and adventurous antiques dealer and trader manages to acquire -- after considerable bargaining -- a "tansu", an ancient type of chest from the Edo Period much prized and valued. This proves to be a fateful decision, taking Rei down a path involving murder, theft, brushes with the police, and deceit.
3.5 stars.

Much better than the first book in this series! This volume is lively and well-paced, with an interesting (if somewhat improbable) plot and nicely drawn characters. Rei Shimura, the Japanese-American antiques dealer protagonist, is so much more engaging now that her obligatory back story is out of the way; I'm looking forward to watching her mature as a woman and a detective. I'm really glad I continued on with this series and am planning to jump right into volume 3.
Jan 17, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series juggles several enticing things: the Japanese antiques market; the difficulties of negotiating Japanese culture as an outsider; and a hot romance. Woven into this mix is a tricky mystery involving a zen monastery, some pot brownies and a scroll that everyone wants to get their hands on.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
I love this author. Her books are really interesting. This is definitely a fun read if you like Mysteries and/or Japanese culture.
Jul 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rei Shimura is half American and half Japanese and lives in Tokyo. She was born in America and recently moved to Japan where she started out teaching English classes, but has recently started her own antique business. She lives with her Scottish lawyer boyfriend in a deluxe apartment. When Rei overpays for a beautiful chest of drawers for a client, she's in for the worst deal of her life. The con man who sold her the tansu is found dead and Rei is headed for a Pandora's box of mystery, theft, an ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
A really fun read with interesting information on japanese antique furniture and scrolls as well as Zen temple worship.
Rei gets herself into some real danger and doesn't know who to trust and her relationship with Hugh is hanging by a thread.
Micha Goebig
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
The author is a very good writer, but I stopped reading the book because I grew more and more annoyed with the protagonist.
First off, she doesn't have even a hint of a sense of humor and is always whining and complaining about everything. And though she herself is pretty young and - in typical US West Coast fashion - absolutely underdressed about 80% of the time, she is so ultra-conservative that she can't deal at all with her boyfriend's visiting younger brother who is a little hippie and curre
Gail Barrington
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I love this series about a Japanese-American sleuth, her madcap adventures as she tries to establish her Japanese antiques business, her hunky Scottish boyfriend/sometime fiancé and her very big heart. You also learn a bit about Japanese culture along the way. I am trying to track down all 11 of them!
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little goofy, filled with interesting details, and gentle with its reader. It reminded me of spending hours plowing through paperback mysteries when I was a teenager, which makes sense, given its publication date. I do hope the protagonist becomes more of a competent detective as the series progresses. Bonus points for the denouement reference to Massive Attack.
Nina Silvia
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is the second book of Sujata Massey on Rei Shimurea Series i officially read in 2019, i would say, this book keep me hooked, there was not expected turning. and especially i like the culture setting of the book. i am noobs on mistery novel, it is kind of my baby step to mistery novel, where all the element i like is there, such as culture setting and a bit of romance.
May 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Predictable. Unlikeable heroine and a lover that no one should ever be with, yet I think we were supposed to find him appealing. Huge disappointment from an author I have liked. Was hoping this series set in Japan would be good. It is not
Agatha Glowacki
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Ok book- characters a little cliche as the story, but enjoyable enough. Nice touch of Japanese culture
Elaine Roberson
An interesting read. I really enjoyed the insights into Japanese life, culture, and antiques.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I like the interesting information about modern japan and the world of antiquities. the mystery was good but rei does get into amazing situations!
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it
This book was even better than the first one. Probably because the characters are becoming more real and believable.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this more. The first book in this series was pretty good, but the main character seems to have gotten less bright for this installment.
Mar 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
#2 Rei Shimura mystery series

Rei Shimura's antiques business in Tokyo now has many client. Rei, a Japanese-American woman raised in the U.S., is living with Hugh, her Scottish lawyer boyfriend. Rei is happy with the life she's worked so hard to build for herself in Tokyo.

Rei locates a rare chest of drawers (a tansu) which a wealthy client wants badly. Rei discovers later she has significantly overpaid for the piece -- worse yet, it may be a fake.

The con man who sold Rei the piece is found murder
Kirsty Darbyshire
Massey is well on her way to making a mark on my favourite author list. This second mystery sees our heroine Rei struggling to keep her new Japanese antique buying business going after she discovers that a chest she has spent oodles of cash on for a client is a fake. The plot is very competent with twists that have you saying "I should have see that" without making you feel cheated.

I got a better sense of Japan from this book than from the first, I don't know whether that's because settings lik

Morgan Dhu
Jan 16, 2015 rated it liked it
A very interesting mystery this time from Sujata Massey, involving an antique chest with a secret history and a series of murders that seem to dog its previous owners. Antiques dealer Rei Shimura finds herself in the middle of the investigation when she purchases the chest on behalf of a client only to discover that it has been tampered with - and people are dying because of it.

In addition to the basic mystery plot, there was just way too much ficus on rei's relationship with Scottish lawyer Hug
This is the best book in the series so far. Rei isn't as selfish as usual, she is capable of friendship (her relationship with old Mr Ikeda is quite touching if a bit unbelievable), and I liked the side story of the Iranian guy, refreshingly unstereotypical in this series which is practically built on stereotypes. Plus, I enjoyed the details on Japanese antiques. Rei's boyfriend Hugh was too attentive and too intense to be realistic - but even he had some saving grace, namely his generosity towa ...more
Aug 10, 2011 rated it liked it
This is the second in the Rei Shimura this point, Rei has semi-established herself as a high-end antiques dealer in Toyko. When she is sent to find a tansu (cabinet) for a wealthy client, she finds herself swindled by a fake. The salesperson mysteriously dies, and Rei is once again simultaneously investigating a murder, and attempting to avoid her own demise. Her relationship with the Scotsman, hits a rocky patch and I'm hoping that it will be over and done with by the next installme ...more
Alma Q
It was quick and somewhat entertaining, somewhat irritating, and somewhat shallow read. I guess I already have a pretty good idea about who the murderer will be after reading two Rei Shimura books (view spoiler). Which shows that Rei is a saddeningly little developing character. On the other hand, the descriptions of Japanese society and culture in general do still grab the interest of [some, Western?] people and I may c ...more
Jan 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Rei Shimura, now working as an antiques dealer, is currently living in Japan with her boyfriend Hugh Glendenning. Chaos enters when his wild younger brother comes to stay. Add to that several killings, kidnappings, and priceless antiquities -- all in some way related to a bridal tansu Rei has just sold. Shimura's books give insight into life and customs in Japan. An added bonus this time is that much of the action and plot involve a Buddhist temple.
The second installment of the Rei Shimura series was another enjoyable page turner. Rei is starting out in the antique business & living with Hugh. The purchase of a tansu chest sets off a string of events that leads Rei to a Zen monastery and in danger. The story moves along nicely and keeps you reading to find out if Rei will be able to get out of the latest predicament she finds herself in.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This series takes place in Japan, and if you are interested in Japanese antiques, this series is for you. Rei the main character seems to attrack interesting situations where she becomes an investigator even though she has no real detective experience. Following her through the streets and shops of Japan, I feel as though I have returned there.
Trixie Fontaine
I thought this was an improvement over The Salaryman's Wife but there were some holes and some weird unresolved stuff (and homophobic vibes) that I *really* wanted to not be there, because the sporty daughter was such a great character in so many ways.
Sep 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. It combined several different cultures and looked at many issues including dealing with loved ones relatives to traditional inheritance. The main character, Rei, battled being a part of two different cultures along with trying to be a modern woman in a more traditional arena.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I had to read this for school, and thought meh, it something happening in Japan. Well, i was really supprised that the plot was really intriguing and I actually read it happily. It was, as I remember a detective story of some furniture company and there's also subplot of the maincharacters own private life.
Beth Harper
Never having been to Japan, I don't know how accurate its depiction of modern Japan is, but I love the depiction. Very atmospheric, very interesting characters. The Zen monastery where much of the story takes place is not what I expected of a Zen monastery, so that was very interesting. I identify with Rei Shimura's need for independence.
Nov 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: murder-mystery

This series is really excellent and would be best read in order. i unfortunately read the books out of order due to library availability. I still loved the books and am very sad that there will be no more books in this series. Rei Shimura is the Japanese equivalent of Stephanie Plum for those who enjoy that series by Janet Evanovich.
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Sujata Massey is the author of historical and mystery fiction set in Asia. She is best known for the Perveen Mistry series published in the United States by Soho Press and in India by Penguin Random House India. THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL, the first Perveen novel, was named a Best Mystery/Thriller of 2018 and also an Amazon Best Mystery/Thriller of 2018. Additionally, the book won the Bruce Alexan ...more

Other books in the series

Rei Shimura (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Salaryman's Wife (Rei Shimura #1)
  • The Flower Master (Rei Shimura #3)
  • The Floating Girl (Rei Shimura #4)
  • The Bride's Kimono (Rei Shimura #5)
  • The Samurai's Daughter (Rei Shimura #6)
  • The Pearl Diver (Rei Shimura #7)
  • The Typhoon Lover (Rei Shimura #8)
  • Girl in a Box (Rei Shimura #9)
  • Shimura Trouble (Rei Shimura #10)
  • The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)