Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura, #2)” as Want to Read:
Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Zen Attitude (Rei Shimura #2)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  1,197 Ratings  ·  66 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Zen Attitude, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Zen Attitude

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
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.
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
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.
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.
Aug 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tohutult põnev jaapani kriminull, mida ei saa käest ära panna. Humoorikas ja ladusalt kirjutatud. Pakub kindlasti huvi kõigile, kellel soov jaapani kultuurist rohkem teada saada.
Olivia Winter
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
Elaine Roberson
An interesting read. I really enjoyed the insights into Japanese life, culture, and antiques.
#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.
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.
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.
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.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit, viihde
Hyvä dekkari, jonka luin yhteen putkeen pitämättä juurikaan taukoja. Juoni oli aika kekseliäs ja yllättävä ja piti otteessaan ihan loppuun asti. Tosin Hughin veljen sekoittamisen mukaan olisi voinut jättää poiskin. Se, mistä pidin ensimmäisessäkin Shimura-kirjassa, japanilaisen kulttuurin yhdistämisestä dekkarimaailmaan, on tallella. Hyvä kirja ja Rei on miellyttävä tuttavuus henkilöhahmona.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
I liked this book, the second of Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura series. It did not hold me as strongly as the first one, but it had many interesting moments, and I learned about the world of antiques in Japan.
Peter Flom
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysterythriller
This is an early book in the Rei Shimura series. Shimura is a Japanese-American art dealer, living in Tokyo. In this novel, she is hired to find a tansu (a kind of chest). She finds it - or thinks she does - but then lots of complcations ensue.
aida sabri
Mar 16, 2007 rated it it was amazing
My first Sujata Massey book was The Salaryman's Wife. I was completely hooked by the story and decided to take on the second book, Zen Attitude. Not a surprise I was hooked too !!! Now I am a Sujata Massey's fan and read all of her books !!!
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tutustuin ensimmäistä kertaa Rei Shimuraan. Oli kyllä mukava piipahtaa Japanissa, mutta jos etsii oikein koukuttavaa murhamysteeriä, pitää etsiä toisaalta. Viihdyttävä on ehkä tätä parhaiten kuvaava sana. Suosittelisin kevyeksi lomalukemiseksi, joka ei mieltä paina nukkumaanmenoaikaan.
Susan Strickland
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan

I loved this one, too. Books about tansu with false bottoms? They don't get old. Nor does Rei Shimura wearing disguises and lying to the police, her family, and her employers, in the name of justice. Again, I had the killer pegged from early on, though I had my doubts at times.
Jun 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: silly-series, fiction
I enjoy every adventure with Rei. I am sad to learn that the series has ended. I have kept the last one from myself, to prolong that reality. Happy, easy reads, and I feel like I am learning a little bit about other cultures.
May 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Interesting info re Japan. Generally well written. Nice cast of characters but Hugh is a twit and relationship with Rsi does not quite click. Few other interactions also a bit off.
Would read more books by this author
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Red Mandarin Dress (Inspector Chen Cao #5)
  • The Concubine's Tattoo (Sano Ichiro, #4)
  • A Death in the Family (Detective Kubu #5)
  • Baltimore Noir
  • The Finishing Stroke (Ellery Queen Detective, #26)
  • Reflecting the Sky (Lydia Chin & Bill Smith, #7)
  • Inspector Imanishi Investigates
  • Sara ja levottomat jalat (Sara, #3)
  • The Secrets of Mariko: A Year in the Life of a Japanese Woman and Her Family
  • Dark Reservations
  • Death of an Englishman (Marshal Guarnaccia Mystery, #1)
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)
  • The Flower Master
  • The Floating Girl
  • The Bride's Kimono
  • The Samurai's Daughter
  • The Pearl Diver
  • The Typhoon Lover
  • Girl in a Box
  • Shimura Trouble (Rei Shimura #10)
  • The Kizuna Coast (Rei Shimura Mystery, #11)