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

(Sano Ichiro #7)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,249 ratings  ·  45 reviews
In feudal Japan, passion and secrets lead to murder. . .

From A Remote, Exotic World. . .
Sano Ichiro, Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, awakens from a turbulent dream into a real-life nightmare. Lord Matsudaira Mitsuyoshi, the shogun's cousin and heir, has been murdered after a night of debauchery in the city's pleasure quarter...

Comes A Danger
Paperback, 368 pages
Published April 14th 2003 by St. Martin's Press (first published 2002)
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3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,249 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Lauri Saplad
A very clever installment in the Sano Ichiro mystery series! This time the shogun's Most Honorable Investigator of Events is hot on the trail of a cold blooded killer in Edo's pleasure district. The shogun's heir has been brutally murdered and a famous courtesan has gone missing. Sano's wife and retainers aid in his efforts to find the missing girl and solve the murder, but many enemies conspire to twist the facts to make it seem that Sano himself may be responsible for this crime. With many sur ...more
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.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was very difficult to find. Another fast moving mystery involving the royal investigator and his sleuthing wife. It becomes clear that there are certain arenas where men are not as effective in gathering information. In this book, the safety of the Sano family is in peril by a very misled character. Twists and turns.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poc-authors
I gotta stop reading these...
Apr 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jadetyger Sevea
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked 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
Jan 13, 2016 added it
I read this back in high school. Can't remember if I checked out one of this series from the library to read and then picked up this one after to continue, or if I saw this one at the library and then bought it at the store, or just the library wasn't even involved in the equation...anyway, I guess that doesn't really matter. I think I enjoyed it, but remember finding some parts to be a little shocking? As usual with fiction involving Japan, I wonder what present day me would think about it. Als ...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
May 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Aug 13, 2012 rated it liked 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.
Aug 08, 2009 rated it liked it
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.

Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
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.
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
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.
Sep 22, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: asian
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.
Mayte Sánchez
May 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
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...!
Judith Reed
Nov 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Characters from previous books show up in this one, therefore linking them together. Interesting reading. Wish these were in large print.
Steve Woods
Aug 18, 2011 rated it liked it
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!
Aug 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
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 :)
Faithangel366 Stoyanova
Много хубава книга макар и краят да беше леко ясен :)
Mar 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
Love this whole series. A scrappy honorable Samurai and his unconventional wife solve mysteries while fighting off evil politicians.
Dec 09, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is the 7th book in the Sano Ichiro series.
Lisa Picard
Sep 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Intrigue and politics in 17th century Japan. A most unusual detective story. Beautifully written with a great sense of time and place.
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book in the series. It progresses with characters nicely and the plot is interesting.
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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.

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)