What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

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UNSOLVED: One specific book > Mystery, Private detective, Stolen antique temari ball made by master

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message 1: by Margret (last edited May 02, 2018 04:45PM) (new)

Margret Rosenberg | 11 comments I believe I read this book in the late 1980s, possibly the early '80s or late '70s. A private detective is hired to find an antique temari ball (embroidered ball - this is a Japanese craft that used to be done by the ladies of the imperial court) that has been stolen from either a museum or a private collection. The ball is extremely valuable: the choice of colors is perfect, the design is subtly elegant, and the person who created it was an acknowledged master of the craft, perhaps the acknowledged master.

I've no idea how old the book was, and don't remember whether it was hardback or paper; I don't remember any pictures (which would have been useful - if there had been a cover picture of a temari ball I would remember). My feeling is that it was set in the 1930s or '40s, like so many of the classic mysteries, but I'm not at all certain of that. I believe the author was a man.

Without going into any real detail about the pattern of the temari ball at the center of the mystery (just vague superlatives) there was still enough detail about the craft that when I ran into how-to books on temari later I immediately recognized it.

As is standard in mysteries, yes, the mystery was solved by the P.I., and the stolen ball safely recovered by the end of the book, but I remember no details. I'm pretty sure he ended up interviewing a lot of individuals who made their own temaris, and a lot of museum curators and such, but otherwise I remember very little about the actual investigation - it was the craft of temari that caught my imagination.


message 2: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40687 comments Mod
Margret, are you still looking for this or did you find it?


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