Red Chrysanthemum (Sano Ichiro, #11) Red Chrysanthemum discussion

Historical Asian Detective Stories

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message 1: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Dodson Of the 3 writers of stories about Asian Detectives, Laura Joh Rowland is , so far as I know, the only one who is actually Asian herself. I'm not sure about I.J. Parker, but the author of the Judge Dee novels, , whas Dutch. Paradoxically, Ms Rowland does least to creat the atmosphere of ancient China or Japan. Also, her stories about Reiko, the Samarai's wife, conducting her own investigations, is silly from a historical point of view. This is more like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys rather than Sherlock Holmes, but I always liked the Hardy Boys, and the stories are interesting and plot exciting. I will probably read one of her earlier novels in the future.

Pylgrym I like this series in small doses. I have read most of them sequentially. You jumped into the middle in what I considered one of the less successful. The best ones start about the time he meets Reiko and for several books after. I agree that her part is somewhat indulgent but all fiction has taken a feminist turn in the last decade or so. Female empowerment has played havoc with historical reality. I agree that the books are not very atmospheric but I find that a problem with most Asian novels. It may be cultural but I always remain one step removed. I seem to do better with cinematic versions. I found that I connected better with Memoirs of a Geisha on film. It may have something to do with Asian cultures being minutely visual down to the color of the flowers on fabric having layers of meaning.

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