The Bride's Kimono: Rei Shimura Mysteries 5

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Teaser: In The Bride's Kimono, Rei is given her best job yet; she will be presenting a series of lectures on Japanese kimono at a museum in Washington, D.C. She is also responsible for the transporting of the delicate clothing from Tokyo to the US, so she leaves Takeo to his house renovation and dashes to Washington.

When she arrives in Washington, she is bombarded with a multitude of events. One of the museum's kimono is stolen from her hotel room, her passport is swiped by a fellow Japanese tourist who is found murdered, and, as fate would have it, she finds herself face to face with Hugh once again. Only Rei could go from museum courier to prime murder suspect in a matter of hours and still have time to stress about the love triangle in which she has found herself.

Short Thought: A good addition to the series that is finally getting back to what everyone loved.

Expanded Thoughts: I have mixed thoughts about this novel. I gave it four owls because It seemed that the author was finally getting back on point. There were elements in there that reminded me why I got sucked in the series in the first place.

The author chose Washington, D.C. as the setting for this mystery. I think that it was great to see Rei in her native country. (Although she seems to turn up nose up at it.) We also are given a look at Japanese tourists on American soil. It was a nice complement to the books set in Japan.

Massey also didn't disappoint with her endless tidbits of Japanese and culture. In this novel, we primary are shown some aspects of museum culture and are given an in-depth lesson about kimono are their cultural significance. This author is very good about enriching the reader's knowledge in a straightforward and interesting manner.

My only complaint about the setting is that America is portrayed in an awful manner. When the book was set in Japan, we are treated to these wonderful, helpful, and interesting people. In America, we just get loud, ignorant, and self-absorbed jerk wads that can't listen to reason and mow people down. It was shocking in some instances how biased it was. I guess one could just trumped it up to Rei's snobbish attitude toward the U.S, but it did reddened my face a few shades.

Enough about the intellectual babble, what about the romance and the characters? First off, Rei's parents finally make it into the picture when they meet her in D.C. They are very interesting and as different as oil and water. (Traditional Japanese man and Upper East Side-type debutante). As for Rei's romantic life, it takes a whip lashing turn that gives the reader much more insight into Rei's true nature and attitude. She leaves her very wealthy Japanese boyfriend in Japan as she travels to D.C. In D.C., she runs into Hugh, her former lover. I don't want to give too much away, so I'll just say that I lost a ton of respect for Rei after this book. The way she carries herself is definitely not her true nature.

In conclusion, it was a wonderful addition to the series. Although a bit forced at times, it made for a wonderful romantic mystery.

Additional Notes: This novel contains scenes of a mild sexual nature.

Additional Notes (2): This is the 5th novel in the Rei Shimura Mysteries by Sujata Massey.

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