This is the first book in the Samurai Mystery series which contains seven books. This book was pretty good, the writing style is a bit juvenile but it includes a lot of interesting Japanese traditions and history and has a great lead character.
Seikei is the fourteen year old son of a merchant and dreams of being a samurai. While his father and him are staying at an inn Seikei is awoken by a ghost who is stealing a priceless Ruby from one of the Samurai staying at the inn. When Seikei mentions the ghost to Judge Ooka, the samurai magistrate sent to investigate the case, Judge Ooka asks Seikei to assist him in solving the mystery.
The best part about this book is all of the information included on Japanese history and culture. At the end of the book the authors talk about which parts are real history and which parts are story. Another good part is the boy Seikei, he is such a hopeful character and always determined to follow his dreams.
The writing is more juvenile than other Middle Grade books that I usually read. Pretty simple use of language and words; so younger kids should be able to read it. I personally thought the dialogue was a bit too simplistic at times.
The authors weave a good mystery though and the characters are interesting and believable. The plot is somewhat complex and is interesting to follow; although I found it to be a bit predictable.
Overall I liked the book. I enjoyed the mystery and reading about Japanese culture and history, I thought Seikei was a very likable and endearing character. I wasn't a big fan of the writing style; I thought it was a bit simplistic even for the age group the book is aimed at. I will read the next book in the series and see how I like that one and then determine whether or not I will read the remaining five.