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 was also rather straight forward and there were really few surprises along the way. There were also a lot of references to the previous novel in the series "Black Lotus" which based on the comments was probably a better mystery than this one. Overall, a moderate recommendation based primarily on the setting and insights into Medieval Japan.