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Improbable but entertaining. Japanese-American Rei Shimura has been banned from Japan for her sleuthing but gets a chance to return thanks to the CIA. The agency wants to know about an ancient Iraqi ewer that has turned up in Japan, and although Rei's specialty is Japanese antiquities, she has the connections to find out what the government wants to know. The plot never answers the basic question: why does the American government care about an ancient piece of Middle Eastern pottery? Despite this, the book is entertaining and Rei is a compelling character.