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Book Review of Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro, Bk 6)

Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro, Bk 6)
reviewed on
Helpful Score: 3

This is the 6th book in the Sano Ichiro Mystery Series and where I began, however, if you are starting this series begin with first two books, "Shinju" or "Bundori." These earlier books focus more closely on Sano Ichiro. Can read books out of order and still enjoy.

This book draws much more on Lady Reiko, Sano's very atypical Japanese wife, to solve the mystery. She entered the stories more fully at book four, "The Concubine's Tattoo." By combining this semi-liberated independent minded Lady Reiko as another narrative viewpoint to Sano Ichiro stories, Rowland changes flow of storyline to include issues of husband and wife domestic issues (I.e. kids, jealousy, child care.)

Depending how you like Lady Reiko as main character, this is either a fresh addition or unlikely evolution given Japanese setting of Sano Ichiro mystery. The characters seem more Western, Lady Reiko emerges like modern woman selectively acting through traditional Japanese role. Ichiro in turn is less alpha male samurai and more the sensitive democratic open-minded liberal male.

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