Second in a series, this mystery has a quiet, almost Zen-like center. Set within the Japanese-American subculture in New York City, the book's atmosphere is compelling and unique.

Japanese-American gardener Mas Aria has come to New York from California to help his daughter, Mari, the gasa-gasa— a Japanese term meaning "never sitting still, always on the go"—girl of the title. This time, Mari is busy trying to extricate herself from a murder charge. When Mas finds a clue as to who may have framed his daughter, he follows a dangerous trail that the police dismiss.

Mas is an unlikely but tenacious gumshoe, a Hiroshima survivor who has an uneasy truce with American culture. The complex and layered story blends together character, setting and plot in satisfying harmony. (Apr., 304 pp., $12.00)
Reviewed by: 
Cindy Harrison