The year 1691 is a tumultuous one in Japan. There are many dark secrets at the Imperial Court, and rumors of war. When court minister Konoe is brutally murdered, Sano Ichiro, the Shoguns Most Honorable Investigator of Events, is asked to personally oversee the case. Sano knows that his lovely, intelligent, non-traditional wife, Lady Reiko, will soon be on the case as well, but he doesnt really mind.

As Sano investigates, he learns much of the character of the late Konoe and none of it is pleasant. Konoe was a user of women and it is here that Lady Reikos skills shine as she questions various high-born ladies. The two eventually uncover evidence of something rotten in the royal court, something that might cost Sano and Reiko their lives and endanger the future of Japan as well.

THE SAMURAIS WIFE is an exquisite tale of murder, passion, and revenge. Feudal Japan springs to vibrant life under Ms. Rowlands skillful hand, and the sleuthing team of Sano and Reiko will touch your heart. All lovers of mystery, the orient, romance, and history will enjoy this magnificent tale. (Apr., 261 pp., $6.99—Hardcover published April 2000)

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg