Matsuyama Kaze is a ronin, or masterless samurai. Kaze must travel across Japan until he fulfills a promise made to his dying Lord and Lady - to find their nine-year-old daughter. Not satisfied with the conclusions of local officials, he sets out to solve the crime himself. Kaze stumbles upon a corpse shot with an arrow at the crossroads leading to a small town. He soon becomes embroiled with an unlikely - and untrustworthy - cast of characters as colorful as they are crafty. Each has secrets to keep and axes to grind, and it will take all of Kaze's subtlety, stealth and samurai skills to unravel the mystery and unmask the killer.
"This is a wonderful novel...an exact historical rendering of the time." (Margaret Chittenden, author of the CHARLIE PLATO mystery series)
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The face of remarkable actor Toshiro Mifune might insist on looming up before your eyes as you read this engrossing new historical mystery about a rogue samurai warrior named Matsuyama Kaze ("Pine Mountain Wind" ) roaming through rural Japan in 1603--the year that began the long, oppressive reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In the first book of a planned trilogy, Dale Furutani first introduces us to Kaze in a scene straight from the Gregory Peck movie "The Gunfighter," as the wily, middle-aged samurai outwits a young challenger. Then, on the road to the country village of Suzaka, Kaze and a local charcoal seller find the body of a stranger, pierced by an arrow. The local lords are quick to pin the crime on a bandit chief, Boss Kuemon, but Kaze's investigation points to a less obvious killer. Telling his subtle, strong story, Furutani conjures up compelling images: "As he walked along the path, Kaze looked at the splashes of blue sky peeking through the woven branches of the trees. It was a constantly changing mosaic that recalled the intricately painted patterns on the expensive Satsuma porcelains he knew from his youth." Furutani's two modern mysteries, Death in Little Tokyo (which won an Anthony for best first novel) and The Toyotomi Blades, are available in paperback. --Dick AdlerFrom the Publisher:
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