Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro Novels)

Rowland, Laura Joh

Published by Minotaur Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 125002563X / ISBN 13: 9781250025630
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In September of 1693, the Black Lotus Temple, spiritual center for hundreds of Buddhist nuns, monks, priests, and orphans, is burned to the ground leaving three dead and one orphan running for cover. Veteran samurai-detective Sano Ichiro, the Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations and People, is called on to investigate the incident. He quickly discovers that despite appearances, the victims did not die in the fire: they were brutally murdered before the fire even began.

With a triple homicide on his hands, Sano's search for a killer leads him to Haru, the orphan girl found at the scene of the crime. But Sano's wife Reiko, investigating the case against Sano's wishes, is convinced of Haru's innocence. Reiko's investigation leads her behind the walls of the Black Lotus Temple. It is within these walls that she discovers a sect involved in extortion, prostitution, and hedonistic rituals. Could one of the sect's members be the killer? Will Reiko risk her marriage to Sano in order to prove Haru's innocence?

Set in the luscious finery of the samurai court of medieval Japan, this latest installment in the best-selling series by Laura Joh Rowland, is filled with shocking surprises and suspense as readers are once again allowed access into the world of Sano Ichiro.

Review: Samurai detective Sano Ichiro, the hero of Laura Joh Rowland's beautifully written mysteries set in Shogun-era Japan, (The Samurai's Wife, The Concubine's Tattoo), investigates an arson murder at the Black Lotus temple, in which the only witness--a young girl who swears she doesn't remember what happened--is also the only suspect. But Sano's wife, Reiko, believes that Haru is innocent and that the real culprits are hiding behind the barred gates of the temple, home to a mysterious sect that is rumored to be responsible for a number of criminal acts. Under pressure to solve the crime, Sano agrees to let Reiko help, but when she takes matters into her own hands, it puts his career in jeopardy and nearly destroys their marriage. Who is the mysterious Abbess of the Black Lotus, and what is the sect's real goal? Is Haru the innocent youngster Reiko believes her to be, or does the evidence Sano uncovers reveal her deceitful nature and complicity in the murders of a child, a young woman, and a high-ranking police commander? As usual, Rowland turns in a brilliant re-creation of a time and place unfamiliar to most readers: the imperial court of 17th-century Japan, whose intrigues and excesses provide a fascinating backdrop for the most charming husband and wife detective team since Nick and Nora Charles. If you haven't discovered Rowland yet, Black Lotus is your opportunity; this is a series with real staying power. --Jane Adams

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Title: Black Lotus (Sano Ichiro Novels)
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: 2001
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 0th Edition.

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