Laura Joh Rowland

What am I reading today? Today we’ve got a murder mystery from Laura Joh Rowland. More than this one book, Rowland is responsible for writing the seven different books in this series of novels, starting with Shinju. The whole series centers around a scholar, turned police detective, in Japan during the 1600s.

I personally enjoy novels that deal with other cultures, in particular Japan. Not sure why – too much Asian food as a kid I ‘spose, but I like the culture. Anyway, the first novel spawns off the other six with returning characters and continuing to solve mysteries. I won’t give any of the story away, but like Grisham, Rowland has kept me guessing as to what might happen next. She’s also a pretty interesting read in that she writes well and fluidly, has a good editor that doesn’t leave many typos (a rarity these days, it seems) and a good and twisted mind when it comes to plots. I will also say that she’s kinda graphic about a number of different Adult Themes – must be authors from New Orleans, bless’m, b/c Anne Rice is also from the area and is certainly no stranger to adult story lines – including an occasional same sex match up. To put it plainly, if you’re acutely homophobic, these books are not for you. However, if you have an open mind and understand the way things were in the 1600s in Japan, this will become just another facet of the story line. Overall, her books (start with Shinju and go from there) are keeping me pretty entertained.

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