Antiques dealer Rei Shimura has managed to snag one of the most lucrative and prestigious freelance jobs of her career: transporting a packet of exquisitely embroidered nineteenth-century kimonos from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., for an exhibit, and to give a lecture on them.
It's been years since Rei has set foot in the land of her birth, and in that time, she's become estranged from it. On the other hand, she does not exactly fit in with the band of Japanese office ladies she's accompanied, who have traveled to the United States for a week's worth of shopping. Still, everything seems to be going well enough, until one of the kimonos is stolen from her hotel room and Rei's passport shows up in a Dumpster behind a shopping mall -- on the dead body of one of the office ladies. In the middle of this, Rei's ex-boyfriend, Hugh Glendinning, inexplicably arrives in town.
The Bride's Kimono takes us on an utterly absorbing ride as Rei tries to find the stolen kimono, uncover its significance in an ancient Japanese love triangle, decide between two men, and unmask a murderer. The Bride's Kimono is Sujata Massey's strongest novel yet -- sexy and suspenseful, deftly balancing mystery, murder, romance, and culture shock with an alluring historical subplot involving priceless kimonos.
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Sujata Massey's lively bicultural series featuring Rei Shimura, the Tokyo antique dealer who can't seem to keep out of trouble, brings her heroine back to her American roots in this engaging tale of corruption and chicanery in the museum exhibition game. Rei is unexpectedly invited to accompany a treasure trove of antique kimonos to a Washington, D.C., museum and to deliver a couple of lectures on the cultural history of the gorgeous garments. A last-minute decision to substitute a priceless wedding kimono for one that's too fragile to travel sets in motion a chain of events that lands Rei in serious peril.
When Rei's former boyfriend, Scottish attorney Hugh Glendinning, turns up at the Washington museum, she's caught up in a romantic crisis, having just settled into a new relationship with Takeo Kayama, the Japanese playboy she met two books ago (in The Flower Master). But that dilemma is soon eclipsed by the theft of the wedding kimono, which was uninsured, and by the disappearance of Rei's seatmate on the flight from Japan. When the seatmate's dead body and Rei's passport and tickets turn up in a Washington dumpster, Rei is suspected of murder, larceny, and even prostitution. Through all this, Massey does a nice job of imparting a wealth of fascinating information on the kimono tradition.
Rei gets more appealing with every outing, and in this one Massey ratchets up the romantic tension and action--maybe because Rei's in a country that's more obsessed with sex than with tradition. Nicely plotted, well characterized, and carefully crafted, this may be Massey's best yet. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author :
Sujata Massey was a reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun and spent several years in Japan teaching English and studying Japanese. She is the author of The Salaryman's Wife, Zen Attitude, The Flower Master, The Floating Girl, The Bride's Kimono, The Samurai's Daughter, The Pearl Diver, and The Typhoon Lover. She lives in Minneapolis.
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