Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Shogun's Daughter

I read The Shogun's Daughter for the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.  It is the 17th installment of a series with samurai Sano Ichiro as sleuth.  This is the first book of the series that I have read and it works great as a stand alone novel.

Tsuruhime is the shogun's daughter and she has succumbed to smallpox.  The mystery is whether she died of natural causes or was murdered.  She was the only person who could have produced an heir for the shogun.  After her death the shogun is told that he has a son named Yoshisato that he never knew about from one of his concubines.  Sano is tasked with finding out who killed Tsuruhime and gets caught up in the politics of feudal Japan in the 1700s.  

I enjoyed this novel immensely.  I have never read any historical mysteries set in Japan and learned a lot about life in this place and era.  In the beginning I had some trouble getting used to the Japanese names and expected it to be a long read.  Since the dialogue was modern the read went pretty fast.  It seemed , however, that most of the plot was about political intrigue instead of being about the solving of a crime.   The political intrigue, while fascinating, made the book seem longer than it needed to be.  

All in all this was a great book and I look forward to reading the entire series.

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