The Cloud Pavilion (Sano Ichiro Series #14)

( 17 )

Overview

Japan, 1701. A terrified woman is brutally attacked amid a swirling storm of clouds. Meanwhile, at Edo Castle, samurai detective turned chamberlain, Sano Ichiro, is suspicious of his old rival, Yanagisawa, who has been oddly cooperative since returning from exile. But just as Yanagisawa’s true motives begin to emerge, Sano’s estranged uncle comes to him for help: His daughter has disappeared, and he begs Sano and his wife, Reiko—who once suffered through the kidnapping of ...

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The Cloud Pavilion (Sano Ichiro Series #14)

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Overview

Japan, 1701. A terrified woman is brutally attacked amid a swirling storm of clouds. Meanwhile, at Edo Castle, samurai detective turned chamberlain, Sano Ichiro, is suspicious of his old rival, Yanagisawa, who has been oddly cooperative since returning from exile. But just as Yanagisawa’s true motives begin to emerge, Sano’s estranged uncle comes to him for help: His daughter has disappeared, and he begs Sano and his wife, Reiko—who once suffered through the kidnapping of their own son—to find her before it is too late.

 

Publishers Weekly calls Laura Joh Rowland's The Cloud Pavilion "One of the best mysteries of the year."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“One of the best mysteries of the year.”—Publishers Weekly

“Rowland has a painter’s eye for the minutiae of court life, as well as a politician’s ear for intrigue.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Entertaining. . . . . Rowland creates a well-crafted portrait of an exotic place and time.” —The Times-Picayune on The Cloud Pavilion

“An exercise in pure entertainment . . . [The Fire Kimono] takes us to an exotic time and place and overwhelms us with intrigue, romance, adventure, and frequent bloodshed.” —The Washington Post

“Demonstrating an impressive level of sustained excellence, Rowland’s mysteries set in seventeenth-century Japan form one of the best recent series in the genre.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Snow Empress

Publishers Weekly
In Rowland's masterful 14th historical to feature Sano Ichiro, a year has passed since the events chronicled in 2008's The Fire Kimono, but the calm that has prevailed since the shogun made Sano and his archrival, Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, co-chamberlains is about to be shattered. Maj. Kumazawa Hiroyuki, Sano's estranged uncle, comes to him for help after the major's 33-year-old daughter, Chiyo, disappears. The detective-turned-politician manages to find Chiyo, but not before she has been violated. The search for her assailant becomes more complicated once word reaches Sano that Chiyo was the third in a series of victims, following an elderly nun and a powerful gangster's teenage daughter. Established fans will be pleased by how Rowland has developed Sano's son, Masahiro, along with other secondary characters they have become attached to, while newcomers should find the people, plot and early 18th-century Japanese setting hard to resist. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In 1701 Japan, a young wife and mother is raped and left on the streets of Edo. Chamberlain Sano Ichiro (The Fire Kimono) is asked by his uncle to find the person responsible. The fact that Ichiro's mother was declared dead by her family when she married his father just adds to the antagonism Ichiro feels toward his uncle, and he must also keep a sharp eye on his mortal enemy, Yanagisawa, who is gaining in political strength and readying himself to destroy Ichiro. VERDICT With her 14th series historical, Rowland continues to turn out beautifully plotted, suspenseful mysteries. Recommend this to fans of I.J. Parker's Japanese feudal mysteries. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 7/09.]
Kirkus Reviews
Multiple crimes challenge Chamberlain Sano Ichiro, along with the return of a bitter rival. It's 1701 and Sano has risen steadily from the position of Most Honorable Investigator to right hand of Japan's supreme dictator Tokugawa Tsunayoshi. At a battle game designed to entertain the shogun and his court, as well as to quell the restlessness of inactive warriors, "General" Sano defeats a masked opposing general who reveals himself as Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, Sano's former nemesis and predecessor as chamberlain. He's returned from exile an apparently changed man, a prodigal son warmly welcomed by the shogun. But Sano has doubts, almost immediately confirmed in scenes with Yanagisawa and his devoted son Yoritomo. Despite past grievances, Sano's estranged uncle, Major Kumazawa, appeals for help in locating his missing daughter Chiyo. Riding to the temple where she was last seen, Sano soon finds Chiyo and learns that she's been raped. He is hot to find the culprit, but Kumazawa wants to keep the crime secret. Sano's wife Reiko, who got a taste for detective work in her husband's last outing (The Cloud Pavillon, 2009, etc.), is anxious to test her skills again. More crimes follow when Sano's probe takes him to Edo's dangerous criminal underworld, but an even greater challenge is keeping control of those around him, all with clashing agendas. Gracefully written and replete with historical detail, more character-driven and linearly plotted than most of its 13 predecessors, this is a fine entry point for series newbies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312652555
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/7/2010
  • Series: Sano Ichiro Series , #14
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 437,015
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Joh Rowland is the author of thirteen previous Sano Ichiro thrillers, including The Fire Kimono that was named one of the Wall Street Journal’s Five Best Historical Mystery Novels.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 17 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2011

    Great book!

    I love this author and have read all 14 Sano Ichiro books, feudal Japan is so interesting with great description of their culture and customs and always great plots. Keep giving us more!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Good for long time fans.

    The plot was good, and I admit I was wondering what in the world Yanagisawa is upto as he's always constantly plotting and neverending in his plot to get rid of Sano. Although it is getting somewhat stale and repetitive for the last several books and I'm wondering if there's anything new to this. At least the mystery case is new and different from previous cases. It's the same format, with Sano dealing with personal issues while trying to solve the case at the same time. It surprised me that this time the shogun did not threaten with his usual death threat when Sano wasn't doing his job "right". However, lo and behold, the shogun threatens him later in the book (which induced eye rolling on my part, as it is tending to get extremely formulaic by now).

    However, I still enjoy reading the well written historical descriptions of feudal Japan and its social mores and customs. It is interesting to read and I could picture the setting clearly in my head while reading. This is what I like the most about reading these books. The political intrigue was still there and I used to like reading about it in the past, this time however it was subtle and I kept on guessing what was going to happen. It was a nice little surprise once I read Yanagisawa's vile little plot (and here I thought he couldn't get any worse).

    Regarding the mystery, it was all right to read. Although it wasn't as exciting as I thought it would be. The suspects weren't that great to begin with, and I felt myself not really guessing who was the perpetrator. There wasn't much to it and when it was solved, there was a great big climax which I did enjoy reading as I did sympathize with these women who were violated and then horribly ostracized and treated as if they were the ones at fault by their own families and friends. It offered them closure, and it was a good way of ending the mystery. The political intrigue however just got started and just got really interesting however, it was at the end of the novel and I was stuck pulling my hair as to what was going to happen now to Sano and his family.

    What really annoys me in this series lately is Hirata. I'm not into this mystic martial arts thing and it all makes him sound like he's superman. However I find that he doesn't do much with the plot and only continues to be annoying with using his powers. Although the introduction of the "mystery ninja" who's stalking Hirata got my interest, it wasn't enough to make me accept this mystic martial arts plot. I still prefer the "old" Hirata before he became a martial arts master.

    Overall, a long time fan isn't missing much in terms of mystery but the political intrigue packs a huge punch at the end. I'd say read it just because you've probably read the previous 13 books before. Those new to Sano Ichiro may or may not like this one however if you ask me, try reading The Concubine's Tattoo (which is my personal favorite).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    Excellent as always

    Rowland has done it again. She has brought forth characters that both challenge and inspire the reader. She is a super writer. I have all her works at this time.

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  • Posted November 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Laura Joh Rowland does it AGAIN with the Cloud Pavilion!

    The on-going battle between Sano and Yanagisawa has never been so riveting! Each one, poised and ready to strike, are many times within such close proximity that you can feel the horrific tension between them. Ms. Rowland has gifted us with a worthy inclusion to the Sano Ichiro saga, pushing our hero even further into the web of conspiracy and murder than he ever thought he would travel. I am amazed, as always, by the lush, descriptive prose that Ms. Rowland has shared with us, a voice that carries us back to days of Tokugawa Tsunayoshi with true period authenticity.

    A truly great read, and a dynamic addition to the Sano saga, indeed!

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    super Japanese historical mystery

    In Edo in 1701, though some time has passed, Chamberlain Sano Ichiro reels from what happened last year that dishonored his family (see THE FIRE KIMONO). He knows he is fortunate to still have his position still and his beloved wife Reiko always at his side. Still Sano hurts with the betrayal, but vows to do his job with honor in support of his liege Japan's supreme dictator Tokugawa Tsunayoshi.

    During a war scenario tournament to occupy the soldiers who have seen no action lately, Sano defeats his masked opponent, former Chamberlain Yanagisawa Yoshiyasu, who the shogun has welcomed home from exile, an allegedly changed person. Sano does not trust his adversary further than he can throw him as he believes Yanagisawa and his most loyal son Yoritomo plot mischief. However, Sano has no time to consider what his enemy plans when his estranged uncle Major Kumazawa pleads with his nephew and Reiko to find his missing daughter Chiyo last seen at a nearby temple. Sano locates his cousin who was raped but his uncle wants to conceal the dishonor rather than pursue the culprit. Still with Reiko at his side they follow clues to the deadly criminal element inside of Edo while his fears of Yanagisawa's scheming come to bear against Sano with the shogun angry at him.

    The latest Sano Japanese historical mystery is a super entry as the readers feels as if we have been transported back in time and place due to the rich background. As with the previous entry, the story line is driven by the cast especially Sano's extended family members who have been estrange for decades and of course his nastiest rival. Fans will appreciate THE CLOUD PAVILION as once again it is family matters that drive the hero and his intrepid wife.

    Harriet Klausner

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