×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Death in Little Tokyo: (Ken Tanaka Series #1)
     

Death in Little Tokyo: (Ken Tanaka Series #1)

by Dale Furutani
 

See All Formats & Editions

It's Ken Tanak's turn to stage a mock mysery for the Los Angeles Mystery Club and he's determined to do it right. Tanaka sets himself up as a fake P.I., office and all, only to have a femme fatale straight out of the movies try to hire him. Taking the case on a whim, Ken's detecting leads him to a mutilated corpse in a Little Tokyo hotel room. The police suspect

Overview

It's Ken Tanak's turn to stage a mock mysery for the Los Angeles Mystery Club and he's determined to do it right. Tanaka sets himself up as a fake P.I., office and all, only to have a femme fatale straight out of the movies try to hire him. Taking the case on a whim, Ken's detecting leads him to a mutilated corpse in a Little Tokyo hotel room. The police suspect Tanaka, and to clear his name, he becomes caught up in a mystery involving the Japanese Mafia and an international smuggling scheme. From the quaint shops of Little Tokyo to a seed strip joint, the murderer's trail leads back to a tragic chapter in America's past. And when it comes to finding the killer with a very sharp sword, the answer is too close to home...

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
The premise for Death in Little Tokyo is that mystery enthusiast Ken Tanaka belongs to the L.A. Mystery Club and he's setting up a role-playing mystery for the group, in which he plays a hard-boiled P.I. When a beautiful woman hires him as a go-between, he immediately assumes someone is playing a joke. Unfortunately, the murder that follows is no joke. Good local color and interesting details about modern Japanese-American customs and rituals.

—Margaret Maron

Kirkus Reviews
The contrived premise for Furutani's first novel is that fortysomething, unemployed Ken Tanaka—a dedicated member of the L.A. Mystery Club—sets himself up as a make-believe private-eye (even renting an office, printing business cards, etc.) as part of a mystery-weekend game he's planning. Naturally, a passerby mistakes him for the real thing. She's blond bombshell Rita Newly, who hires eager, dumb Ken to pick up a package (embarrassing photos, supposedly) from a blackmailing Japanese businessman named Matsuda. Ken gets the package—which contains valuable papers, not photos; Matsuda gets gruesomely murdered. So Ken, a suspect, goes sleuthing, trying to locate the Little Tokyo stripper who was Matsuda's final date while tangling with some violent mobsters (who want the package). It would take tremendous style and atmosphere, of course, to transform this familiar, short-story-ish plot into a satisfying novel. Unfortunately, while charmless narrator Ken occasionally strains for humor, the filler here (except for a few persuasive glimpses into the Japanese-American community) is consistently unengaging: earnest exchanges between Ken and girlfriend Mariko, a recovering alcoholic; Mariko's first speech at an AA meeting; and bland musings on everything from anti-Asian racism and Kurosawa movies to Buddhist carnivals and Japanese woodblocks.

A wobbly debut.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312963231
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
10/28/1997
Series:
Ken Tanaka Series , #1
Pages:
211
Product dimensions:
4.22(w) x 6.73(h) x 0.64(d)

What People are Saying About This

Jean Hager
"A page-turner...Well-drawn characters and multiple plot lines deftly handled...A first-rate read." -- Author of the Molly Bearpaw and Mitch Bushyhead Cherokee mysteries

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews