The Demon in the Teahouse

The Demon in the Teahouse

4.5 9
by Dorothy Hoobler, Thomas Hoobler
     
 

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The beautiful, mysterious women of Japan are being killed one by one. The famous samurai Judge Ooka knows he will need help to solve the crimes, so he turns to his newly adopted son, fourteen-year-old Seikei. Determined to prove his worth as a samurai, Seikei goes undercover as a teahouse attendant in the exotic "floating city" of Yoshiwara, where demons lurk among

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Overview

The beautiful, mysterious women of Japan are being killed one by one. The famous samurai Judge Ooka knows he will need help to solve the crimes, so he turns to his newly adopted son, fourteen-year-old Seikei. Determined to prove his worth as a samurai, Seikei goes undercover as a teahouse attendant in the exotic "floating city" of Yoshiwara, where demons lurk among the pleasure seekers and no one is safe-not even a samurai.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The authors of [The]Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (1999) return to the Japan of nearly 300 years ago for another whodunit solidly clad in accurate historical and cultural detail. The expertly unraveled mystery, as well as the vivid, exotic setting and fast-moving plot, will delight fans of Lensey Namioka's historical thrillers."Kirkus Reviews
VOYA
The book was engaging by providing clues when appropriate and supplying information on Samurai traditions. The characters, especially Seikei, maintain a human element without straying from the story line. Without realizing it, Seikei develops the qualities of a Samurai simply by being brave enough to put himself in the middle of dangerous situations. The themes of personal growth and development and coming-of-age are well supported through Seikei's experiences. An excellent choice for any ninth grader, young readers will enjoy this blend of history and mystery. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2001, Philomel, 208p, . Ages 12 to 15. Reviewer: Mike Maturo, Teen Reviewer SOURCE: VOYA, June 2001 (Vol. 24, No. 2)
Children's Literature
Fourteen-year-old Seikei has always admired the samurai ways. However, samurai traditions are handed down in families, and Seikei was born the son of a merchant. It seems he will never have the chance to train as a samurai. At least not until Judge Ooka, a well-known samurai and one of the shogun's most trusted officials, takes notice of Seikei. The Judge challenges Seikei and later brings him into his home. Finally, Seikei will receive the samurai training he has long desired. However, training is much more difficult than he expected, and Seikei wonders if he is meant to be a samurai. When someone begins murdering geishas in the city of Edo, Seikei sees a chance to prove himself. He poses as a teahouse attendee to gather information and help the Judge solve the crimes. In the process, Seikei learns much about danger, demons and revenge. This clever mystery is all the more thrilling for its exotic location. The Hoobler's provide a solid historical background and authentic characters in this chilling tale. 2001, Philomel, $17.99. Ages 8 to 12. Reviewer: Heidi Green
KLIATT
In this sequel to the exciting mystery The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (reviewed in KLIATT in Sept. 1999), fourteen-year-old Seikei, the newly adopted son of the wise samurai Judge Ooka, enters the world of geishas to solve a series of perplexing murders. This "floating world" is an island near Edo, in Japan, where beautiful and accomplished geishas entertain "to make men forget their cares." Worldly troubles have entered this special place, however, as a series of fires and murders has been plaguing the teahouses. Seikei must pose as a servant in a teahouse to help the judge solve the tricky mystery. Along the way, the reader will absorb much of the exotic culture of Japan of three centuries ago, the era of the Shoguns, and learn about the ways of geishas. Seikei is a bold and enterprising protagonist, while his mentor is a sort of Japanese Sherlock Holmes. This unusual mystery will appeal to fans of historical fiction too. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2001, Penguin Putnam/Philomel, 208p, $17.99. Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-When several geishas are murdered and fires are set in the Yoshiwara district of Edo, Judge Ooka knows he must act quickly. Based on a real character in 18th-century Japan who was known for his reasoning and his ability to solve crimes, the man comes up with a plan. He strategically places his adopted son, 14-year-old Seikei, in a teahouse frequented by a popular geisha who seems to have some connection to both the fires and the murders, and he tells him to keep his eyes open. Conscientious and clever, Seikei quickly finds a number of clues, but in the process is accused of setting a fire. In and out of trouble, this feisty boy, whose greatest desire is to become a samurai, is almost killed, but in the end, he solves the mystery and learns a bit about what Bunzo, his instructor, told him in the beginning: "A samurai must possess the way of the warrior." This sequel to The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (Philomel, 1999) is a fast-paced mystery with a well-constructed plot that moves quickly and often in dramatic ways. Seikei is a likable hero, a believable detective who encounters characters of all types who add to the rousing adventure and suspense.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The authors of Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (1999) return to the Japan of nearly 300 years ago for another whodunit solidly clad in accurate historical and cultural detail. Barely has young Seikei, newly adopted son of Edo's chief magistrate Judge Ooka, begun his samurai training when he's called upon to help the Judge investigate a rash of fires and murders. That investigation takes Seikei into Yoshiwara, the "Floating World" district of geishas and tea houses where, thanks to sharp eyes, careful questions, and a few well-timed revelations, he tracks down the culprit—though not before being tricked, framed, threatened with torture, drugged, and, in a rousing climax, nearly burned to death, while battling the deranged wife of a samurai who had killed himself for love of a geisha. The expertly unraveled mystery, as well as the vivid, exotic setting and fast-moving plot, will delight fans of Lensey Namioka's historical thrillers. According to the afterword, Judge Ooka was a real, and renowned, detective. (Fiction. 11-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142405406
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/03/2005
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
480,626
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.52(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"The authors of [The]Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (1999) return to the Japan of nearly 300 years ago for another whodunit solidly clad in accurate historical and cultural detail. The expertly unraveled mystery, as well as the vivid, exotic setting and fast-moving plot, will delight fans of Lensey Namioka's historical thrillers."—Kirkus Reviews

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