The Typhoon Lover (Rei Shimura Series #8)

The Typhoon Lover (Rei Shimura Series #8)

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by Sujata Massey
     
 

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A young woman with a foothold in two cultures, Rei Shimura has gone wherever fortune and her unruly passions have led her throughout her chaotic twenties. Now, after the streamers for her thirtieth birthday celebration have been taken down, the Japanese-American antiques dealer and part-time sleuth finds herself with an assignment to find and authenticate an

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Overview

A young woman with a foothold in two cultures, Rei Shimura has gone wherever fortune and her unruly passions have led her throughout her chaotic twenties. Now, after the streamers for her thirtieth birthday celebration have been taken down, the Japanese-American antiques dealer and part-time sleuth finds herself with an assignment to find and authenticate an ancient Middle Eastern pitcher that disappeared from Iraq's national museum.

The piece is believed to be in the hands of a wealthy Japanese collector, whose passion for beauty extends to Rei herself. But when a devastating typhoon hits Tokyo, Rei is trapped with the object of her investigation—and with much much more than the fate of an ancient pitcher at risk.

Editorial Reviews

Baltimore Sun
“Most enjoyable.”
India Abroad magazine
“Sujata Massey’s latest whodunit has it all—great plot, exotic settings, and a mature protagonist.”
Mysterious Women
“A sometimes tense but always gripping story.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Tidy, swift entertainment....[Rei] stands out as one of the most appealing characters in an ongoing series.”
India Abroad Magazine
"Sujata Massey’s latest whodunit has it all—great plot, exotic settings, and a mature protagonist."
Publishers Weekly
In Agatha-winner Massey's winning eighth novel to feature Rei Shimura (after 2004's The Pearl Diver), State Department official Michael Hendricks recruits the Japanese-American antiques dealer, who's just turned 30 and is feeling ambivalent about still being single, to locate an ancient ibex ewer that disappeared from a Baghdad museum and is believed to be in the possession of Japanese collector Takeo Kayama, an ex-boyfriend of Rei's. After arriving in Japan just hours ahead of a typhoon that paralyzes the transportation system, Rei contacts her aunt Norie, a teacher at Takeo's flower arranging school, who reveals to her that Takeo's engaged to be married. Only Rei would think the typhoon a perfect cover for checking Takeo's summerhouse for the stolen ewer, and the outcome disastrously affects all concerned. Massey gleefully contrasts the young, bizarrely garbed generation, including Rei's own cousin and Takeo's fiance, with traditional Japanese society. Rei winds up with a badly bruised heart, but the ending hints at intriguing future possibilities. Agent, Kim Witherspoon. (Oct.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The federal government recruits an Asian art expert to find a missing Mesopotamian vessel. The CIA is mighty secretive when they invite Rei Shimura for a job interview at the Smithsonian. When they offer a visa that will let her re-enter Japan after having been booted out (The Pearl Diver, 2004, etc.), Rei agrees to look for the Ibex ewer, a 3,000-year-old treasure stolen from the National Museum of Iraq and now believed to be in Japan. But Rei can't tell her boyfriend, Hugh, about her new job. And she'll have to deal with her old boyfriend Takeo Kayama, who may be masterminding an antiquities smuggling ring in Japan. After memorizing code names, taking a crash course in Middle Eastern pottery and pocketing a cell phone assigned to her by Michael Hendricks of the State Department, Rei alights in Tokyo, sleeps with Takeo, then meets his fiancee Emi, who, distraught, promptly dies in a car accident. While breaking and entering various estates, dealing with the super-rich and politically connected, she suffers through a typhoon's aftermath. Fortified by sushi and ramen, she tracks down Emi's jilted boyfriend and his Turkish kinfolk and wraps up a case that has more to do with passport brokering than waylaid art. Where has Massey's humor gone? Rei's turned glum, maybe because she sees that if she really is about to embark on a spying career, her series has run out of steam.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060765132
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/29/2006
Series:
Rei Shimura Series, #8
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
1,476,935
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Meet 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.

Read an Excerpt

The Typhoon Lover


By Sujata Massey

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Sujata Massey
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060765135

Chapter One

I've never thought of myself as the blindfold type.

Not on planes, not in beds, and certainly not in restaurants. Especially not a place like DC Coast, where I was sitting on the evening of my thirtieth birthday, listening to my dinner companion trying his best to be persuasive.

"What happens next will be very special." Hugh said, picking up the small black mask that he'd placed next to our shared dessert. "You don't have to put the blindfold on inside here. Just a little later."

"You promised no party," I reminded him, but not sharply. My stomach was filled with a pleasant melange of tuna tartare and crawfish risotto and crispy fried bass. It had been an orgy of seafood and good wine, just my kind of night.

"Hmm," Hugh said, studying the restaurant bill.

"If it's not a surprise party, where are you taking me?" I prodded.

"Let's just say I've got two tickets to paradise."

I rolled my eyes, thinking Hugh was showing his age, when I'd rather keep mine confidential. I didn't mind having a delicious, leisurely dinner, but he'd practically rushed me through cappuccino and creme brulee. Hugh was frantic to leave, making me think he definitely had something planned.

As we waited for the car to be brought to us on the busy cornerof Fourteenth and K streets, Hugh folded the tiny black blindfold into my hand. "It's never been used, if that makes you more comfortable. I saved it from my last trip to Zurich."

"I thought you didn't believe in regifting?" I asked lightly.

"Well, you didn't want a ring. What else can I offer you?" The undercurrent of irritation in Hugh's voice was clear. I'd worn his beautiful two-carat emerald for a short while, but ultimately returned it, because engagement rings scared me just as much as turning thirty did. Hugh was thirty-two; he'd been ready for the last three years. I wondered if I'd ever be.

The valet pulled up with the car and jumped out to open the passenger side for me. I got in, feeling a mixture of excitement and fear about what lay ahead. As we pulled off into traffic, I reclined my seat as far as it would go, hoping that this way, nobody would notice the woman with short black hair and a matching mask over her eyes. Anyone who caught a glimpse might think I'd just come out of plastic surgery or something like that -- though most Washington women who went in for that flew to Latin America, where the plastic surgeons were good and there were no neighbors to bump into.

"Are we headed for the airport?" I asked, with a sudden rush of hope. "No chance." Hugh sounded regretful. "It would have been fun to get away, but I can't risk any absences when the partner-track decisions are forthcoming."

Hugh was a lawyer at a high-pressure international firm a few blocks away. He'd been working for the last year on a class action suit that still wasn't ready to roll. His work involved frequent travel back to Japan, the country of my heritage, where we'd met a few years earlier. I would have loved to travel with him, but I couldn't, because I was banned from Japan. It was a complicated story that I didn't want to revisit on a night when I was supposed to be happy.

"Don't think about it," I muttered to myself. It was my habit to talk to myself sometimes, to try to shut out the bad thoughts that threatened what was a perfectly pleasant life.

"What don't you want to think about?"

"I'm getting nauseated from wearing a blindfold in a moving car," I said. "Not to mention that my nerves are shot because you won't tell me what's going to happen next."

"Oh, I'm sorry. Just hang on, I'll open the window." Hugh pressed the control that slid down the passenger-side window next to me. "We're just going around the corner to park. Will you survive another two minutes?"

I nodded, glad for a chance to listen to the sounds of the road. I could tell this wasn't our neighborhood, Adams-Morgan, with its mix of pulsating salsa music, honking horns, and shouting truck drivers. All I heard was a slow, steady purr of cars caught in traffic. After a while, the car moved again and turned a corner. Then it stopped. Hugh's window slid down.

"Paradise, sir?" A strange man's voice asked.

"That's right. Were staying till the wee morning hours," Hugh said. "Will this cover it?"

Before the parking valet could answer, I had a few words of my own. "Hugh, you know that I have a nine-thirty meeting at the Sackler Gallery tomorrow. You can very well stay until the wee hours, but I can't."

"Job interviews come and go. Thirtieth birthdays are only once!" He sounded positively gleeful.

My door was opened, and I unbuckled my seat belt. Then I felt a hand on my wrist, helping me out.

"You must be the girl getting the big birthday surprise." The valet's voice came from somewhere to the left.

I was busy working through the situation -- was this a boutique hotel, maybe? -- when Hugh tugged my hand. "There's going to be a downward flight of steps in a moment. Just take it slowly."

"What kind of a hotel has subterranean rooms?" I demanded.

"You'll know soon enough." Ten steps, and then a flat surface. "I'm going to hold the door open. Just step through."

I had no sight, but my other senses were bombarded. First, the sounds -- "Japanese Girls," an Eels song pounding ominously, and lots of voices: talking, laughing, shrieking. Then there were the smells -- smoke from cigarettes and sandalwood incense.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Typhoon Lover by Sujata Massey Copyright © 2006 by Sujata Massey. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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