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Shimura Trouble (Rei Shimura )
 
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Shimura Trouble (Rei Shimura ) [Kindle Edition]

Sujata Massey

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Agatha-winner Massey's engaging 10th mystery to feature antiques dealer and part-time spy Rei Shimura (after 2006's Girl in a Box), Rei and her father, who's recovering from a stroke, travel from California to Hawaii for a family celebration with previously unknown Shimura relatives, who turn out to be involved in a legal battle to recover land stolen from them during WWII. After Michael Hendricks, Rei's CIA colleague and current love interest, arrives in Honolulu, he helps Rei access classified information that may help to resolve the land issue, but something more sinister thickens the plot. Wildfires have been plaguing the leeward side of Oahu, where Rei and her relatives have rented a house. When Rei's newfound nephew, Braden, is arrested for arson, Rei joins Michael in a risky ploy to get evidence exonerating Braden. An appealing protagonist and memorable supporting characters blend smoothly with lessons in Hawaiian and Japanese history in a tale sure to win new readers for the series. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description

During a family reunion on the island of Oahu, Japanese-American spy/antiques dealer Rei Shimura is roped into helping the Hawaiian branch of her family regain land stolen from them during World War II. But when fire sweeps the island and her young cousin is accused of arson, Rei, with the assistance of both her boyfriend Michael and her ex-lover Hugh, must discover the truth that is linked to the Shimura family history.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1743 KB
  • Print Length: 242 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Originally published by Severn House in 2008; 2 edition (May 14 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0050Z3BPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Sayonara, Rei July 31 2008
By Hikari - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is with great sadness that I write this review for what is almost certainly (by the author's own admission on her website), the final book featuring spunky Japanese-American girl detective Rei Shimura. I can say without exaggeration that I consider Rei to be the freshest , quirkiest and most memorable creation in the female sleuth genre I have been privileged to find. I spent nearly 7 years living and working in Japan, and discovering Rei was like making an instant new friend whom I felt I had already known for years, a fellow cultural warrior who shared many of the same struggles I did as a semi-literate guest worker in that society. Her adventures in Japan were also a nostalgia tour for me, reconnecting me to the unique culture of the country where I spent so many transformational years. I have great affection for Rei and her habitat, which made it very difficult for me to enjoy later books in this series in which I felt the author was losing her grip on what was most compelling about Rei as a character. Rei is at her best when she is in Tokyo, working in her antiques business and interacting with her colorful cast of Japanese supporting characters in the course of her adventures. Rei may only be half-Japanese, but I feel she is only fully herself when she is set loose in Japan.

It has been a very long time since we enjoyed that Rei. After events at the end of "The Bride's Kimono" led to Rei's deportation from Japan, there was a sea change in the direction Massey took this series and regretfully it was not for the better. The book immediately following, "The Samurai's Daughter" was completely set in Rei's hometown of San Francisco, but that change of scenery worked as a brief respite for our overworked heroine (even though she did manage to almost get herself killed once again.) We hoped that after a break in America for Christmas, Rei would find her way back to Tokyo, or at least to her beloved antiques business. Alas, subsequent books (The Pearl Diver, The Typhoon Lover) showed us Rei still far adrift from her spiritual home. With "The Pearl Diver", action shifted to Washington, D.C., the setting for "The Bride's Kimono". There, Rei at least was given the relevant task of decorating a Japanese restaurant, a gig that got her back into what she does so well. Unfortunately that book also signaled Rei's final break with Hugh, and along with his baby that she miscarried, Rei seemed to lose her heart and soul as well. As bleak as that denouement would have been, Massey would have done better by Rei to end it there. The next two installments returned Rei to Japan for the bulk of the action, but that was small comfort when the action was so very ridiculous. Whatever was Massey thinking by making Rei an espionage agent? Rei has made a career out of talking her way into jobs and situations for which she is maginally qualified, but this was really stretching it to incredulity. Hugh fans like me are non-plussed with the extraneous introduction of a new love interest for Rei in the person of her (much older) boss at the spy agency. Michael Hendricks reads like a Harlequin fantasy boyfriend, handsome, dashing . . .and completely two-dimensional. In contrast to Hugh's colorfully flawed humanity, he's like a hologram.

Which brings us to "Shimura Trouble". Immediately I noticed that not only is it at least 100 pages shorter than all of Massey's other efforts, it has a different imprint as well. Perhaps Massey's long-time publishing house, HarperCollins, was as non-plussed with the direction (or lack thereof) in the last two books as I and refused this manuscript. Based on the author's plea on her website for libraries and collectors to purchase this last installment, that makes me think it's not selling well, which is, if true, absolutely justified. The appealing Hawaiian setting is not enough to overcome the weakest character development and least-involving storyline of Massey's career. Perhaps the obvious lack of effort in coming up with a title that,like all the others before it, references some aspect of Rei's Japanese heritage is clue enough that Massey is finished with Rei. Though Rei finally gets her happy ending, it's so rushed and perfunctory that we don't care. (Would the Rei we knew fail to invite her mother to her long-awaited wedding?) Obviously Massey was rushing this manuscript to deadline, because her characteristic care with plot detail is missing, big-time. You may want to purchase this if only to round out your collection of Rei Shimura. It by no means represents Rei, or Massey, in her best light. Though I own all ten books, Rei will live on in my mind as she was in the three strongest offerings of this series: "Zen Attitude"; "The Flower Master" and "The Bride's Kimono". These present Rei in all her tough-minded, independent, stubborn, prickly, energetic glory. The last four books in this series have not served her well, and this one, the last, least of all. If I were meeting Rei for the first time in this book, I'd find precious little to engage me. Certain plot elements are lifted from earlier books, recycling how Rei almost meets her demise in this book, for one. And having Rei don a wetsuit and a wire to make an amphibious stealth landing a la a Navy Seal is the most ridiculous James Bondian thing she's put her seasickness-prone heroine through yet. Did she really think we wouldn't notice that Rei's no James Bond?

"Sayonara" literally translated means: "Until we meet again." I would love to meet Rei again, but only if she can come out of retirement as her old fiesty self. That is unlikely. I feel that Rei and her long-time readers deserved a better farewell than this.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Massey's Talent Seems to Have Worn Off...Not the Best Aug. 29 2008
By Anne Jensen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
As an avid fan of the Rei Shimura mysteries since The Salaryman's Wife and onwards, I was extremely excited for this new, and final, installment in the series. Sadly, Shimura Trouble does not live up to the thrill, savvy, or intigue of the previous novels. This one lacks some element which were extremely strong in the first few novels, and present in the last few. The first few Shimura mysteries possessed an essence brought on by Rei's spunk at her new surroundings, and by the setting in Japan. The later novels weren't as intense and captivating, but still readable, but this last novel is none of the above. Rei Shimura has aged and with that, her spunk and mystery-seeking nature seems to have deteriorated. Even the setting in beautiful Hawaii fails to save this novel, which is quite dull up until halfway and quite predictable. The mystery isn't much in relation to suspense or intrigue, as in her previous novels. Normally, I am able to polish off a Rei Shimura mystery in two days tops, but this one has taken me 3 weeks to get through! The focus on land ownership is a major downturn, while the dullness resulted in my barely being able to get through the chapters. Rei Shimura has changed, and sadly, not for the better. As the last installment, I expected this to surpass all the previous novels, but sadly, is the worst...Rei Shimura's series has ended not with a bang, but with a dejected whimper. This novel is the final stop in a downward spiral (after Rei Shimura left Japan, the series went downwards). To those still considering reading this, don't purchase it -- rather, just check it out at the library. A better use of time would be to go back and reread her earlier novels (The Salrayman's Wife, Zen Attitude, The Flower Master, The Floating Girl, The Bride's Kimono) -- at least then readers will leave with a better perspective of both Rei Shimura and Sujata Massey's writing skills (which have seen far better days).
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Shimura Trouble indeed! Oct. 27 2008
By Ruthiecat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I knew this book was coming out and had added it to my To Read list on Goodreads but they had a publication date of October. So imagine my suprise when I came accross the book at my local library. Of course I checked it out and took it home with every intention of devouring that night. Unfortunately, echoing a lot of reviews of other fans, I was disappointed to say the least. Rei was out of the fascinating Japan into a less than interesting Hawaii. Don't get me wrong, I think Hawaii is delightful but not the Hawaii Massey presented in the novel. I actually had to go back and re-read chapters because I was absolutely convinced that I had missed something. Her mom, such a vibrant character in other novels, was missing as was Massey's usual colorful descriptive voice. Her cast of characters were a sour bunch. Mrs. Massey, I would have waited longer for a better book.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars sloppy details and editing June 15 2009
By local kine librarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've enjoyed other Rei Shimura mysteries, and was pleased to find this on the library shelf -- I didn't even know there was a new installment.
However, as a Honolulu native, I am disappointed by the false notes struck by this book. While it is clear that Ms. Massey has been to the islands, her attempts to write local characters' Pidgin conversation fell flat. While Pidgin varies regionally, some of the pidgin constructions and actual words struck my eye and ear as wrong. Some examples: Pakolo for pakalolo. Spam musube instead of spam musubi. The Alai Wai Canal instead of the Ala Wai. And I don't think I've ever been to an L&L that offers Yoo-Hoo on the drink menu.
Also, the editing in general is sloppy -- sentences missing periods, inconsistent name spellings -- a character is listed as Delacruz in the cast of characters, De La Cruz later in the story. The most egregious error was a reference to a "Haruki Murakami painting." Um, that's actually Takashi Murakami. Halfway through the book, I also examined the cover image and thought, no one wears a lei draped that far down the back.
Altogether, these missteps were jarring and spoiled the book for me.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy to read Rei has done it again!! April 2 2008
By Sofia Motamedi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My congrats to Madam Massey for writing another great Rei story. This time happening in Hawaii. What wealth of information and descriptions; as always i learn so much and feel a little wiser on all things related to Hawaii society and history. Rei has also grown in the face of adversity, she is less impulsive.... and the new characters are just are a delightful mishmash of corckiness. I do get the sad suspicion that this may be the last of Rei's adventures. I just hope there is still more to get in trouble for our heroine!! Definitly worth waiting for!!!

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