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The Flower Master Mass Market Paperback – Mar 16 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (March 16 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061097349
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061097348
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,521,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Rei Shimura, a twentysomething Japanese American antiques dealer, returns for a third outing in Sujata Massey's series set in Japan (Zen Attitude, The Salaryman's Wife). In The Flower Master, Rei's former boyfriend has left Japan, and her antiques business is only slightly more successful than her love life. Then she's dragooned by her aunt Norie into enrolling at a famous Tokyo ikebana school. Rei's not a natural at the ancient art of flower arranging, but she has a talent for sleuthing, which comes in handy when the head teacher at the Kayama School is found dead--with a pair of flower shears exactly like the ones Norie gave her lodged in her neck.

Rei's efforts to find the killer and unravel the secrets entwining her Tokyo family with the Kayamas move the action along, but the real mystery is whether the budding romance between the California girl who can't quite find her place in the tradition-bound society of modern Japan and the handsome environmental activist slated to take over as iemoto (headmaster) of the school will flower into lasting love. Intrigue and multiple murders spice the romance, along with a fascinating explication of ikebana's enduring history. Rei is a lively protagonist who brings the reader along for an entertaining and subtle lesson in Japanese culture as well as in the dangers involved in digging up buried family skeletons. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

A volatile yet harmonious mix of ancient Eastern traditions, modern American chutzpah and some inexplicable violence characterizes Massey's hardcover debut (after the mass market The Salaryman's Wife and Zen Attitude). Rei Shimura, 28 and a San Francisco transplant, is a Tokyo antiques buyer who is taking a flower-arranging course at a prestigious ikebana school run by the Kayama family. Of mixed American and Japanese parentage, Rei is constantly upbraided by her staid aunt Norie for her less-than-perfect conduct. But when an instructor at the school, Sakura, is killed, apparently with Norie's gardening shears, it takes Rei's Western impudence and grit and her entire store of charm to get to the bottom of the caseAwhich grows more complex as Rei finds out about Mr. Kayama's unsavory past and her aunt's surprising relationship with him. What's more, Mr. Kayama's son, the heir apparent to the school's directorship, is inexplicably linked to an extremist environmental group trying to shut down the school. The narrative is enhanced greatly by the richly detailed Tokyo setting, from ancient tea houses to arcane rituals involving the cherry blossom festival. With such a gratifying background and such an appealing sleuth, it scarcely matters that an overly melodramatic finale mars the novel's resolution. Agents, Ellen Geiger and Dave Barbor at Curtis Brown. (May) FYI: The Salaryman's Wife won the 1998 Agatha Award for Best First Novel.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
As always Sujata Massey takes us into the world of life in Japan allowing us to learn about a culture so alien to ours through the eyes of a half japanese woman named Rei Shimura. In this volume Rei is caught up in a murder in the world of ikebana - flower arranging.
The descriptions of life in Japan, the characters, the situations are all beautifully rendered in words and the book is a fantastic read. Except...
I really felt a bit disappointed by the ending. While I don't turn reading a mystery into a contest, I do like to match my wits against the writer - as many readers do. In this book, however, the identity of the murderer comes out of nowhere. There are no clues dropped, no subtle hints about their personality or motives, nothing that could make the reader even subconciously place this person in the list of suspects. And in the end the motive that is given to the killer is singularly confusing and contradictory. The killer torments one woman for years because of a perceived slight against an august family, yet turns around and steals from that same family in order to raise money. Why they want the money is never disclosed, and why they would steal from people they appear to honor and hold in high esteem is confusing.
I would have liked a crisper and better defined ending, though I did enjoy the book :)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I keep trying to find an adjective that appropriately describes Sujata Massey's piquant and wonderful Rei Shimura series. With this third, and best, addition to the series, I think I have found one, although it hardly describes the talent of the writer: delicate.
Exquisite delicacy, akin to the ikebana arrangements described in this book, is the hallmark of Massey's wonderful mysteries. Imagine murder, mayhem, forensics, and all the rest of the usual crime-novel/mystery genre told in a setting of kimono, cherry blossoms, the aforementioned ikebana and the constant east-west conflict of the heroine, and you have a slight idea of just how different these books are--and just how delightful.
This story finds half Japanese-half American Rei Shimura thriving as an antiques dealer, despite the end of her tumultuous relationship with Scotsman Hugh Glendinning. Dragged to her aunt's ikebana school for lessons (as part of her aunt's ongoing project--making Rei comfortable with her Japanese side), Rei soon stumbles on a murder. And not just any murder. This is as bloody as any samurai killing--but in place of the sword, the fatal weapon is a pair of ikebana scissors. Who among the genteel, proper women at the school could have committed such an atrocity? And most of all, why?
As Rei sets out to solve the mystery, she is threatened by all sorts of hostile influences, from a radical pro-environmentalist organization to a sinister and unseen writer of threatening haiku--to her own treacherous heart, as she finds herself drawn to the handsome son of the school's chairman.
It all makes for a fascinating and utterly wonderful mystery. This is a series not to be missed!
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Format: Hardcover
The FLOWER MASTER is the very best so far in Sujata Massey's series featuring Rei Shimura. Rei has recently broken up with her boyfriend, so she's under the watchful eye of her Auntie Norie. Norie drags Rei to an ikebana (flower-arranging) class to give her some diversion from her failed romance, and to help mold her into a 'proper' young Japanese girl suitable for marrying. The ikebana school's director is found stabbed in the neck with a pair of ikebana scissors. (gruesome, but quite humourous touch here)
Thus, Rei is drawn into all the politics and maneuverings surrounding the next-likely successor to run the family-owned school. There's plenty of murder and intrigue afoot, and Rei has another potential boyfriend. He happens to be a son of the family running the school, and he's an enviromentalist as well. Prestige and power await the next director, if he/she lives long enough to accept the job. Rei finds out there's more to the world of ikebana than scissors and beautiful flowers.
Ms. Massey does a superb job of educating the reader on the intricacies of the art of ikebana, while spinning a great mystery. She's definitely developing a sure hand with her characters and the plotlines. Many congratulations on a job well done!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my first outing w/Ms. Massey, and I agree it is a fascinating look at Japanese customs. The outsider status of an American-Japanes person is deftly handled. I particularly liked the problems Rei had with reading Japanese. It is perfectly understandable that a girl educated in the US would not be adept with Japanese symbols, if you think about it. I just never did. This affects Rei's everyday life, and Ms. Massey never lets us forget it. Not only did Rei have to solve the crime, she had to run around and get someone to read the newspaper to her. When she went out to dinner, she couldn't read the menu. This gave the story an added bit of realism.
The mystery was not as well done. It was diffused by the romance, the family, the shop-till-you-drop (dare I say airhead?) personality of Rei. She put forth some offbeat potential villains, but didn't put in the effort to make this a rousing whodunit. By the time Rei solves the mystery, I didn't much care, and I don't think she did either.
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