This is the fifth book in the Samurai Mysteries series by the Hooblers. There are six books total in this series. This was another good book in this series although I didn’t like it quite as much as the previous book “The Sword that Cut the Burning Grass“.
In this book Seikei ventures back to his home town of Osaka. The Judge sends him on a mission to find a good place to eat Fugi (poisonous puffer fish). Seikei stops by home and finds his brother in charge of the family business. They go to a puppet show and one of the cast members is murdered. Seikei takes it upon himself to solves this horrible crime, hoping that he can figure out who the killer is before the facts to Judge Ooka. Inadvertently Seikei finds that the puppet theater murders may be part of an even bigger smuggling scheme.
It was great to get some more history about Seikei’s family and meet his sister and brother. Each of these books has focused on some aspect of Japanese history and this book focused on Japanese puppet theaters. There was a lot to learn about how Japanese puppet theaters were run. There was also some focus on trading and importation laws.
There wasn’t as much action and adventure in this book as in previous ones. It all takes place in Seikei’s home town. It was novel that Seikei felt confidant enough to take this case on himself without the Judge’s guidance, so from that aspect Seikei grows some as a character. While the mystery was interesting it wasn’t as desperate or engaging as the last couple books have been.
Overall an okay read. Learning about Japanese puppet theater was interesting. Seikei grows some as a character and takes the initiative on this investigation. But there is a lot less action and adventure and parts of the book were kind of slow.
This book goes towards the following challenge:
– The 100+ Book Reading Challenge