Rei and her father head to Oahu, Hawaii for a family reunion with a lost branch of the Shimura family. But the gathering turns to trouble that is linked to the hidden history of Japanese sugar plantation workers on the island. There is no time for mait-ais as Rei works to solve the mystery and comes to a decision about her own romantic future.
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.
History captured by Sujata is awesome!
Rei mysteries carry rich history and detail that keep you engaged. The opportunity to learn about Japanese culture and customs while unravelling a mystery makes reading her series 5 stars. The setting of Hawaii does not disappoint the reader as Rei uncovers the truth. Keep the books coming.
Highly Recommended. Wow, what an ending!
SHIMURA TROUBLE, the last book in Sujata's Massey's mystery series about the brainy and dryly humorous Rei Shimura, does not disappoint! Her deft plot--a long lost branch of the Shimura clan beckons Rei to Hawaii to celebrate an 88th birthday--leads to a surprisingly malevolent twist, as well as possible love. The novel kept me turning pages and calculating who among the Hawaiian Shimuras had evil motives at heart. As usual with Massey's novels, the historical subtext made the plot all the richer, and in this case it was the issue of property stolen from Japanese Americans during World War II. Percolating throughout is Rei's rocky relationship with fellow spy and former naval officer, Michael Hendricks.
Massey has a talent for combining everyday domestic life with suspenseful action, which for me makes her plots highly believable. Rei and Michael's intensifying relationship was handled witth dexterity, leading to an ending that truly surprised me. This was an absorbing and entertaining read chock full of verdant Hawaiian setting as well as Massey's usual attention to Japanese mores and culture. A reveting conclusion to her masterful series.