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Girl in a Box


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About 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.


In Massey's winning ninth crime novel (after 2005's The Typhoon Lover), brassy Rei Shimura, now working for an elite U.S. spy agency, infiltrates a Tokyo department store whose profits are suspiciously inflated, though she wonders why this is a matter of American state security. Since it's her first covert mission, Rei has a lot to learn, including how to lie convincingly and how to be cautiously distrustful. When she overhears the store's head make a death threat, Rei's boss, Michael Hendricks, gets concerned and flies to Japan to give her backup. This causes as many problems as it solves, because Michael and Rei are forced to admit to themselves that they're falling for each other. (The hilarious scene in which they share their first kiss could easily have come across as trite or predictable in lesser hands.) Readers will find Rei's cross-cultural escapades as engrossing as the department store's shenanigans. The minor characters-a clerk with a bitchy attitude, an anxious banker from New Jersey-are as well developed as the delightful heroine. 3-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Japanese American sleuth Rei Shimura (The Typhoon Lover) is back, this time on her first gig working undercover for the Office of Criminal Investigations (OCI). Organized crime has established a foothold in Japan's retail industry, and Tokyo's most exclusive department store is a hotbed of illegal activity. Since the last operative has been murdered, Rei, who speaks fluent Japanese, inherits the dangerous assignment. Rei is a novice in the spy business, and her risky beginner mistakes add to the suspense of the story, which sparkles as this strong-willed, self-reliant protagonist tries to play the role of a traditional Japanese woman, known as a hako-no-jose, or girl in a box. Filled with tantalizing details of Japanese culture and department stores, this book also teases with the hint of a budding romance between Rei and sexy, enigmatic Michael Hendricks, chief of OCI's Japan bureau, who still grieves for a lost love. The talented Massey has won the Agatha and Macavity awards for this series. This ninth installment will appeal to a wide spectrum of readers and is suitable for public library collections of all sizes.-Shelley Mosley, Glendale Community Coll. Lib. Media Ctr., AZ Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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