OVERRIDE

The Incense Game

A Novel of Feudal Japan

Sano Ichiro Novels (Volume 16)

Laura Joh Rowland

Minotaur Books

An RT Book Review Magazine Reviewers' Choice Award Winner

In the wake of a terrifying earthquake, Sano Ichirō races to solve a crime that could bring down the shogun's regime

Japan, 1703. A devastating earthquake has left the city of Edo in shambles—even the shogun's carefully regulated court is teetering on the brink of chaos. This is no time for a murder investigation. But when Sano discovers the bodies of two young sisters buried beneath the rubble, he suspects that incense poisoning, not the earthquake, killed them. Worse yet, their father, a powerful nobleman, threatens to topple the vulnerable regime unless Sano agrees to track down his daughters’ killer. 

With the help of his wife, Reiko, and his chief retainer, Hirata, Sano begins a secret investigation that jeopardizes his whole family. And with Hirata mysteriously neglecting his duties and an old foe plotting to overthrow Sano and the shogun himself, the shockwaves from the earthquake are only the beginning.

In The Incense Game, Laura Joh Rowland's most powerful and evocative thriller yet, Sano and his wife strive to solve the case in a world that is crumbling around them.

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A MONTH AFTER the earthquake, Edo was a landscape from hell. Entire neighborhoods were leveled. The few intact areas stood like islands amid a sea of wreckage. Edo Castle resembled a beehive after a monster has shaken and mauled it to steal the honey. Up and down the hill, laborers swarmed, cleaning up timbers, plaster, and roof tiles from fallen buildings. The cold air rang with their shouts, the din from their shovels and hammers, and the rattle of the oxcarts that carried the debris downhill. Dust hazed a wintry blue sky darkened by smoke that rose from bonfires as Edo’s
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Incense Game

"Fascinating . . . there are few things as delicious as a good old-fashioned power struggle—especially the costume-drama variety, involving sword battles and perfectly timed barbs exchanged by witty women pretending that they're just drinking tea." —Oprah.com

"Stellar . . . Once again, Rowland sets the bar high for her hero, who must navigate treacherous political shoals as well as deduce the killer’s identity." —Publishers Weekly (starred)

"Excellent. . . . With mystery, excitement and a bang-up ending, this is one you won't be able to put down!" —RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Laura Joh Rowland

  • LAURA JOH ROWLAND is the author of fifteen previous Sano Ichirō mysteries. The Fire Kimono was named one of the Wall Street Journal's Five Best Historical Mystery Novels; and The Snow Empress and The Cloud Pavilion were among Publishers Weekly's Best Mysteries of the Year. She lived through a natural disaster when Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed her house in New Orleans, and now lives in New York City.

  • Laura Joh Rowland
    Laura Joh Rowland
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    The Incense Game

    A Novel of Feudal Japan

    Sano Ichiro Novels

    Laura Joh Rowland

    Romantic Times Book Award
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    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Minotaur Books

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