Laura Joh Rowland
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.
"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)