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Home of the Sano Ichiro Mystery Series

Laura Joh Rowland
"...a masterful storyteller..."


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The Iris Fan
by Laura Joh Rowland
St. Martin's Minotaur ~ December 9, 2014

Japan, 1709. The shogun is old and ailing. Amid the ever-treacherous intrigue in the court, Sano Ichiro has been demoted from chamberlain to a lowly patrol guard. His relationship with his wife Reiko is in tatters, and a bizarre new alliance between his two enemies Yanagisawa and Lord Ienobu has left him puzzled and wary. Sano's onetime friend Hirata is a reluctant conspirator in a plot against the ruling regime. Yet, Sano's dedication to the Way of the Warrior--the samurai code of honor--is undiminished.

Then a harrowing, almost inconceivable crime takes place. In his own palace, the shogun is stabbed with a fan made of painted silk with sharp-pointed iron ribs. Sano is restored to the rank of chief investigator to find the culprit. This is the most significant, and most dangerous, investigation of his career. If the shogun's heir is displeased, he will have Sano and his family put to death without waiting for the shogun's permission, then worry about the consequences later. And Sano has enemies of his own, as well as unexpected allies. As the previously unimaginable death of the shogun seems ever more possible, Sano finds himself at the center of warring forces that threaten not only his own family but Japan itself.

Riveting and richly imagined, with a magnificent sense of time and place, The Iris Fan is the triumphant conclusion to Laura Joh Rowland's brilliant series of thrillers set in feudal Japan.

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The Shogun's Daughter
by Laura Joh Rowland
St. Martin's Minotaur ~ September 2013
978-1-250-02861-7 (hardcover)
ISBN 978-1-250-02862-4 (e-book)

Five months after the great earthquake that devastated Edo, the shogun's daughter Tsuruhime dies of smallpox. It looks like a natural death, but Sano thinks it's murder. There are suspects who have designs on the throne and might have wanted to eliminate the shogun's daughter so that she couldn't bear a son and complicate the issue of whom the shogun will choose to be his heir and successor. There are also people who were close to Tsuruhime and wanted her gone for more personal reasons. Sano's quest for the truth about her death will unmask the most ruthless killer he's ever met and have serious repercussions for Sano, his family, and the future of Japan

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The Incense Game
A Thriller by Laura Joh Rowland
St. Martin's Minotaur ~ September 2012
ISBN 0320148076

Winner of the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery Novel

1703. A massive earthquake strikes Japan, killing thousands of people and destroying most of the city of Edo. During the chaotic aftermath, Chamberlain Sano Ichiro finds three women dead inside a house that fell into a crack in the ground. They were in the middle of an incense game, in which players smell burning incense samples and guess what kinds they are. The women's bodies are abnormally well preserved, their eyes bright red. They weren't killed by the earthquake, and their deaths weren't natural. Sano suspects poison and murder. One of the victims is an incense teacher. The others are the daughters of a powerful lord. Sano must hunt the killer while struggling to rebuild Edo and help the earthquake survivors. His chief retainer, Hirata, clashes with the secret society of mystic martial artists he's joined. Sano's enemy, Yanagisawa, plots to regain the political influence he lost after the death of his son. Whose fortunes will rise because of the earthquake, and whose will fall?

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"Sano may carry a sword and wear a kimono, but you'll immediately
recognize him as an ancestor of Philip Marlowe or Sam Spade."
—The Denver Post


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