"It's taken me almost a whole lifetime to become a decent liar."
Award-winning author Sujata Massey is back with a delicious blend of mystery and contemporary women's fiction, and in Girl in a Box, Japanese-American sleuth Rei Shimura is on her most dangerous outing yet.
Chronically underemployed Rei takes a freelance gig with a Washington, D.C., alphabet agency that just might have ties to the CIA. Her mission, should she choose to accept it, is to go undercover as a clerk in a big Tokyo department store. It's a tricky and risky assignment, but it also gives Rei the opportunity to check out all the latest fashions and use her store discount to indulge her shopping impulses.
Meanwhile, she's listening in on conversations not meant for her and crashing a conference she's not invited to. She winds up fending off the advances of a couple of the store's executives who seem to be fascinated by her navel ring. When her cover is blown, Rei is in big trouble, and it will take all her resourcefulness and unorthodox methods to unmask a killer.
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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.From Booklist:
In the ninth Rei Shimura novel, former antiques dealer Rei is now working as a special informant (spy) for the Organization for Cultural Intelligence (OCI). Her training is cut short when the agency needs her to work undercover at the Japanese department store Mitsutan, where some financial irregularities have been reported. Using makeup and some forged records, Japanese American Rei is presented as a Japanese national in Tokyo, where she must try to fit in as a traditional Japanese woman, despite her American upbringing. She investigates while working as a salesclerk at the store until her cover is blown, and she must save herself and another member of the agency. The reader is immersed in the everyday world of the Japanese worker, from long workdays to the necessity to maintain a humble demeanor. The likable Rei, who is still getting over a failed romance, must fight a growing attraction to her boss while she tries to find her place in the world as a half-Japanese, half-American woman. An increasingly strong series mixing crime and multicultural awareness. Sue O'Brien
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