A dazzling engagement ring and the promise of a fresh start in a new country bring antiques dealer and sometime-sleuth Rei Shimura to Washington, D.C. But while she tries to play catch-up with her beautiful, politically connected cousin, Kendall, and is commissioned to furnish a chic Japanese-fusion restaurant, things start to go haywire. First, Kendall vanishes from the restaurant's opening-night party, and then Rei is drafted to help Andrea, the restaurant's elegant, cagey hostess, investigate the disappearance of her own Japanese mother thirty years earlier.
As the strands of these puzzles begin to come together, Rei finds that her relationship with her fiancé, Hugh, has changed from sizzle to burn. At the same time, she faces troubling questions about what it means to be a loving mother -- and whether her own independent streak will endanger the women to whom she has grown close.
Rei must research the scary old days of the Vietnam War and delve into the secret history of an ambitious presidential candidate to piece together the mystery of the vanished women -- and also understand truths about herself, which may change her destiny.
In The Pearl Diver, Sujata Massey delivers a multilayered, suspenseful story complete with the intrigue, romance, and rich Asian cultural background that her fans have come to relish.
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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 Publishers Weekly:
Kidnapping, death and intrigue are all on the menu for Rei Shimura in Massey's winning seventh mystery (after 2003's The Samurai's Daughter) to feature the half-Japanese, half-American antique dealer and sometime sleuth. After moving in with her fiancé, lawyer Hugh Glendinning, in Washington, D.C., Rei takes on the decoration of a trendy new Asian restaurant, Bento. Barred from reentering Japan, where her business was originally based, she hopes to plan her upcoming wedding and find a market for the art objects she's stored locally. All hell breaks loose when Rei's cousin Kendall Johnson disappears during the opening dinner at Bento, leaving Rei with Kendall's twin toddlers. Then Bento's hostess approaches Rei for help in locating her Japanese-born mother, a war bride who went missing from her Virginia home more than 30 years earlier. Finally, sweet Aunt Norie arrives from Japan to help with the wedding preparations and ever-dependable Hugh makes himself scarce for propriety's sake. Crosscultural misunderstandings and prejudices, plus behind-the-scenes machinations, add spice to an already volatile mix. Adept at crafting dead-on dialogue and juggling serious issues with humor, Massey has produced another triumph. FYI: Massey has won Agatha and Macavity awards.
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