Black Lotus by Laura Joh Rowland
(Sano Ichiro Novels)

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In September of 1693, the Black Lotus Temple, spiritual center for hundreds of Buddhist nuns, monks, priests, and orphans, is burned to the ground leaving three dead and one orphan running for cover. Veteran samurai-detective Sano Ichiro, the Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations and People, is called on to investigate the incident. He quickly discovers that despite appearances, the victims did not die in the fire: they were brutally murdered before the fire even began.

With a triple homicide on his hands, Sano's search for a killer leads him to Haru, the orphan girl found at the scene of the crime. But Sano's wife Reiko, investigating the case against Sano's wishes, is convinced of Haru's innocence. Reiko's investigation leads her behind the walls of the Black Lotus Temple. It is within these walls that she discovers a sect involved in extortion, prostitution, and hedonistic rituals. Could one of the sect's members be the killer? Will Reiko risk her marriage to Sano in order to prove Haru's innocence?

Set in the luscious finery of the samurai court of medieval Japan, this latest installment in the best-selling series by Laura Joh Rowland, is filled with shocking surprises and suspense as readers are once again allowed access into the world of Sano Ichiro.


About Laura Joh Rowland

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LAURA JOH ROWLAND is the author of fifteen previous Sano Ichiro mysteries, which have twice been named Best Mysteries of the Year by Publishers Weekly. She lived through a natural disaster when Hurricane Katrina nearly destroyed her house in New Orleans, and now lives in New York City.
Published March 15, 2002 by Minotaur Books. 385 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Sano Ichiro, Most Honorable Investigator for the shogun in 17th-century Japan (The Samurai's Wife, 2000, etc.), tackles the murder of the police commander, Oyama Jushin, and an unidentified woman and child whose burned bodies have been found in a charred building on the grounds of the Black Lotus...

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Publishers Weekly

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Suspicion has fallen on a teenage girl, but while Sano and Reiko find it difficult to penetrate the cult's respectable front, Sano sees nothing untoward in the sect, and he distrusts the 15-year-old's account of the tragedy.

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She's delighted when Sano asks her to interview the young girl Haru, the only lead Sano has in this arson and murder case.

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