Women Sleuths in
Historical Mysteries

17th Century Japan


The Samurai’s Wife

by Laura Joh Rowland

Rowland’s over seven mysteries set in 17th century Japan contain within them historically accurate glimpses into the daily life of women at all levels of society. While they feature the samurai detective Sano Ichiro, for us it is the involvement of his wife Reiko that adds a special dimension to his investigations. Reiko may appear too modern to some readers as she circumvents the normal behavior of women of her class. But her husband relies on her to find evidence and go into places where a male detectives could not. In this case Reiko helps her husband get to the bottom of intrigues which involve a plot to overthrow the Shogun’s government.



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