I don’t even remember what number this book is in the Mary Russell series, but it was A-MAZING! When the book starts it keeps referencing Japan and I kept wondering if I was forgetting some part of another story. As it turns out, we are hearing snippets of a story we have not yet heard. We first meet Haruki Sato as she is breaking into Russell’s house in Oxford bleeding and wet. We then travel back in time to catch the reader up.Russell and Holmes are leaving India by way of boat to travel to Japan for a brief stay. Of course, Holmes isn’t the relaxing type and soon finds something mysterious to occupy his time. Russell meets a young Japanese women who agrees to educate her on the Japanese language and culture. At just a guess I would say at least half of the book takes place before they reach Japan, however, when I think of this book what I remember is everything that happens afterwards.
In true Holmes/Russell style they are put through the paces to earn the trust of someone. They don’t even know who they are trying to prove themselves to, but this is obviously more exciting than just touring Japan. In addition the mysteries of the ship have followed them to Japan and they are unable to walk away.It appears that the story ends in Japan and in a very unsatisfactory way, until the reader is brought full circle back to Russell’s kitchen in Oxford. The story takes a somewhat surprising turn here, but I loved it!
I think my favorite part of the story was everything that happened in Japan. I loved reading about the culture, the scenery, and all the shenanigans that Holmes and Russell got themselves into. Sometimes, when a series has gone on for a long time you lose the initial feel of the story. It can turn into another monster altogether. What I love about these books is that I always get the same humor, excitement and well thought out storyline that I got from the first book. Can’t wait for the next one!