Publication Date: December 9, 2014 | Minotaur Books | Formats: eBook, Hardcover
Series: Sano Ichiro Mystery Series (Book 18)
Genre: Historical Mystery
Japan, 1709. The shogun is old and ailing. Amid the ever-treacherous intrigue in the court, Sano Ichirō has been demoted from chamberlain to a lowly patrol guard. His relationship with his wife Reiko is in tatters, and a bizarre new alliance between his two enemies Yanagisawa and Lord Ienobu has left him puzzled and wary. Sano’s onetime friend Hirata is a reluctant conspirator in a plot against the ruling regime. Yet, Sano's dedication to the Way of the Warrior—the samurai code of honor—is undiminished.
Then a harrowing, almost inconceivable crime takes place. In his own palace, the shogun is stabbed with a fan made of painted silk with sharp-pointed iron ribs. Sano is restored to the rank of chief investigator to find the culprit. This is the most significant, and most dangerous, investigation of his career. If the shogun's heir is displeased, he will have Sano and his family put to death without waiting for the shogun's permission, then worry about the consequences later. And Sano has enemies of his own, as well as unexpected allies. As the previously unimaginable death of the shogun seems ever more possible, Sano finds himself at the center of warring forces that threaten not only his own family but Japan itself.
Riveting and richly imagined, with a magnificent sense of time and place, The Iris Fan is the triumphant conclusion to Laura Joh Rowland's brilliant series of thrillers set in feudal Japan.
Slow, hissing breaths expanded and contracted the air in a chamber as dark as the bottom of a crypt. Wind shook the shutters. Sleet pattered onto the tile roof. In the corridor outside the chamber, the floor creaked under stealthy footsteps. The shimmering yellow glow of an oil lamp diffused across the room’s lattice-and-paper wall. The footsteps halted outside the room; the door slid open as quietly as a whisper. A hand draped in the sleeve of a black kimono held the lamp across the threshold. The flame illuminated a futon, covered with a gold brocade satin quilt, in which two human shapes slumbered.
The quilt rose and fell with their breathing. The black-robed figure hovered at the threshold, then tiptoed, on feet clad in split-toed socks, into the bedchamber. The hem of its silk kimono slithered across the tatami floor. Its breathing was shallow, ragged with anxiety. It paused by the bed, holding the light over the two sleepers, whose gentle, rhythmic respirations continued. Then it crept to the one on the left, nearest the door. Kneeling, it set the lamp on the bedside table without a sound. In the dim light from the flame, a hand slowly, carefully, drew back the quilt.
Underneath, a man lay on his stomach, his head turned away from the intruder. He wore a white night cap over his hair; his body was naked. The intruder contemplated his thin back, his protruding ribs and spine, his scrawny limbs. Red blotches covered his sallow, sweaty skin. He coughed in his sleep; he didn’t wake.
The intruder sat back on its heels. Its ragged breaths quickened as its hand withdrew from beneath its sash a long, thin object with a sharp, gleaming metal end. The intruder glanced over its shoulder toward the door.
The corridor was silent, still.
Sleet battered the roof with a noise like raining arrowheads.
The wind moaned.
The intruder sucked in a deep, tremulous gasp, raised the weapon high above the sleeping man, and brought it slashing down.
The Sano Ichiro Mystery Series TitlesShinjū
The Way of the Traitor
The Concubine's Tattoo
The Samurai's Wife
The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria
The Dragon King's Palace
The Perfumed Sleeve
The Assassin's Touch
The Red Chrysanthemum
The Snow Empress
The Fire Kimono
The Cloud Pavilion
The Ronin's Mistress
The Incense Game
The Shogun's Daughter
The Iris Fan
Buy the BookAmazon US
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About the AuthorGranddaughter of Chinese and Korean immigrants, Laura Joh Rowland grew up in Michigan and where she graduated with a B.S. in microbiology and a Master of Public Health at the University of Michigan. She is the author of sixteen previous Sano Ichiro thrillers set in feudal Japan. The Fire Kimono was named one of the Wall Street Journal's "Five Best Historical Mystery Novels"; and The Snow Empress and The Cloud Pavilion were among Publishers Weekly's Best Mysteries of the Year. She currently lives in New Orleans with her husband. She has worked as a chemist, microbiologist, sanitary inspector and quality engineer.
For more information please visit Laura’s website. You can also follow her on Facebook.
The Iris Fan Blog Tour & Book Blast ScheduleTuesday, December 9
Book Blast, Excerpt, & Giveaway at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, December 10
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Book Blast at Literary Chanteuse
Thursday, December 11
Review at Buried Under Books
Friday, December 12
Book Blast at Queen of All She Reads
Monday, December 15
Book Blast at Layered Pages
Tuesday, December 16
Review at Book Dilletante
Interview at Dianne Ascroft's Blog
Wednesday, December 17
Book Blast at CelticLady's Reviews
Friday, December 19
Review at Unshelfish
Book Blast at I'd So Rather Be Reading
Monday, December 22
Review at Broken Teepee
Tuesday, December 23
Review at Book Nerd
Monday, January 5
Review & Interview at Jorie Loves a Story
Wednesday, January 7
Review at Book Babe
Review at Svetlana's Reads and Views
GiveawayTo enter to win a paperback of The Iris Fan, please leave a comment below with your email address.
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