Kill The Shogun: A Samurai Mystery

Written by Dale Furutani
Review by Rachel A Hyde

This is the third in the trilogy that began with Death at the Crossroads and Jade Palace Vendetta, all set in 17th century Japan. If you haven’t read the first two in the series (and I haven’t) then I wouldn’t recommend reading this book, as it is very much the final chapter of a series that must read like one continuous novel. Wandering samurai Matsuyama Kaze must continue with his quest to find the daughter of his former patrons who were killed during a political change in the wind. Now Kaze has travelled to Edo where he soon gets into trouble, being mistaken for the assassin-to-be of the new Shogun. He has also tracked down the missing daughter but has little chance of rescuing her unless he can first clear his name.

Lots of thrilling derring-do and swordplay, samurai swashbuckling and devious palace intrigues make this busy tale hum. There is plenty of background information about life in Japan in those days too and all in an admirably paced whole. I will certainly be looking for the first two parts and won’t say any more about the plot, as to reveal much more would spoil it for anybody who has yet to read the earlier books. If you enjoy Laura Joh Rowland and anything in the tradition of Robert Van Gulik, then this ought to please.