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I you are worried this book may not be accessible to the average western reader don't be, not even the most rudimentary knowledge of Japanese history is necessary (although history buffs will probably get more out of it).
It really is a good detective story for the modern reader despite its setting. Although the treatment of women was often depressing the strong female characters made up for this is some way (although I doubt it is historically accurate that women could move around as freely as this book would suggest, but who cares?). The political intrigue adds another interesting dimension to the story in keeping with previous books of the series.
This is the 14th book of the Sano Ichiro Series and despite not reading any of the previous books I still enjoyed it immensely.
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