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Publisher's Summary

In the wake of a terrifying earthquake, Sano Ichiro races to solve a crime that could bring down the shogun's regime. When a massive earthquake devastates Japan in 1703, even the shogun's carefully regulated court is left teetering on the brink of chaos. This is no time for a murder investigation - except when a nobleman's daughters are found dead from incense poisoning and their father threatens to topple the regime unless Sano Ichiro tracks down the killer.
As Sano and his wife strive to solve the case in a world that is crumbling around them, Laura Joh Rowland - author of one of the "five best historical mystery novels" (The Wall Street Journal) - brings us her most powerful and evocative thriller yet.
©2012 Laura Joh Rowland (P)2012 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Critic Reviews

"...stellar... Once again, Rowland sets the bar high for her hero, who must navigate treacherous political shoals as well as deduce the killer's identity." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sarah on 09-20-13

Brilliant Execution

What made the experience of listening to The Incense Game the most enjoyable?

Bernadette Dunne's voice just somehow fit Rowland's writing style. It fluctuated with energy where it was needed and it legitimately felt like I was listening to the characters dialogue around me. Though I didn't quite imagine some of the characters to sound the way she portrayed them, it still worked and I've very pleased with this. Only listen if you've read/listened to the first fifteen books in the series (you won't regret reading one of her books).

What other book might you compare The Incense Game to and why?

The Sugawara, Akitada series by I.J. Parker. Though the Sano Ichiro series is set and the Edo era circa 1500s - 1800s and Sugawara is set in the Heian era circa 700-1200, I think these two detectives (though very different in social ranking and society, etc.) are very similar in their casework and relationships...though Akitada is a bit more hot-headed (I mean he was born into The Kyoto Nobility of the Heian era, he is bound to be a bit more spoiled than Ichiro who was born into the samurai caste of the edo period before working his way up, he knows how to keep a more level head.)

Which scene was your favorite?

SPOILER ALERT: When Reiko finally tells Sano that's she's pregnant with their third child and Marume finally laughs again! Made me emotional :)

Any additional comments?

I've read this series over the years and I almost feel like I've grown with these characters. It's definitely worth the investment of time if your genuinely enjoy classical Japanese history.

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By Debra on 03-25-13

Good if know series

What about Bernadette Dunne’s performance did you like?

I like her -- she fits for this series.

Any additional comments?

This book is good but not a stand out in the series. It is contrived that he must start all over again. I like the series very much it just seems too caught up in the back story now and not enough about the mysteries themselves.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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