Family ties, honor, and loyalty are the main themes explored in this audiobook entitled A Samurai Never Fears Death. The main character, Seikei, is torn by ties between his birth family and his adopted family. The setting is the old puppet theaters of Japan, which add a surreal, disturbing element to this thrilling murder mystery. Constantly bombard by eerily beautiful images, listeners will be chilled and riveted by this audio drama. The story is well researched; its history and setting are interesting and accurate. Listeners will appreciate the sweet, almost boyish voice of Hadyen Lee, who narrates this audio.
For Seikei, the adopted son of the famous samurai Judge Ooka with a knack for solving mysteries, a trip home to see his real family isn’t cause to celebrate. His brother has become mixed up with local criminals who use the family’s tea shop as a front for a smuggling operation. His sister, meanwhile, has fallen in love with an apprentice to a puppet master who stands accused of murder. Somehow, Seikei senses the two are connected. His loyalties divided between his new family and his old, Seikei must find the real killer before it is too late. Set against the eerie backdrop of the old Japanese puppet theaters, where life-sized marionettes were controlled by black-cloaked men, Edgar Award-winners Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler render their most satisfying mystery to date.