The Toyotomi Blades is a sequel to Death In Little Tokyo from author Dale Furutani featuring amateur sleuth Ken Tanaka. Mr. Tanaka has been laid off and while using his severance pay to pay the bills he is trying to decide what to do with his middle-aged life. This American’s popularity in Japan is bolstered because he solved the murder of a Japanese citizen and Tanaka is also of Japanese heritage. Off he goes to Japan for his fifteen minutes of fame…and a whole new mystery in a land where he does not speak the language.
As with Dale Furutani’s other books this novel is on the quaint side. It is not too deep…there is not too much violence…the mystery is discernable a little before it is revealed…it is pleasant to read. This is not riveting, edge-of-your-seat drama, but is worth reading.
My only quip about this book is the repeated references to how poorly Japanese-Americans are treated in America. There were so many comments that I nearly quit reading the book. Perhaps there was a great deal of prejudice in 1997 when this book was first published, but I don’t remember that being the case.