5.4.13

THE INCENSE GAME, by Laura Joh Rowland

16/series. Feudal Japan once again springs to vibrant life in this intricate, tension-ridden tale of Edo (Tokyo) after the catastrophic 1703 earthquake. Chamberlain Sano Ichiro finds three murdered women in the rubble, two the daughters of a powerful daimyo. With the petulant Emperor demanding a return to his insulated pre-earthquake life, the bereft daimyo threatening to start a civil war if the murderer isn’t found at once, a close retainer falling down on the job, his own belived son being sucked into court life, and Sano’s old nemesis sprung back to evil life, the Chamberlain is stretched to his limits. Another 5 for this award-winning series.