In November 2013, I walked into a small used book store in Hilo, Hawaii. Glenda and I were
visiting our daughter (Adrienne) and grandson (Dublin) who lived on the Big Island. I had read
all the books that I brought with me and I needed a good book for the flight home. I pulled The
Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria from the shelves. It looked promising and it was by an author
unknown to me, Laura Joh Rowland. I followed my routine, book and dust jacket in fine
condition and first edition.
The first paragraph of the blurb sold me on the purchase and it will tell you about the setting and
the protagonist “In the carefully ordered world of seventeenth-century Japan, the Yoshiwara
pleasure quarter is a place where men of all classes can drink, revel, and enjoy the favors of
beautiful courtesans. But on a cold winter’s dawn, Sano Ichiro – the Shogun’s Most Honorable
Investigator of Events, Situations, and People – must visit Yoshiwara on a most unpleasant
mission”. And just like the Rickman book I wrote about last week this too was the seventh book
in a series.
I finished the book when we got home to Nova Scotia. My pencil notation in the front of this
book reads “Read 2013. Very well done, builds throughout – try others”.
I bought a fine copy and first edition of the first book in the series “Shinju” in June 2015 and it
was not too pricey – C$50. I have read the first five books in the series and they are all great
reads. There are 18 books in the series so far and they are available in paperback and e-books
Rowland has another series on the go now, featuring Sara Bain, crime scene photographer and
set in 1890’s London. And the first book of another series recently published has the intriguing
title The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte.