One of the real pleasures of being an avid reader is getting to know the work of new-to-me authors. And, with so much fine crime fiction out there, there are a lot of authors to ‘meet.’ That’s why I really enjoy taking part in the quarterly ‘New (to me anyway) Authors’ meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. By the way, if you’re not familiar with that excellent blog, you’ll want to pay it a visit and make it an important part of your blog rounds. Lots of fine reviews await you there.
This quarter, I had the pleasure of ‘meeting’ Sujata Massey. Born in the UK, Massey has made her home in the US for most of her life, and currently lives in Baltimore. In fact, she was a features writer for the Baltimore Evening Sun before turning full-time to writing. And her writing has been successful. She’s won both Agatha and Macavity awards, and been a finalist for several others, too.
Her most recent novel, The Widows of Malabar Hill, takes place in 1920’s Bombay, and has been quite successful. But she is perhaps best known for her Rei Shimura novels, which are contemporary crime novels. The protagonist is a half-Japanese/half-American antiques expert who makes her home base in Tokyo, although she does travel to other places as well.
In The Salaryman’s Wife, the first in the series, Shimura is teaching English in Tokyo, hoping to save enough money and make enough connections to open an antiques business. She takes a short holiday in the Japanese Alps, staying at a traditional B&B there. One morning, she gets drawn into a murder investigation when she discovers the body of one of the other guests. Since she found the body, she’s a ‘person of interest’ as it is. Then, another guest is arrested for the crime. He claims he’s innocent, and Shimura wants to believe him (not least because she’s attracted to him). So, she starts to ask questions in order to clear both of their names. As the series goes on, Shimura develops as an antiques expert, and later, catches the attention of the US State Department. In several of the novels (there are currently 11 in the series), she uses her expertise to do undercover work for that agency.
Want to know more about Sujata Massey? Her website is here.
Want to know more about The Salaryman’s Wife? It’s right here.
*NOTE: The title of this post is a line from Lee Mavers’ There She Goes.