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Why are series so popular? Mostly, the attraction is the characters who change and develop (one hopes.) And the reader is attached to and familiar with the people appearing. I’ve mentioned four or five series authors I’ve enjoyed in posts about New Orleans and Venice and a recent one about thrillers.
Let Me Introduce You to Sujata Massey
Ms. Massey has authored 10 books about prickly Rei Shimura, whose father is a Japanese psychiatrist and whose mother is white. Rei is into Japanese antiques, and lives in Japan, but her life seems to embroil her in murders and investigations. (Oddly, the first book in the series isn’t in the San Mateo County Library system. Plunge in with the second title and see if you are intrigued with Massey’s take on contemporary Japanese culture.)
The Salaryman’s Wife
- Zen Attitude
- The Flower Master
- The Floating Girl
- The Bride’s Kimono
- The Samurai’s Daughter
- The Pearl Diver
- The Typhoon Lover
- Girl in a Box
- Shimura Trouble
“Friend and fellow Baltimore mystery author Laura Lippman finds that Massey’s obsessions are excellent springboards for the serious issues underlying her works. ‘She’s very canny about taking things that some people dismiss as girly or consumerist—antiques, flowers, shopping, clothes, restaurants—and finding a larger context,’ Lippman says. ‘In her art and her life, Sujata has shown me that it’s OK to embrace your inner Martha Stewart—pre-criminal indictment and conviction—as long as you have a sense of irony and a lively curiosity.’ ”
Massey’s Cross-Cultural Background Helps
Sujata Massey’s own father is a professor, originally from India; her mother is German. Massey’s interest in Japan stems from living there two years, immersed in language and culture. She fuels her novels with frequent research trips back to areas of Japan--see her website for more about the author’s background, along with delicious recipes from her Rei Shimura series.
Karen Y.: Like Sujata Massey and Rei Shimura, Karen Y. is biracial and has lived in Japan and loved her experiences there.