The face of remarkable actor Toshiro Mifune might insist on looming up before your eyes as you read this engrossing new historical mystery about a rogue samurai warrior named Matsuyama Kaze ("Pine Mountain Wind" ) roaming through rural Japan in 1603--the year that began the long, oppressive reign of the Tokugawa Shogunate. In the first book of a planned trilogy, Dale Furutani first introduces us to Kaze in a scene straight from the Gregory Peck movie "The Gunfighter," as the wily, middle-aged samurai outwits a young challenger. Then, on the road to the country village of Suzaka, Kaze and a local charcoal seller find the body of a stranger, pierced by an arrow. The local lords are quick to pin the crime on a bandit chief, Boss Kuemon, but Kaze's investigation points to a less obvious killer. Telling his subtle, strong story, Furutani conjures up compelling images: "As he walked along the path, Kaze looked at the splashes of blue sky peeking through the woven branches of the trees. It was a constantly changing mosaic that recalled the intricately painted patterns on the expensive Satsuma porcelains he knew from his youth."|
Source: Dick Adler, Amazon.com.