"First Edition: April 2001" stated on copyright page; St. Martin's Minotaur publishers, New York; hardbound; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket very good.
When veteran samurai-detective Sano Ichiro, the most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People, is called on to investigate the burning of a cottage belonging to the Black Lotus Temple, he makes a shocking discovery. The three victims of the blaze did not die in the fire, but were brutally murdered before the fire even began.
With a triple homicide on his hands, Sano's search for a killer leads him to Haru, an orphan girl found at the scene of the crime. But Sano's wife, Reiko, investigating the case against Sano's wishes, is convinced of Haru's innocence. Reiko's investigation leads her behind the walls of the Black Lotus Temple, where she discovers a sect involved in extortion, prostitution, and hedonistic rituals.
Could one of the sect's members be the killer? Now Reiko must risk her marriage to Sano in order to prove Haru's innocence...
Set in the luscious finery of the samurai court of medieval Japan, this latest installment in the bestselling series by Laura Joh Rowland is filled with shocking surprised and suspense as readers are once again allowed access into the world of Sano Ichiro.