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The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey

The Salaryman's Wife (1997)

by Sujata Massey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Rei Shimura (1)

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5151728,261 (3.53)20



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Just fun. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
The Salaryman's Wife is an entertaining first novel by Sujata Massey. The mystery is set in Japan and narrated through the character of Rei Shimura, a Japanese-American woman, born and raised in America but now teaching English in Tokyo and pursuing her passion for collecting Japanese antiques. Rei, shopping for antique folk art in the Japanese Alps, discovers the body of a woman in the snow behind the inn where she is staying. The local police enlist her services as a translator for the western guests staying at the inn, involving her in the investigation of the woman's death, a job that Rei continues to pursue on her own as the police settle for the quickest and easiest conclusions.

What follows are exposés of Japanese-American relations reaching back to the 1950s, of the Japanese Mafia, life on the streets and in the bordellos of Tokyo and of the difficulties facing a foreigner in Japan. Rei tries to fit in and behave, but is, by nature, more assertive than the typical Japanese woman. This behavior offers her opportunities as well as involving her in dire situations. This all adds up to an entertaining and educational experience for the reader who enjoys light mysteries with a strong ethnic slant.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  TempleCat | Nov 29, 2014 |
Working as an English teacher in Tokyo, Rei Shimura, the daughter of a Japanese father and American mother, is strong, independent and beautiful. She is also the perfect character to help readers understand Japanese culture. Her vacation to the mountains is cut short when another guest is found murdered. Rei knows the Japanese policy of accusing foreigners in these situations so she does some sleuthing, getting herself into some tight spots, and meeting some attractive and not-so nice characters.

Fun read but about 1/3 too long. ( )
  Bookish59 | Jul 2, 2014 |
The Salaryman's Wife by Sujata Massey is the first book in the Rei Shimuara series, featuring a San Francisco born Japanese American living in Tokyo. Oddly though the series opens with (in anime terms) an onsen episode.

Rei is on a business trip with her boyfriend and other coworkers. Their conference is at a hot springs resort. Unfortunately one of the other guests there, the wife of one of another of the businessmen (or salaryman) is found dead outside the baths.

The facts and timing of the woman's death hinges on the signage on the door to the baths. There are three possible options: men only, women only, and families. The problem though is that the local police don't want to think about the oddities of the scene. They want a simple, cut and dry solution. It's up to Rei, therefore, to figure out what really happened.

The main problem with this debut mystery is that the solution is rather obvious. I figured out the murderer and the motivation behind the murder pages and pages before Rei did. ( )
  pussreboots | Mar 21, 2014 |
I was drawn in the story by the second page and enjoyed the reading enormously. ( )
  Condorena | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sujata Masseyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Leppämäki, TittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061044431, Mass Market Paperback)

The Salaryman's Wife is proof that arts grants do occasionally produce good art. Sujata Massey taught English in Japan and worked as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun. She applied for and won the Malice Domestic Grant for Unpublished Writers, which allowed her to finish this beautifully crafted story of cross-cultural suspense.

Rei Shimura is a 27-year-old Japanese American English teacher, living precariously on her tiny paycheck in Tokyo, the most expensive city in the world. She's determined not to use the plane ticket back to California offered by her parents. On a visit to the ancient castle town of Shiroyama, brought to such rich life that you'll want to head there instantly, Rei gets involved in a local murder. Her probing angers the conservative police and most of the citizens, but Rei persists, in spite of threats to her life and freedom. Her character is so well conceived and her adventures so believable that readers across the world should identify with Rei--and hope for a second serving soon.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:37 -0400)

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