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The Demon in the Teahouse (The Samurai…

The Demon in the Teahouse (The Samurai Mysteries) (2001)

by Dorothy Hoobler

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In eighteenth-century Japan, fourteen-year-old Seikei, a merchant's son in training to be a samurai, helps his patron investigate a series of murders and arson in the capital city of Edo, each of which is associated in some way with a popular geisha.
  lkmuir | Dec 7, 2015 |
When he was younger, Seikei’s father always warned him to stay away from the “floating world,” the exotic pleasure district of Yoshiwara. But when a string of murders comes to the attention of Judge Ooka, Seikei is sent to investigate. He takes a job as a servant boy at a prominent teahouse, and begins watching the beautiful geisha Umae. Umae is popular and has many suitors, but those connected with her meet unfortunate fates. Death and fire follow in her wake, and Judge Ooka is counting on Seikei to figure out who is targeting Umae, and why.

I don’t know if this series was written with the intention of educating young readers about life in Japan, but it certainly does a good job of it. The Hooblers do an excellent job of bringing the floating world to life in a way that is both tasteful and age appropriate. Umae briefly alludes to men who desire her as a ‘plaything’ and would ‘buy her’, but that’s as explicit as it ever gets. Meanwhile, readers get a good idea how life in the pleasure quarter was for the regular people, the owners and servants of teahouses who made the glamour and pageantry of the geisha possible.

I thought this was a strong sequel to The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. The plot moves very smoothly and the mystery unfolds naturally. Seikei is a likable hero, very curious and obedient to his adopted father, Judge Ooka. He does most of the detective work and solves most of the mystery himself; Ooka only really appears at the end to summarize and explain events for any readers who might have missed a detail and not put the pieces together yet. ( )
  makaiju | Feb 18, 2011 |
The book “The Demon in the Teahouse” by Thomas Hoobler is a very interesting nonfiction book which describes the journey of a Samurai named Seikei and his foster dad The Judge Ooka during the 18th century in Japan solving a case about sudden mysterious Geisha murders. In their journey The Judge Ooka separates from his son and sends him to work undercover in a teahouse in which Geishas’ entertain people. While working in the teahouse Seikei tries to solve this mystery while being faced with many obstacles.
Thomas Hoobler has succeeded in writing an extremely capturing book with his wonderful and deep descriptions of action and imagery in the book. Any person reading the book would immediately sink into the story of action, mystery and suspense with imagery that make the reader feel like he is Seikei himself in the journey to solve the horrific murders.
Also, the book includes many different subjects such as culture and history which are the main themes in the book. The use of these themes in the book helps create an image of the story line in the reader’s mind and helps the reader understand and learn more about the culture of the 18th century in Japan.
In conclusion I liked reading this book because it pulled me deeper and deeper into the story as I read. Even though it was a little bit scary I couldn’t stop reading it. The book enriched me with a lot of knowledge about Japan in the 18th century and made me feel like I was going to explode with excitement while walking in Samurai Seikei’s shoes.
I recommend this book for any person who likes to read books about mystery and horror and is interested in the culture of Geishas and Samurais in Japan. ( )
  rang777 | Oct 3, 2010 |
In this sequel to The Ghost in Tokkaido Inn, Seikei has begun his training as a samurai at the home of his adopted father Samurai Judge Ooka. Judge Ooka and Seikei become involved in the investigation of some mysterious, suspicious fires in the nearby city of Edo, and also the death of two geishas. Seikei goes to work in a teahouse in the exotic, floating city of Yoshiwara where the geishas live and entertain at night. With his natural curiosity, quick intelligence, and eager desire to please Judge Ooka, Seikei is able to help solve the mysteries.

This was a very enjoyable young adult mystery. It had an excellent plot that was well paced and several interesting characters. The setting in 18th century Japan was fascinating and felt very genuine. This book had a lot of information about geishas and the floating city and other cultural tidbits from this period in Japan. Highly recommended for those who like reading young adult mysteries and novels set in Japan. ( )
  chinquapin | Jul 26, 2010 |
This is the second book in the Samurai Mystery series; there are six books total in the series. If you enjoyed the first book you will enjoy this one. The two books are very similar in style.

Seikei is busy training as a samurai when his master, Judge Ooka, gets a desperate call for help. Fires have been breaking out in Edo and Judge Ooka must find out why. The mystery will lead Jedge Ooka and Seikei deep into the geisha district; where Seikei must help figure out if the fires are being caused by a demon or by something more human in nature.

Again the best part about this book is how it delves into Japanese culture. You learn a lot about the culture of Geisha's in this novel and a lot about the history of fire safety in Japanese cities. Seikei has a number of life-threatening close calls; making this book a bit more tense than the first one.

The mystery is well woven and has a less predictable outcome than it did in the first book. The writing style is still nothing special; the books are written at a pretty basic reading level.

Overall the book was engaging and enjoyable. Nothing incredibly special but I again enjoyed the Japanese history and enjoyed reading about Seikei. I look forward to reading the next book. ( )
  krau0098 | Jul 23, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 014240540X, Paperback)

The beautiful, mysterious women of Japan are being killed one by one. The famous samurai Judge Ooka knows he will need help to solve the crimes, so he turns to his newly adopted son, fourteen-year-old Seikei. Determined to prove his worth as a samurai, Seikei goes undercover as a teahouse attendant in the exotic "floating city" of Yoshiwara, where demons lurk among the pleasure seekers and no one is safe-not even a samurai.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:21 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In eighteenth-century Japan, fourteen-year-old Seikei, a merchant's son in training to be a samurai, helps his patron investigate a series of murders and arson in the capital city of Edo, each of which is associated in some way with a popular geisha.

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