Son of Crane, sleuth extraordinaire!

Death's Kiss: Legend of the Five Rings (A Daidogi Shin Mystery #2) 
by Joshua Reynolds         3/4/21     


Delving once more into the feudal fantasy world of the Five Rings, the realm of Rokugan, it’s a pleasure to follow the exploits of one of my favorite sleuths, Daidogi Shin, nobleman from the House of Cranes, and amateur detective! 
The one great rule this society adheres to, “Uphold your honor, lest you lose everything in pursuit of glory.” 
I love the voice of Shin—languid, biting, self deprecating—he slays me with his many humorous lines. Like his opinion of horse riding, “While he could ride a horse as well as any bushi, he found them largely disagreeable beasts, prone to biting and bouts of flatulence. Much like some samurai he could name.”
In many ways Shin reminds me of the universal trickster, although things do have a habit of backfiring on him. Or maybe it’s just that new possibilities open up to him? Without a doubt Shin does see more than others comprehend. He’s the bane of his bodyguard/ samurai Kasami’s life. Forever going his own way. 
Slightly bored with restoring his newly acquired theatre, Shin doesn’t deliberate for too long  when the request comes to solve a murder. Hmm! No prizes for guessing what this seemingly flighty son of the Crane chooses!
Shin undertakes a journey to the city of Hisatu-Kesu, in the mountain areas of the Unicorn lands. He goes as an investigator at the behest of a Unicorn representative known to him, the Lady Iuchi Konomi.  It seems a devoted yojimbo (bodyguard), Katai Ruri, has killed her mistress’s fiancé. Death of the ronin is called for. Her mistress Zeshi Aimi has delayed the penalty hoping Shin can turn the tide.
Shin finds that an old friend, Iuchi Batu, is the clan magistrate. They have history...and then some. The atmosphere in the city is tense.  Mysteries underlie mysteries. Leading Shin to question who might be orchestrating the situation? Who gains what? Looking for the power balances.
The solving of the situation is somewhat harrowing, bringing to bear all of Shin’s Holmesian like capabilities and insights.
Shin leaves with a debt owed, albeit at a time and place of his choosing. The future beckons! I’m left feeling like Oliver with my metaphorical bowl outstretched, “Please sir, I want some more!”

An Aconyte Books ARC via NetGalley 
Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change


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