"Sano Ichiro, Most Honorable Investigator of Events, Situations, and People is faced with his most challenging case when he investigates the death of Senior Elder Makino, the shogun's most trusted adviser. There is only one puzzling clue—a torn, perfumed sleeve of a kimono. Under the watchful eyes of the shogun's cousin, Lord Matsudaira, and the shogun's second-in-command, Chamberlain Yanagisawa, Sano moves with caution. For each is eager to implicate the other in Makino's death. But Sano must determine whether the death was indeed murder, and if so, whether it was motivated by politics, love, or sex.
When a second violent death occurs, Sano is faced with several suspects, each with a compelling motive. Was it Agemaki, Makino's stone-faced second wife; Okitsu, his beautiful young concubine; Koheiji, his handsome male houseguest; or Tamura, his faithful retainer? Or was it a political assassination? With the help of his wife, Reiko, Sano must solve the murder as he discovers just how intertwined desire and danger really are..."
"To Kathleen Davis, Elora Fink, Charles Gramlich, Steve Harris, Candice Proctor, and Emily Toth, in gratitude for thier company on Monday nights, their friendship, and their support."
- Sano clan
- Yanagisawa clan
- Lord Matsudaira
- Tokugawa Tsunayoshi
- Ito Genboku