This book is the first in a mystery series set in contemporary (1990s) Japan. This book grabbed my attention in the first few chapters with the murder and the descriptions of Japanese culture. However, the book seemed to drag on and it was difficult to figure out why the main character cared so much about the murdered woman. Or for that matter why she was so set on living in Japan. It seems like the only thing she appreciates about the country is the antiques she collects. I was surprised at the end of the novel when the main character likened herself to other characters who had fallen in love with Japan and wish to remain there.
Overall the mystery was so-so, I figured out who the murderer was about 5 pages before his/her identity was revealed and I don't think there was really many "clues" to the identity before this. I'll probably read the second book, just to see the main character further developed, but if it isn't an improvement on the first novel, I won't continue with the series.