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In Darkness, Death (The Samurai Mysteries)
List Price: $6.99
Our Price: $6.99
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Manufacturer: Puffin
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5Average rating of 4.5/5

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Binding: Paperback
EAN: 9780142403662
ISBN: 0142403660
Label: Puffin
Manufacturer: Puffin
Number Of Items: 1
Number Of Pages: 208
Publication Date: 2005-05-05
Publisher: Puffin
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Studio: Puffin

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Editorial Reviews:

In the world of ninjas and the shogun, honor is everything. When the Samurai Lord Inaba is discovered murdered in his sleep while under the protection of the shogun, the ruler is honor-bound to find the killer. Desperate for justice, he turns to the famous Judge Ooka—the Sherlock Holmes of eighteenth-century Japan—and his fourteen-year-old apprentice, Seikei, to investigate. Their one clue? A bloodstained origami butterfly. Determined to unmask the killer, Seikei embarks on an adventure filled with mysterious and deadly shape-shifting ninjas, vengeful peasants, and a killer who will stop at nothing to keep his true identity hidden.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: In Darkness Death
Comment: In Darkness Death
This is the best book hat I have ever read and finished. There is one and only one part I don't like about this book is one paragraph.
Yutaro's face clouded. "I expected more that, he said. The shogun told he was sending the best investigator he had. If that is true, it is surprising anyone in Edo considers theme self safe.
I don't like this part because Yutaro [lord Inba] is kicking them out when they are trying to find out who killed lord Inba, Yutaro father. Now Yutaro is new lord Inba.
I like this part because they find out who is Lord Inba's enemy is.
Seikei slipped under the rope and bowed to show his gratitude. "Father," he said, "I have followed the path you pointed out for me.
He handed the Judge the writing kit. The murderer's confession is in here. Seikei realized he was shaking, unnervedbyhidtripdownthemountain.
I like this part because they found who paid the ninja to kill Lord Inba.
You accomplished not only the task I set for you, but the one you took on for yourself, said the Judge. The ninja writes that the person who paid him to kill Lord Inaba was Lord Inba's son, Yutaro.
I hope you read this book and enjoy it the same way I did.

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: My favorite "Judge Ooka" book
Comment: This third novel in the Judge Ooka mystery series is my fave cuz it involves a ninja, Tatsuna. The characterizations aren't deep or tremendous, but somehow that's OK in a mystery. The story has enough twists and turns that it held my interest over a day or 2 -- a quick read. The main character, Seikei, is a young boy who's been adopted by the samurai judge and wants badly to live up to being a samurai.

The other Judge Ooka mysteries are also worth reading. Also, I read In Darkness, Death along with a separate novel of samurai Japan called Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale. It has deeper characterizations, and more ninja action. The two books are interesting read together because In Darkness, Death shows ninjas from the outside, and Blue Fingers shows ninjas from the inside. [Guess what, I am into martial arts. :)]

Customer Rating: Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5Average rating of 5/5
Summary: An incredible mystery
Comment: It's the eighteenth century in Japan and Lord Inaba, the most powerful lord in the country, has just been killed. If that's not devastating enough, the murder happened right under the noses of two guards. They ask the famous Judge Ooka and his fourteen-year-old foster son and apprentice Seikei to figure out who did it. A paper origami butterfly stained with blood is their only lead.

Judge Ooka and Seikei begin to ask servants and villagers about the night of the murder. They all insist that they saw nothing and weren't involved. Then they ride to a guard's palace and capture Tinsuno, a ninja, and talk with him about the murder. The judge then asks Tinsuno to go with Seikei to see a papermaker named Bakkoro in Minnowa about the butterfly. Tinsuno agrees, and the journey begins.

When they get to Minnowa to see Bakkoro, they find out that the paper was made for the O-Miwa shrine at the base of Miwayama and that the shrine is forbidden; it has no shelter for the Kami to reside in because he lives on a sacred mountain. They next go to Etchu Providence to question Lord Inaba's enemies.

Upon their arrival, they find out that Lord Inaba had many foes. He murdered children and ordered farmers to pay full taxes on their crops, causing families to starve. Seikei decides to help the farmers get a petition of their complaints to the new Lord Inaba, Yotoro. But the petition is denied and Seikei is held as a prisoner. He escapes and goes to the governor's house alone.

While at the governor's house, Seikei and his father talk with the Kannushi about the murder. The Kannushi asks Seikei to perform one very dangerous task: to climb on Miwayama Mountain and confront the ninja who they believe committed the murder. Will the ninja confess to the crime, or will the mystery remain unsolved?

IN DARKNESS, DEATH is a must read for mystery fans because it will keep you guessing all the way to the end. When I discovered who the murderer was, I wasn't surprised. Can you guess who it is?

--- Reviewed by Ashley Hartlaub

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