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The Haiku Murder is very cleverly written, full of valid clues and scores of red herrings. The reader is kept guessing right to the very end and like with The Cherry Blossom Murder and The Tokyo Karaoke Murder, the culprit isn’t revealed until the very last pages. I am quite embarrassed to admit that I was completely caught out in the first two books and this occasion was no different. It certainly wasn’t who I thought it was!
Mandy, Addicted to Media
Having read both of the Josie Clark books, I personally felt there was a notable improvement in ‘The Haiku Murder’. I certainly enjoyed the prequel ‘The Cherry Blossom Murder’, as you can see from my review here, although the sequel is more developed and complex in some ways.
The plot itself has a lot of layers and I found myself suspecting someone new by the end of every chapter and, in the end, I was still surprised at the dramatic finale.
Sophie, Sophie’s Japan Blog
‘ A beguiling read
Lures your imagination
To shores exotic
Sequel to the page turning debut novel The Cherry Blossom Murder, Fran Pickering’s second offering charting the amateur sleuthing of Josie Clark, a British expat living in Tokyo, was no fading flower… Each person is a curiously engaging personality, and as with The Cherry Blossom Murder, the richly detailed backdrop of Japan is engaging, and alluring.’
Emma, Adventures of a London Kiiwi
Fran’s literary strength is her ability to tell a story whose conclusion isn’t glaringly obvious to the reader (at least it wasn’t too me).
As with her last mystery, she presents a cast of characters and imbues each with possible motives but keeps the reader guessing until the final few chapters as to who the actual perpetrator is. While the dialogue doesn’t necessarily “crackle”, with both of her novels, I’ve kept the light on at night later than I should, curious to know “whodunnit”.
Mandy, Uncovering Japan
I’ve got to confess I’m not much of a murder mystery reader, but I love a book set in Japan and of course I’m interested in haiku (俳句), so I had to read this book! I enjoyed the last book in the series, The Cherry Blossom Murder, and was pleased to find The Haiku Murder was similar in style, and just as readable.
What I liked best about The Haiku Murder was the setting. The murder itself happens during a haiku writing trip to Matsuyama (松山) in Shikoku, famous for its castle. Although I’ve never been to Matsuyama (or Shikoku for that matter), Fran set the scene so well that I could imagine the setting and picture Matsuyama in lots of detail.
Ali, Haiku Girl
Fran Pickering’s passion for Japan really is the way in which she is able to write about the country with such skill. Her writing is easy to read and flows well and the snippets of Japanese life fit well into the case Josie gets herself involved with.
Some would call this cosy crime – like Grantchester or Nancy Drew but do we always have to have horrifc graphic murder everytime? It makes a nice change for the setting and the investigation side to come out on top and to focus on the person solving the mystery.
Susan, The Book Trail