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Top-5 Japanese Mysteries from S.J. Pajonas Author of THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on April 8, 2016 in Books, Guest, S.J. Pajonas |

I’m so happy to be able to share a top-five list and an excerpt of THE DAYDREAMER DETECTIVE by S.J. Pajonas with you all today. This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 4 till 8 April, you can view the complete tour schedule on the website of Lola’s Blog Tours. Don’t forget to enter the giveaway and let’s give a big welcome to S.J.!

The daydreamer Detective banner

Since I’m writing a mystery set in Japan for an English-speaking audience (The Daydreamer Detective, out on March 31, 2016!), I thought it might be fun to share my favorite Japanese mysteries, written about Japan or by Japanese authors. If there’s one thing to know about Japan before getting into their mysteries, it’s that they can be pretty graphic and gory. The first few I read were a bit disturbing, but I also couldn’t help but be drawn in by the stories. Maybe there’ll be a few here, you’d be interested in!
  1. Out by Natsuo Kirino – This is the quintessential Japanese mystery book because it’s based on actual events that occurred in Japan in the 1990s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inokashira_Park_dismemberment_incident This actually happened in my favorite park in Tokyo, Inokashira Park in Kichijoji, and I have since written this park into one of my other novels Summer Haikus (but I was carefull to never mention the incident in that romance!) Anyway, body parts were found in trash bags in the garbage cans in this park and the murder was never solved. Since this murder happened, garbage cans have been removed from the park, and you have to take your trash with you when you leave. Out is murder mystery that uses this same technique to dispose of the body, but that’s only one little twisted piece of the puzzle. I promise you will never look at bento boxes the same way again.
  2. All She Was Worth by Miyuki Miyabe – If you want a real look into Japanese culture, this is a good place to start. The crimes in this novel are mostly missing persons and credit troubles including theft, but you get the chance to see how the Japanese society is laid out and works so that people can game or move around in the system. I found this book fascinating for all the twists and turns along the way to the big reveal.
  3. A Wild Sheep Chase and Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami – These two books comes as a pair and the mystery in them is both supernatural and not. As usual, Murakami draws from his background in magical realism to create a fantastical, other-worldly setting without leaving Tokyo. Who is the man in the sheep suit and what does he want? These books drew me in and captured me completely.
  4. The Dragon Scroll (Akitada Mysteries) by I. J. Parker – The Dragon Scroll is only the first book in a 15+ book series that takes place in ancient Japan. I’ve read the first five or six books in this series and really loved them. They’re not only clever mysteries but also give good insight into Japan’s past and the rules, cultures, and castes that shaped that time.
  5. Shinju (San Ichiro Novels) by Laura Joh Rowland – This is the one book on this list I haven’t read but has been on my Kindle waiting for me for a while. It comes very highly rated and talked about from friends, so I’m excited to start it. It also gives a lot of insight into Japanese culture and societal norms, along with a tragic murder of two people drowned in a river together. This is also a first book in a long series, so there’s plenty of reading material here!
These are only a taste of MANY mysteries set in Japan. Other authors you may want to consider in your search would be: Seicho Matsumoto, Keigo Higashino, Barry Lancet, and Sujata Massey (who writes the Rei Shimura Mysteries).

The Daydreamer DetectiveThe Daydreamer Detective (Miso Cozy Mysteries #1)
By SJ Pajonas
Genre: Mystery/ Cozy Mystery
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 31 march 2016

Luck? Forget it. Mei Yamagawa is fresh out of it. She’s just been downsized from her 3rd job in five years and her bank account is dry. Now, to keep her head above water, she must leave Tokyo and move back to her rural Japanese hometown. And there’s nothing worse than having to face your old rivals and ex-boyfriends as a failure while starting life over as a farm girl.

But when her best friend’s father is murdered, and her best friend is named the main suspect, Mei turns her daydreaming ways towards solving the crime. Between dates disguised as lunches with the town’s hottest bachelor chef, searching for clues, and harvesting sweet potatoes, Mei has a lot of non-paying work cut out for her.

Will she catch the killer before her bad luck turns worse? Or will she fry in the fire with the rest of her dreams of success?

You can find The Daydreamer Detective on Goodreads

You can buy The Daydreamer Detective here:
Amazon
B&N
Kobo
iBooks

Excerpt:

Every time I went into the barn during harvesting, I avoided the loft, but at the end of the week, I was finally ready to climb up there and inspect the remains of my past. The stairs creaked as I ascended into the dusty space above the tractor we used in the spring. On the right, under the window, sat the old couch I used to sit on and read, the spot where Tama and I slept together for the first and many times after. A plastic tarp covered it, and I could imagine the upholstery underneath was pristine. Mom was pretty thorough about taking care of this place. My old canvasses, some half drawn on or painted, others blank, leaned against the adjacent wall, next to my easel and tackle boxes of paints. On the left, Mom’s fire-proof file cabinets sat against the wall, carrying her precious documents and other things she needed to run the farm.

The Mount Fuji painting used to take up the space to the rear of my canvasses, but the wide wall stood empty, begging to be filled. I grabbed the top tackle box and popped it open. Tubes of acrylic paint lined the top tray, like I’d left them in there yesterday. Several were unopened and moved when I squeezed them, but a few had seized up. Wow. I was lucky! I’d heard acrylic paint could last ten years or more, especially if they were kept in the fridge, but the temperature fluctuated up here and I expected worse.

I flipped through the few canvasses left and placed one on the easel. I had scratched a few hasty pencil sketches onto it, but nothing seemed familiar. Hmmm. I turned the canvas around 180 degrees and there! Yes. I had planned to paint a lake with a torii gate and a mountain in the background. I never understood this about myself. I loved modern life. I loved my phone, my computer, and the city. Yet, when it came to painting, I only ever wanted to capture the world in its splendor, natural and real. I didn’t paint people. I didn’t paint animals. I hadn’t tried abstract or modern, though I loved to look at both. I was attracted the most to natural landscapes.

I was a host of perplexing contradictions.

The Daydreamer Detective teaser 1

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The Daydreamer Detective teaser 3

 

SJ PajonasAbout the Author:
Stephanie (S. J.) is a writer, knitter, amateur astrologer, Capricorn, and Japanophile. She loves foxes, owls, sushi, yoga pants, Evernote, and black tea. When she’s not writing, she’s thinking about writing or spending time outside, unless it’s winter. She hates winter. Someday she’ll own a house in both hemispheres so she can avoid the season entirely. She’s a mom to two great kids and lives with her husband and family outside NYC. They have no pets. Yet. When it comes to her work, expect the unexpected. She doesn’t write anything typical. Find her online at http://www.spajonas.com.

You can find and contact SJ Pajonas here:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads
Tumblr
Instagram
Youtube
Wattpad
Amazon

There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Daydreamer. There will be two winners:
– One US Resident will win: One paperback copy of Adult Coloring Book Japan, One Signed Copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One signed copy of Removed, and a surprise flavor of Pocky!
– One International Resident will win: One ebook copy of The Daydreamer Detective, One ebook copy of Removed, and One ebook of each Rice Cooker Revenge, Washing Statue Wanderlust, and Mamachari Matchmaker

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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