Snakeskin Shamisen

After hosting a party, a man is found in a parking lot with his throat slit; a shamisen (a guitar-like instrument native to Okinawa) lies shattered by his side. Mas Arai, the cranky California gardener/sleuth who’s starred in Naomi Hirahara’s previous mysteries, is recruited, reluctantly, by an old friend to uncover the tangled story of the victim and the instrument. Snakeskin Shamisen involves purported Communists, crooked authorities, Japanese internment camps, and another shady murder a half century ago. Hirahara’s well-plotted, wholesome whodunit offers a unique look at L.A.’s Japanese-American community, with enough twists and local flavor to keep you guessing till the end.

Snakeskin Shamisen
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