In the wake of a deadly disaster, has a killer seized a perfect opportunity to commit the perfect crime?
An earthquake strikes Tokyo, and when the dust settles, it’s discovered that the reason the Tabata Shrine’s head priest was late to perform a wedding is because he was dead. Detective Kenji Nakamura is assigned to investigate, but although all clues point to one of Japan’s most idolized pop stars as the prime suspect, he knows that’s impossible––the idol and her band were swept away in the tsunami following the quake.
Meanwhile, part-time English translator Yumi Hata discovers a shocking truth about the dead idol. As mourning fans whip themselves into a media frenzy, can she and Kenji track down a killer who’s desperate to protect the secret that will rock the Japanese entertainment industry more powerfully than any earthquake?
Like the other two books in the Only in Tokyo mystery series, Idolmaker takes you behind closed doors into corners of Japan where few foreigners dare to go, and introduces you to fascinating characters you won’t soon forget.
Published by Penguin/Intermix
Book #3 in series
When she's not writing about murder at the local shrine, Jonelle Patrick is posting about making plastic food and How To Glue Your Eyelids on her Only In Japan blog, writing about poisonous snake tea for GaijinPot,and discovering new off-the-beaten path destinations for her website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had. A graduate of Stanford
University and Sendagaya Japanese Institute, she divides her time between Tokyo and San Francisco.
I asked Jonelle what made her start writing mysteries set in Japan?
I wish I could say I grew up eating sushi for breakfast, but the truth is, I ate Lucky Charms like every other kid on the block until I discovered Japan, and then I fell for it, hard. I love Japan. I love everything about Japan. I even love the irritating bits, because the reasons behind them are always so…unexpected.
If you love the unexpected too, come with me to Tokyo! When I'm Japan, if a door opens, I walk through it. Sometimes it leads to a backstage room at the Noh theatre, where seamstresses are mending the priceless brocade costumes for tonight's performance. Sometimes it leads to an underground all-night club thronged with Gothic Lolitas, fire-juggling dancers and Japanese death metal bands. Sometimes it leads to the sudden appearance of a hundred sumo wrestlers dressed only in loincloths, arriving to pray at the Yasukuni Shrine.
The longer I lived there, and the more doors I walked through, the more I realized that the "Japan" I'd seen from the outside was just pale shadow of the deeply exciting, always-changing culture that actually exists in Tokyo. And the more I saw, the more I wanted to show what was behind those closed doors to everyone back home. So…the all-night Gothic Lolita raves became Nightshade. The invitation-only nightclubs where handsome young dandies make women feel like they're the most attractive creatures on earth became Fallen Angel. And the crazy mixed-up world of the Japanese music business – where idols are made, not born – became Idolmaker.
I love Japan. I love writing. And I love passing that spark on, watching other people light up as they discover a world they never knew.
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