First in an all-new series of mysteries that could happen only in Tokyo…
It’s just another group suicide, thinks Tokyo Detective Kenji Nakamura – until he sees the Goth Lolita sprawled in the back seat of the late-model Lexus. Why would a doll-like eccentric dressed in black ruffles and Mary Janes choose to kill herself with a man and woman old enough to be her parents? The suicide note only adds to the mystery: it apologizes for an unnamed disaster that hasn’t yet happened.
The next morning, Kenji finds part-time interpreter Yumi Hata camped in the police station lobby, insisting she has evidence her Gothic Lolita friend was murdered. Yumi spent her childhood in America, but now that she’s back in Japan, she’s got a foot in both cultures and belongs to neither. Rushing to head off a catastrophe that could claim innocent lives, they join forces to discover who seduced all three victims into making a date with death.
The closer they get to the killer, the stranger their encounters with the fringes of Japanese society: the lost souls who flit in and out of the shadowy world of suicide websites; the sisterhood of Lolitas; a bartender who hides a dark secret behind his collection of Alice in Wonderland action figures, and a technical wizard who does his best work while being served by costumed waitresses in an Akihabara “maid café.”
The clock is ticking as they race to find the killer before the next victim is targeted…
Nightshade was named one of five Thrillers Of The Month for December 2012 by e-thriller.com!
“WOW…talk about culture shock! The writer moves you through the streets & underground of Tokyo with a sure hand, and you’ll feel transported to places both familiar & incredibly strange. I didn’t want this one to end. Great characters woven into a terrific tale of murder, fear & suspicion.”
– Amazon (Marilyn Swanson review)
“If you enjoy detective/mystery books, this one is well worth your time. If you’re even remotely interested in modern Japanese society and culture, it’s not to be missed. The story itself is easily as enjoyable as any best seller in the genre, but where the author really shines is her description of modern day Tokyo.”
–Libboo (Julie Adams review)
“…It’s a great story well-told and expertly written, the kind of book where you are so immersed that you forget that the characters aren’t real people that you actually know. …My only complaint about the book is that it ended.
– Amazon (Linda Castellani review)
The weird details I write about every day on my blog are all discovered as I roam around Tokyo gathering stuff to put in my books. If you like the blog and you like mysteries, give it a try! The series features part-time English translator Yumi Hata and Tokyo Metropolitan Police Detective Kenji Nakamura.
The first one gives a glimpse into Japanese fashion cults like Lolitas and cosplay, the second one (March 2013), takes place in the world of Kabukichō host clubs, and the third one (August 2013) will dive into the strange parallel universe of the Japanese idol-making music business.
For pictures, links, and easy access to Nightshade from online booksellers, please visit the author pages on The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had website. To get background scoop on the people and places in the book, lots more photos of Japanese fashion cult style, and info about book events in your area, “like” my Jonelle Patrick Author page on Facebook or follow jonellepatrick on Twitter.