For three hundred years, an elusive masterpiece passes from one fortune-seeker to the next, indelibly altering the lives of all who possess it...
I’m so excited that I can finally give you a sneak peek into The Last Tea Bowl Thief!
It’s a two-timeline tale, with one thread taking place in the samurai era, and the other unspooling in modern-day Tokyo, where two women from opposite sides of the globe discover that both their futures depend on possessing a cultural treasure that’s been missing since before they were born.
From The Last Tea Bowl Thief back cover:
Robin Swann’s fairytale life in Tokyo has sputtered to a stop. She’s stuck in a dead-end job testing antiquities for an auction house, but her true love is poetry, not pottery. Her stalled dissertation sits on her laptop, unopened in months, and she has no one to confide in but her goldfish.
On the other side of town, Nori Okuda sells rice bowls and tea cups to Tokyo restaurants, as her family has done for generations. But with her grandmother in the hospital, the family business is foundering. Nori knows if her luck doesn’t change soon, she’ll lose what little she has left.
With nothing in common, Nori and Robin suddenly find their futures inextricably linked to an ancient, elusive tea bowl. Glimpses of the past set the stage as they hunt for the lost masterpiece, uncovering long-buried secrets in their wake. As they get closer to the truth—and the tea bowl—the women must choose between seizing their dreams or righting the terrible wrong that has poisoned its legacy for centuries.
So…is it any good?
Okay, I might not be the most objective person to answer that. But some far more trustworthy people are saying:
“I don’t know when I’ve been more caught up in a story. Jonelle Patrick handles the fascinating, centuries-old tale of the tea bowl with elegance and verve. Her descriptions are flawless and reveal her deep understanding of Japanese culture. A masterful achievement.” —Terry Shames, award-winning author of An Unsettling Crime for Samuel Craddock
“An immersive page-turner, meticulously researched and perfectly plotted. Patrick has crafted a subtle, layered mystery filled with intriguing characters and masterful twists. Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries and CLIMB
“Absolute page-turner…the different storylines slowly converge in a profoundly satisfying away, like the flawless bow on a Japanese gift. What a marvelous ride.”—Katherine Catmull, author of Summer and Bird
“A suspenseful plot that keeps you guessing while at the same time whisking you away to another time and place with enviable ease…a pleasure to read.” —Mary Mackey, New York Times bestselling author of The Year The Horses Came
“…an engaging read of choices—and second chances—that cross the centuries.” —Mandy Bartok, Japan specialist at Uncovering Japan
And there’s an in-depth review over on Tokyo Authority
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Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!