Sujata Massey’s book The Bride’s Kimono is part of a series featuring the character Rei Shimura as the heroine. The book is categorized as a mystery/suspense story and has a little romance thrown in. As a mystery/ suspense story the book does a fair job; however, the events are very predictable. Although there were times when Massey produces a sense of curiosity, these moments were few and far between and were not enough to keep me hooked on the plot.
The protagonist Rei Shimura also fits the motif of Asian American women who are discontent with conforming to the pressures of their heritage. There a many instances in the story where Rei is treated unfairly because of her gender and ethnicity. For instance the Japanese curators at the museum are reluctant to entrust her antique robes to deliver to an exhibit because she is an unmarried woman. Also after one of the kimonos she was entrusted to deliver was stolen, both Japanese and American officials suspect her of stealing it.
Rei’s character is a strong, independent woman. She is the polar opposite of what you might expect as a tame young lady. I like Rei as a character; however The Bride’s Kimono – being my introduction to the series – doesn’t particularly make me want to continue reading them.