Ink and Ashes

By Booklist

Utah is one of the last places to expect a high-stakes Yakuza mystery, but when Claire discovers a letter inkanji from her deceased father to her stepfather, it sets off a chain of events that brings past crimes and secrets out of the dark. How did the two know each other? Why did her father anticipate an early death? Claire proves a savvy sleuth. By researching her Japanese heritage and her father’s past, she begins to piece the puzzle together with the help of her brothers and friends, whose Japanese pop-culture knowledge (gleaned from manga and samurai films) helps Claire to decipher clues. The excitement and difficulties of the investigation are heightened when Claire becomes the victim of someone’s anger at school. Additionally, she discovers that her brothers and friends have been messing with her love life, revealing that even more people in Claire’s life aren’t who she believed them to be. Maetani’s fast-paced debut will appeal to readers who like their intrigue with a generous helping of romance.