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Laura Joh Rowland Books In Order

Publication Order of Sano Ichiro Books

Shinju (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bundori (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Way of the Traitor (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Concubine's Tattoo (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Samurai's Wife (2000) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Black Lotus (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pillow Book of Lady Wisteria (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dragon King's Palace (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Perfumed Sleeve (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Assassin's Touch (2005) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Red Chrysanthemum (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Snow Empress (2007) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fire Kimono (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cloud Pavilion (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ronin's Mistress (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Incense Game (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shogun's Daughter (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Iris Fan (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Secret Adventures Of Charlotte Bronte Books

The Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bedlam: The Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle


Laura Joh Rowland is an American born famous author of the Chinese-Korean descent. She is very well known for writing her novels based on the detective fiction and historical mystery genres. Most of the novels written by author Rowland are set during the end phase of feudalism in Japan, particularly in Edo at the time of the late 17th century. She is popularly known all over the world for developing the protagonist named Sano Ichiro of her successful mystery series. The parents of author Rowland were immigrants from China and Korea, who took refuge in America. There, they gave birth to Rowland in the year 1954, who went on to study at the Michigan University. She was mainly raised in Michigan and completed her graduation with a B.S degree in the subject of Microbiology from the Michigan University. Later, Rowland obtained her Masters degree in the subject of Public Health from the same university.

Author Rowland has the experience of coming out alive from a natural disaster when her house located in New Orleans was completely destroyed by the Hurricane Katrina in the year 2005. The incident had a great impact on her mind and body after which she moved to the New York City and is now settled there with her husband. Right after completing her graduation, Rowland began working as a microbiologist. Over the course of the next few years, she changed a number of jobs, working as a chemist, sanitary inspector and as a quality engineer. While working, she would often indulge herself in developing mystery stories which led to her developing interests in writing mystery novels. Eventually, she gave up all her jobs in the public health sector and began working as a full time writer. The character of Sano Ichiro developed by author Rowland is the main protagonist of her detective series. He is described in the series as living during the 17th century in Edo, Japan, which is now a part of Tokyo.

Sano Ichiro is depicted by the author as a samurai who finds it very difficult to follow the Bushido code. He is required to balance his time between the serving his master and spending some quality time with her wife named Ueda Reiko, because of his extremely busy schedule. All the historical details mentioned in the historical mystery series are true in every sense. However, there are some creative changes made in some characters by the author, which are done only to make the plots of the novels a little bit more interesting. Author Laura Joh Rowland began writing the Sano Ichiro mystery series in the year 1994 and published its first novel in the same year. She is still working on the upcoming novels of the series and this way, she has maintained the series as an ongoing one. In addition to writing the Sano Ichiro historical mysteries, author Rowland is also working on the novels of one more series called as The Secret of Charlotte Bronte. She has continued with writing mystery novels with the continuation of the Charlotte Bronte series titled ‘The Further Secret Adventures of Charlotte Bronte’. Both these series are based on the life of the author of the novel Jane Eyre named Charlotte Bronte.

The Sano Ichiro series written by author Laura Joh Rowland consists of a total of 18 books published between the years 1994 and 2014. All the novels of this series feature the main character in the form of Sano Ichiro, who is depicted as a samurai and a private investigator. Author Rowland has described Sano Ichiro as working for the shogun based in Edo, Japan, during the 17th century. The first novel of the Sano Ichiro series was released under the title ‘Shinju’. It was published by the HarperTorch publishing house in the year 1994. The plot of this novel is set in Edo, Japan, which has now become Tokyo, and revolves around the life of the central character named Sano Ichiro. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, the dead bodies of the beautiful and wealthy woman named Yukiko and a low born artist named Nariyoshi are found in a Shinju, which is a popular double suicide ritual in Edo.

The drowned dead bodies of the two lovers made the people believe that the real culprit behind their deaths was nothing but the forbidden love. But Sano Ichiro, who is the new Yoriko thinks otherwise. He is already a famous and the most honorable of all investigators in matters related to situations, people, and events. Despite knowing the warnings and the official verdict of his superiors, Sano Ichiro suspects that the two lovers were murdered. He risks the good name of his family as well as his life and goes on to search for the murderer across the society. He seems determined to find the answers related to the mysterious death of Yukiko and Noriyashi. The plot of this novel appears to be a subtle and beautiful description of the culture of Japan. Being partly a love story and partly a mystery, Shinju went on to become immensely successful all over the world. The success also allowed it to be nominated for the Hammett Prize in the year 1994 as well as for the Anthony Award in the year 1995, both in the category of the Best First Novel.

The second novel of the Sano Ichiro series was published under the title ‘Bundori’. It was released by the HarperTorch publishing house in the year 1996. The plot of this novel once again depicts the main character Sano Ichiro as a samurai detective, who once again gets involved in tracking a serial killer. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, author Rowland is depicted the time of the year 1689 in Edo, which was the feudal capital of Japan at that time. It is shown that the state is controlled by the powerful shogun and surrounded by political intrigues and bitter machinations. Being an ex-policeman and a young samurai, Sano Ichiro tries to follow the ‘Bushido’, which is an ancient and noble way of living of a warrior. Soon, Sano Ichiro learns about the appearance of a ‘Bundori’ in the form of a severed head, which is nailed to a wood plank and left for the public to see. As the few other ‘Bundoris’ begin to appear one after the other, Detective Sano Ichiro decides everything that he has learned as a samurai in order to bring the murderer to justice.

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