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 (# 11 in the Akitada series)

An unexpected and dubious promotion sends Akitada to Kyushu, an outpost where illegal trade with China breeds treason and murder. Leaving behind his family, he faces obstruction and hostility at his new post and learns his predecessor, a man of expensive tastes, has disappeared under suspicious circumstances. As Tora and Saburo delve into the underworld of Hakata, Akitada tracks a ruthless traitor. The brutal murder of the Chinese wife of a doll maker sets into motion events that leave a trail of bodies. Worse, as the number of unexplained deaths mounts, Tora also disappears. Untangling the skeins of intrigue, Akitada follows leads from the seductive attention of a beautiful courtesan to the secretive business world of Chinatown and discovers that doing his duty has an even higher price than expected.

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