This book was reviewed for Lola’s Blog Tours
The Daydreamer Detective, by SJ Pajonas, is the first in the Miso Cozy Mystery Series. This was a great read! Much as I love mystery fiction a lá Sherlock Holmes, the appeal of cozy mysteries oft escapes me. Not so with this little gem!
Mei, a businesswoman in Tokyo, has been fired from her third sales job in a row. With no other options available, Mei returns home to live with her ma, in the small farming village of Chikata. She settles in to a life of farm work, alternating between despising it and loving it.
Just before Mei arrived, her best friend’s father was found dead in his home. When signs point to something other than natural causes, Mei takes up investigating Kano-san’s death. She thinks it may have something to do with the company that is buying up land in Chikata, but Midori Sankoku’s main interest is in revitalising the town. They want Kano-san’s land, but they are willing to wait as long as necessary. Or are they?
Mei digs in deep, and turns up surprising evidence. She also manages to snag the handsome young chef and owner of Sawayaka as a boyfriend, and grudgingly lets her creative side out again by delving back into her painting. Before all is said and done, Mei will have to confront the one thing she fears above all else.
As I said before, cozy mysteries are not my usual forte. I’m working on branching out, though, and this was an excellent choice. I really enjoyed that it was set in Japan. I loved the cultural immersion. I was surprised that the police in Chikata accepted and even encouraged civilian sleuthing to help in police investigations. I admit I don’t know enough of the culture to know how believable this would be in a rural Japanese village. It wouldn’t be where I live. This novel turned out to be surprisingly longer than I expected, which was a another pleasant surprise. The past cozy mysteries I’ve read were much shorter.
I love Mei. I feel I’m a lot like her in many ways. Mei can very shy and self-conscious, but she has a stubborn, fierce streak. That’s what lead her to challenge Yasahiro-san, and to keep pushing her investigations. And she’s always daydreaming! That’s me, all right! She’s plagued with self-doubts, and self-recriminations, which do take on a hint of the ol’ melodrama at times.
I also really liked Yasahiro-san. He’s such a perfect gentleman. He has this incredibly hectic job, yet he maintains his calm almost all the time. He also makes time specifically for Mei, though she feels she is undeserving of his attention.
Overall, Pajonas’ Daydreamer Detective is a great read. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.
????? Highly recommended for those who love cozy mysteries, romance mysteries, and stories set in Japan.