Cover image for In darkness, death
In darkness, death
Hoobler, Dorothy.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Philomel Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
viii, 195 pages ; 22 cm
In eighteenth-century Japan, young Seikei becomes involved with a ninja as he helps Judge Ooka, his foster father, investigate the murder of a samurai.
General Note:
Sequel to: The demon in the teahouse.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader/Renaissance Learning MG 5.2 6.

Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 5.2 6.0 75428.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult

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Samurai Lord Inaba has been murdered in his sleep. To make matters worse, the crime took place under the protective eye of the Shogun himself. This is a case for Judge Ooka, Japan’s own real-life Sherlock Holmes. And, of course, for his 14-year-old apprentice, Seikei. Their only clue—a bloodstained origami butterfly—leads them on a journey filled with mysterious shape-shifting ninjas, vengeful peasants, and a power-hungry killer you might never suspect. If Seikei is to help solve this crime, he must first survive.Edgar Award finalists Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler drench this story with drama and suspense in this, their third mystery featuring the famous magistrate Ooka and his young samurai apprentice.

Author Notes

Dorothy Hoobler is a historian and author of over sixty books, both fiction and nonfiction, mostly for young readers. Her and her husband are the authors of the well-loved American Family Album series, including The Japanese American Family Album, which was named a Carter G. Woodson Honor Book in 1997. The Hooblers won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 2005 with In Darkness, Death.

In addition, the Society for School Librarians International chose their book Showa: The Era of Hirohito for a best book award in 1991, and they have been cited for excellence by the Library of Congress, the Parents' Choice Foundation, Bank Street College, the International Reading Association, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, and the New York Public Library.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7-10. This is the third installment in the authors' series of intriguing mysteries set in eighteenth-century Japan, beginning with The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (1999). In this book, 14-year-old Seikei and his adopted father and mentor, Judge Ooka, set out to discover who murdered a powerful warlord. Signs point to a ninja, a hired assassin. But who procured the services of the ninja? Judge Ooka orders Seikei to travel to a northern town with the seemingly inept Tatsuno, who turns out to be a ninja himself. Eventually, Seikei's journey takes him to a sacred mountain, where he has brushes with the supernatural and a dangerous encounter with the murderer, who reveals the name of the man who hired him. Although the mystery plot itself is not as elaborate as those in the other novels in the series, this is a great adventure story, featuring lots of action, authentic period details, and an evocative, shadowy atmosphere. --Todd Morning Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-8-This fine mystery set in 18th-century Japan continues the adventures of Judge Ooka and his 14-year-old adopted son, Seikei. This time, they are asked to investigate the death of Lord Inaba, who was murdered under the watchful eye of the shogun. Their only clue is a bloodstained origami butterfly. The judge sends Seikei to a distant town in the care of the enigmatic ninja Tatsuno to find out who bought the paper from which the butterfly was made. This leads them to a remote monastery and, unwittingly, right into the killer's hiding place. The plot falters a bit when Seikei takes it upon himself to argue the case of starving peasants to the local lord, known to be ruthless, and is thrown in jail. He is much too smart to be so naive about the morals of the local ruler. However, this development illustrates his big heart, and readers will easily forgive this minor flaw considering the story's solid suspense, fast-paced action, and authentic setting. Overall, a satisfying mystery that's sure to please fans and likely to win a few converts.-Karen T. Bilton, Somerset County Library, Bridgewater, NJ (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.