Cover image for Tokyo heist
Tokyo heist
Renn, Diana.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Speak, 2013

Physical Description:
373 pages ; 21 cm
After a high-profile art heist of three van Gogh drawings in her home town of Seattle, sixteen-year-old Violet Rossi finds herself in Japan with her artist father, searching for the related van Gogh painting.
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Y FICTION Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Paperback

On Order



The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.

Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.

Author Notes

Diana Renn has taught ESL and writing, most recently at Boston University. She is the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), an online magazine featuring short-form writing for teens. She is the author of several ESL textbooks as well as the young adult mystery novels Latitude Zero, Tokyo Heist, and Blue Voyage.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Everyone has better summer plans than Violet. Her best friend/boy-of-her-dreams is going to film camp, and her other friend, Rieka, will be in Tokyo visiting her family. Although Violet isn't an otaku (a manga fan obsessed to a debilitating degree), she is an aspiring artist and maybe a little jealous of Rieka. What's worse is that she has to stay with her distant muralist father in Seattle. But her luck changes when she learns that some of her dad's clients were recently robbed of priceless Van Goghs. When those clients are threatened by the Yakuza, Violet and her dad decide to take the search international, and Violet finally gets to see Tokyo for herself. With guidance from her favorite manga, Vampire Sleuths, and her own artistic creation, Kimono Girl, she makes up her mind to find the missing Van Goghs herself. Renn's debut will be a surefire hit with Japanophiles, who will thoroughly appreciate Violet's enthusiasm for the culture. This art heist has twists and turns, romance, and the happily-ever-after that many will be rooting for.--Jones, Courtney Copyright 2010 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Renn's fun debut takes a kitchen-sink approach, throwing together romance, mystery, and action in a way that echoes the manga that 16-year-old Violet loves to read (and hopes to create herself someday). While spending the summer with her absentminded artist father in Seattle, she finds out about the theft of some van Gogh drawings owned by her father's patrons, Kenji and Mitsue Yamada. Drawn into the mystery of the theft, she fights with her best friend (and crush) Edge, runs into members of the yakuza, ends up in Japan with her father, and teams up with her friend Reika to search Tokyo and Kyoto for both the van Goghs and the painting they inspired. Renn keeps the action moving briskly, and if she hews to a few cliches (Violet's manga-inspired "it's more romantic to hide your feelings" approach to Edge is a prime example), the action, mix of genres, and large cast of characters always keep things interesting. Fans of mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this just as much as fans of Japanese culture. Ages 12-up. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Violet Rossi, cynical and annoyed with the adults in her life, plans to spend the summer with her artist dad in Seattle. She is a creative, manga-loving 16-year-old who even has a manga alter ego, Kimono Girl. She is excited when her dad's new commission is her ticket to Tokyo for the summer. However, before they leave, his patrons have precious van Gogh drawings stolen from their home, and a yakuza, a Japanese gangster, demands they give him a painting that he thinks they have. When the teen and her dad land in Japan, the danger increases and the gangster threatens to "erase" Violet's dad if he does not receive the painting. Violet is smart and knows a lot about Japanese culture. She starts researching the case, thinking it would be good inspiration for her Kimono Girl manga, but she eventually becomes wrapped up in the mystery. The plot has lots of twists and turns, leaving readers on edge, and a hint of romance (Violet has a crush on her best friend back home). Readers will cheer for Violet as she uses her wits and outsmarts the adults. Teens will learn about Japanese culture, and fans of manga and art students will rejoice that they can relate to the protagonist and story.-Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.