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Death's Kiss: Legend of the Five Rings: A Daidoji Shin Mystery

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Nobleman sleuth Daidoji Shin returns for a brilliant new investigation deep in the Emerald Empire, in this exciting novel set in the fantastical world of Legend of the Five Rings Daidoji Shin, former louche layabout turned amateur investigator, and his long-suffering bodyguard, Kasami, are called away from the comforts of the City of the Rich Frog and into Unicorn lands to Nobleman sleuth Daidoji Shin returns for a brilliant new investigation deep in the Emerald Empire, in this exciting novel set in the fantastical world of Legend of the Five Rings Daidoji Shin, former louche layabout turned amateur investigator, and his long-suffering bodyguard, Kasami, are called away from the comforts of the City of the Rich Frog and into Unicorn lands to investigate a seemingly open-and-shut case of murder. But it’s never that straightforward… A condemned woman’s life is at stake, and the outcome may prevent a war between noble families. But that’s only the beginning of this mystery: Shin will come face to face with a sinister seditionist organization that could have much deeper consequences than he could imagine.


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Nobleman sleuth Daidoji Shin returns for a brilliant new investigation deep in the Emerald Empire, in this exciting novel set in the fantastical world of Legend of the Five Rings Daidoji Shin, former louche layabout turned amateur investigator, and his long-suffering bodyguard, Kasami, are called away from the comforts of the City of the Rich Frog and into Unicorn lands to Nobleman sleuth Daidoji Shin returns for a brilliant new investigation deep in the Emerald Empire, in this exciting novel set in the fantastical world of Legend of the Five Rings Daidoji Shin, former louche layabout turned amateur investigator, and his long-suffering bodyguard, Kasami, are called away from the comforts of the City of the Rich Frog and into Unicorn lands to investigate a seemingly open-and-shut case of murder. But it’s never that straightforward… A condemned woman’s life is at stake, and the outcome may prevent a war between noble families. But that’s only the beginning of this mystery: Shin will come face to face with a sinister seditionist organization that could have much deeper consequences than he could imagine.

36 review for Death's Kiss: Legend of the Five Rings: A Daidoji Shin Mystery

  1. 4 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    Son of Crane, sleuth extraordinaire! Delving once more into the feudal fantasy world of the Five Rings, the realm of Rokugan, it’s a pleasure to follow the exploits of one of my favorite sleuths, Daidogi Shin, nobleman from the House of Cranes, and amateur detective! The one great rule this society adheres to, “Uphold your honor, lest you lose everything in pursuit of glory.” I love the voice of Shin—languid, biting, self deprecating—he slays me with his many humorous lines. Like his opinion of h Son of Crane, sleuth extraordinaire! Delving once more into the feudal fantasy world of the Five Rings, the realm of Rokugan, it’s a pleasure to follow the exploits of one of my favorite sleuths, Daidogi Shin, nobleman from the House of Cranes, and amateur detective! The one great rule this society adheres to, “Uphold your honor, lest you lose everything in pursuit of glory.” I love the voice of Shin—languid, biting, self deprecating—he slays me with his many humorous lines. Like his opinion of horse riding, “While he could ride a horse as well as any bushi, he found them largely disagreeable beasts, prone to biting and bouts of flatulence. Much like some samurai he could name.” In many ways Shin reminds me of the universal trickster, although things do have a habit of backfiring on him. Or maybe it’s just that new possibilities open up to him? Without a doubt Shin does see more than others comprehend. He’s the bane of his bodyguard/ samurai Kasami’s life. Forever going his own way. Slightly bored with restoring his newly acquired theatre, Shin doesn’t deliberate for too long when the request comes to solve a murder. Hmm! No prizes for guessing what this seemingly flighty son of the Crane chooses! Shin undertakes a journey to the city of Hisatu-Kesu, in the mountain areas of the Unicorn lands. He goes as an investigator at the behest of a Unicorn representative known to him, the Lady Iuchi Konomi. It seems a devoted yojimbo (bodyguard), Katai Ruri, has killed her mistress’s fiancé. Death of the ronin is called for. Her mistress Zeshi Aimi has delayed the penalty hoping Shin can turn the tide. Shin finds that an old friend, Iuchi Batu, is the clan magistrate. They have history...and then some. The atmosphere in the city is tense. Mysteries underlie mysteries. Leading Shin to question who might be orchestrating the situation? Who gains what? Looking for the power balances. The solving of the situation is somewhat harrowing, bringing to bear all of Shin’s Holmesian like capabilities and insights. Shin leaves with a debt owed, albeit at a time and place of his choosing. The future beckons! I’m left feeling like Oliver with my metaphorical bowl outstretched, “Please sir, I want some more!” An Aconyte Books ARC via NetGalley Please note: Quotes taken from an advanced reading copy maybe subject to change

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kamila Komisarek

    “There’s always someone looking for information or gossip. You just have to know where to find them. Sometimes, they find you.” “Death’s Kiss” by Joshua Reynolds is the second book in “A Daidoji Shin Mystery” series based in the world from “Legend of the Five Rings”. I enjoyed the first novel in the series and was waiting eagerly to meet with a witty Crane again. The story starts a few months after the conclusion of the investigation from “Poison River.” Shin is busy rebuilding the Foxfire Thea “There’s always someone looking for information or gossip. You just have to know where to find them. Sometimes, they find you.” “Death’s Kiss” by Joshua Reynolds is the second book in “A Daidoji Shin Mystery” series based in the world from “Legend of the Five Rings”. I enjoyed the first novel in the series and was waiting eagerly to meet with a witty Crane again. The story starts a few months after the conclusion of the investigation from “Poison River.” Shin is busy rebuilding the Foxfire Theatre, but deep down, he is already bored with his newest undertaking. When a friend from the Unicorn Clan asks him for a favour, he is more than happy to travel into a distant city of Hisatu-Kesu to investigate a murder case. What seems like an obvious, resolved incident turns out to be anything but. The most vital point of the whole story is the protagonist and his witty conversations. We learn about the entire incident through Shin’s discussions with different witnesses and officials. These are always a pure joy to read – light, entertaining and spot-on. In this book, besides Kasami, whose long-suffering attitude is a perfect counterweight for expressive Shin, we also have a new character - Batu. He is a magistrate of the Hisatu-Kesu and is forced to work closely with Shin. Both men have a history of complicated and challenging friendship, and they didn’t part ways on good terms. Batu is initially very guarded and cautious around Shin, and his attitude is even more irritable than Kasami’s. The murder mystery itself is not overly complicated. It involves many political intrigues, yes, but I missed a bit of mystery and surprise. It was easy to guess the foremost perpetrator half through the book, and there wasn’t a single ‘wow’ or ‘aha’ moment that would invoke any stronger emotions. There is one development in the story that would probably impact the following books hugely because to solve the case, Shin must entangle himself with people, whom he would rather not owe favours to. I enjoyed the book mainly because it’s light and entertaining, and I love samurai-based settings. If you are looking for something easy to read without an overcomplex storyline and appreciate Japanese based fantasy, you should give it a shot.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Dodd

    Set a few months after the events of the fantastic Poison River, this finds Daidoji Shin busy overseeing the renovation of the Foxfire Theatre, having purchased it for himself apparently out of boredom. When a friend in the Unicorn clan asks him to look into a murder in the mountain city of Hisatu-Kesu, Shin puts aside the work of managing the theatre’s finances and, accompanied as always by the long-suffering Kisami, sets out to investigate. The closer Shin looks into what seems on the surface Set a few months after the events of the fantastic Poison River, this finds Daidoji Shin busy overseeing the renovation of the Foxfire Theatre, having purchased it for himself apparently out of boredom. When a friend in the Unicorn clan asks him to look into a murder in the mountain city of Hisatu-Kesu, Shin puts aside the work of managing the theatre’s finances and, accompanied as always by the long-suffering Kisami, sets out to investigate. The closer Shin looks into what seems on the surface to be a straightforward case, the more he comes to understand the political tensions in Hisatu-Kesu, and what the consequences could be if proceedings aren’t handled with care. In a sense this is more of the same as Poison River – gentle verbal sparring between Shin and Kasami, an investigation consisting largely of pointed conversations with nobles desperate to manoeuvre events in their favour (most of whom find Shin deeply frustrating), and lots of sharp dialogue interspersed with occasional bursts of breathless action. When the characters are this good though, the dialogue this much fun and the setting this well depicted, more of the same is exactly what’s needed, and the familiarity only adds to the enjoyment of a story like this. It’s all relatively quiet and sedate, in keeping with its Golden Age influences, and there’s something nice about the juxtaposition of the comfortable, familiar pace and plot alongside the evocative fantasy world of Rokugan. Look elsewhere for a pacy, modern thrill-ride or a magic-laden fantasy adventure – but if you enjoyed Poison River, or you just fancy a wry and witty detective story, this is definitely worth investigating. Read the full review at https://www.trackofwords.com/2021/06/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Myc

    This feedback is for an advanced copy of Death’s Kiss, which was sent to me in return for a review. While this is the second in the Daidoji Shin Mystery series and the fourth of Aconyte’s Legend of the Five Rings novels (a 25+ year old franchise set in Rokugan, a heavily Japanese inspired fantasy setting with other East Asian elements), this book stands alone and doesn’t necessarily require reading earlier entries or an introduction to the world or characters. However, an appreciation of samurai This feedback is for an advanced copy of Death’s Kiss, which was sent to me in return for a review. While this is the second in the Daidoji Shin Mystery series and the fourth of Aconyte’s Legend of the Five Rings novels (a 25+ year old franchise set in Rokugan, a heavily Japanese inspired fantasy setting with other East Asian elements), this book stands alone and doesn’t necessarily require reading earlier entries or an introduction to the world or characters. However, an appreciation of samurai-based fantasy fiction would definitely help the uninitiated. The novel is competently written and the characters are fairly interesting, though there are some odd turns of phrase (rewriting “a man’s bread and butter” as “a man’s fish and rice”? Really?) and the pacing seems somewhat off. While billed as a mystery, there isn’t much mysterious happening at the outset. A murder occurs and the titular Daidoji Shin is asked to investigate as a favor to a friend. The murder, however, is mundane and everyone (literally everyone) knows the facts of the incident from the very beginning—the only mysterious part (from both reader and character perspectives) is why Shin is involved in the first place. That there is a hidden truth that undergirded the motive for the murder (while telegraphed from the outset) is not apparent until the midpoint of the book, and by then readers may have given up. After the midpoint, however, the novel begins to pick up steam and really begins to come to life, though the conclusion feels a bit rushed. Those looking for a Holmesian mystery where the detective outwits everyone through perception and deduction, solving the crime with a flourish, will be disappointed. This is more a novel of political intrigue and infighting featuring a detective more in the vein of the hard boiled tradition—that is, even though Shin is an aristocrat, he lowers himself into the mean streets and criminal underbellies that pervade his society in service of Truth. A samurai pulp detective hero—which is a great sentence I never expected to write. One small note: as mentioned, I read an ARC. As such, there were several clear typos (including missing and redundant words). This is not something that affected my rating or review (as this is pretty typical). But I can understand that future readers may be disappointed if these make their way into the published version. Given the slow start, the last half turns out to be surprisingly good, which made the whole of the novel relatively enjoyable—enough that I will definitely check out future Daidoji Shin Mystery novels. This is a pretty easy recommend for L5R fans. While the setting isn’t exactly necessary for this story, it represents the more day-to-day adventures of the world instead of the more typical, universe-altering fantasy fare—which is fun. For fans of samurai or East Asian inspired fantasy who may be intrigued by the cover, I’d only recommend this if the detective genre or local level political intrigue is in your wheelhouse—it is branded a mystery for a reason. Though for hardcore mystery aficionados, this would probably be a pass since everything about the novel’s mystery is fairly obvious from the beginning and remains so throughout the course of the narrative.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Michael Botterill

    I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legend of the Five Rings book Death’s Kiss by Josh Reynolds, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book. So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher. I am also friend with Josh on Facebook, ho I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legend of the Five Rings book Death’s Kiss by Josh Reynolds, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book. So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher. I am also friend with Josh on Facebook, however I am sure for him that’s more about connecting with fans rather than being one of my best buds, that said he is actually a really nice guy. I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might. So let’s crack on with a review then! What is Legend of the Five Rings L5R as it’s often known is a fantasy setting for a series of card games and RPGs originally published by AEG, but now taken care of by Fantasy Flight. It’s set in the empire of Rokugan which is heavily feudal Japan influenced, with a bit of other East Asian influences, like China and Korea thrown in as well. It’s a fantasy setting with the usual fantasy tropes of goblins and rat men, but also oni and kitsune too. The Story Daidoji Shin is a an aristocrat of the Crane clan banished to the City of the Rich Frog, to serve as his clans trade envoy. In the last book Poison River his talent as a detective was discovered as he foiled a plot to bring the cities various factions to war. And since then it seems he has become a very in demand fella, and the owner of a theatre (which he did sort of get burnt down). And when a powerful friend asks him to investigate the circumstances of a murder in another city. The murderer is in custody and her execution is called for by the family of the man she killed, but the local magistrate is holding her as he attempts to figure out why the incident occurred as he tries to avoid the two families from coming to blows in the street. With a woman’s life on the line, Shin throws himself into the case and ends up getting caught up in a sinister plan by a group of revolutionaries that wish to change the empire forever. Conclusion I am gonna put my cards on the table here, and say that whilst I liked this book, I felt is should have come further down the line. The City of the Rich Frog was so well established in the last book, so well developed with an interesting cast of background characters who made it so deeply interesting, that I really missed that in this book. Don’t get me wrong, Josh did a wonderful job in establishing a new city and new characters, but I just didn’t gel with them as well as I did those from the previous book. He has set up some interesting possibilities for future books however with this novel. Again we continue that Holmesian tribute act that Shin is, and it’s a very good one, the case may be straightforward but Shin needs to understand the why, not simply the how. He tenacity not only leads to a resolution that’s best for all the families. I really enjoyed this book, knowing what happened did lend the twist as we tried to figure out the reasons for the crime, because they really do matter, and whilst there was some general predictability, it wasn’t glaringly obvious. Instead the book makes you feel smart as you go “ahh I think I know”, then leads you to they why, what giving it’s all a bit of a twist. This novel felt a bit more pulpy than the last one, not a bad thing, but it was an easy and enjoyable read that was hard to put down. Josh has built a very interesting little corner of Rokugan and I really want to spend more time there. I am actually currently thinking about perhaps running an RPG campaign in the City of the Rich Frog, I am that enamoured with the work Josh has done. It’s 4 out of 5 for me and I only drop a star because I feel like the characters life in the City of the Rich Frog needed more development before he went elsewhere.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josie ❃The Bubbly Book Reviewer❃

    This is the second book in the Legend of the Five Rings - A Daidoji Shin Mystery and can be read quite easily as a stand-alone. I really enjoyed following the characters as they unravelled the mystery set before them. I liked Daidoji Shin, our main character, he certainly was the star amongst some great supporting characters. It is nice to read a book set in a non-western place - Japan. This gives us a chance to experience a different culture with different rules where samurais and swords abound. This is the second book in the Legend of the Five Rings - A Daidoji Shin Mystery and can be read quite easily as a stand-alone. I really enjoyed following the characters as they unravelled the mystery set before them. I liked Daidoji Shin, our main character, he certainly was the star amongst some great supporting characters. It is nice to read a book set in a non-western place - Japan. This gives us a chance to experience a different culture with different rules where samurais and swords abound. The prose and pacing by the author Josh Reynolds flow beautifully. I would highly recommend this book and have become a fan of Josh Reynolds writing! A Note From the Publisher – Legend of the Five Rings is the popular, long-running game series of warring clans, magic, demons and samurai. – The land of Rokugan is a fantasy reworking of medieval Japanese society, fitting well into the growing trend for award-winning epic fantasy inspired by non-Western history and mythology. – The second in a new series starring Daidoji Shin, a charming hero in the mold of Sherlock Holmes, providing an appealing introduction to this deep and fascinating world. Thank you to NetGalley & Aconyte Books for an advance copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This is the second book in the "Daidoji Shin Mystery" series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book ("Poison River") which introduced me to the "Legend of the Five Rings" world, so I had high expectations of "Death's Kiss" and it didn't disappoint. The writing continues to be of a very high standard, the characters are developed very well (it feels like I'm getting to know them even better), and the plot is as immersive as the first. More please! My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. T This is the second book in the "Daidoji Shin Mystery" series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book ("Poison River") which introduced me to the "Legend of the Five Rings" world, so I had high expectations of "Death's Kiss" and it didn't disappoint. The writing continues to be of a very high standard, the characters are developed very well (it feels like I'm getting to know them even better), and the plot is as immersive as the first. More please! My thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley. This review was written voluntarily and is entirely my own, unbiased, opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jeanne

    I very much enjoyed the second Daidoji Shin mystery. This mode of storytelling is so classic, but the setting gives it new life. The city it takes place in is very interesting, and Mr. Reynolds infuses his story with great humor and colorful characters with witty dialogue. For those who know L5R, you'll be very interested in his take on social dynamics between the classes as this Crane noble visits with the Unicorn clan. I very much enjoyed the second Daidoji Shin mystery. This mode of storytelling is so classic, but the setting gives it new life. The city it takes place in is very interesting, and Mr. Reynolds infuses his story with great humor and colorful characters with witty dialogue. For those who know L5R, you'll be very interested in his take on social dynamics between the classes as this Crane noble visits with the Unicorn clan.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mairi

    Death's Kiss, by Josh Reynolds is published on 1st June by and is a crime novel set in the fantasy world of the Legend of the Five Rings role playing game, which is loosely based on feudal Japan. It follows Diadoji Shin, a bored aristocrat who has become a sleuth. Shin travels outside the capital, City of the Rich Frog to the Unicorn lands, to find out what set in motion the events leading to a recent death, which threatens to engulf the area in war. While Legend of the Five Rings is a highly pop Death's Kiss, by Josh Reynolds is published on 1st June by and is a crime novel set in the fantasy world of the Legend of the Five Rings role playing game, which is loosely based on feudal Japan. It follows Diadoji Shin, a bored aristocrat who has become a sleuth. Shin travels outside the capital, City of the Rich Frog to the Unicorn lands, to find out what set in motion the events leading to a recent death, which threatens to engulf the area in war. While Legend of the Five Rings is a highly popular fantasy game, Death's Kiss does not quite forfill it's promise when it comes to a work of crime fiction. The main issue is that while it is set in a complex built world it unfortunately has not extended the same complexity to it's charactors. I only found myself drawn to one of them, who I suspect as a member of the supporting cast is not likely to appear in other Daidoji Shin mysteries. Unfortunately this charactor is not strong enough to carry the whole narrative, which is down to the rather paint-by-numbers personality of detective Shin, whose... read more here https://true-crime-fiction.com/2021/0...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nis

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gemma

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bill Martin

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Ryland

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  15. 5 out of 5

    Aconyte Books

  16. 5 out of 5

    Evil Kipper

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adam Selby-Martin

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grant

  19. 4 out of 5

    Juan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Simon Holland

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ian

  22. 5 out of 5

    Katrina

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mikos Myers

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  25. 5 out of 5

    E.A.C. Klemann

  26. 5 out of 5

    DB in Richmond

  27. 5 out of 5

    Xavier

  28. 4 out of 5

    Esther

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Good Man’s Reviews

  31. 5 out of 5

    Robert

  32. 4 out of 5

    John Nothaft

  33. 5 out of 5

    jennet wheatstonelllsl

  34. 5 out of 5

    Amsata

  35. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

  36. 4 out of 5

    Jowita Horbaczewska

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