Behind the scenes a killer is lurking…
When Tokyo-based Londoner Josie finds a body under the cherry blossom, she sets out to track down the killer.
But she finds that everyone has a secret and no one can be trusted as the questions pile up. What is sinister Ms Kato up to? Who is the strange man who waited for the victim and does glamorous actress Tammy know more than she should? And who could get through the locked door?
Josie must shatter the smooth surface of Japanese life to solve the puzzle and stop the fan club killer striking again.
Sound interesting? I hope so, as The Cherry Blossom Murder is my first book, and it’s going to be published soon. It’s a murder mystery with a strand of romance and it’s set against the background of the Takarazuka Revue, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2014.
Here they are in 1930, in one of their most famous shows, Parisette.
The Takarazuka Revue is spectacular: four hundred actor/singer/dancers permanently on the books, twice-daily shows in two massive 2,000-seater theatres, one in Tokyo and one in Takarazuka town, just outside of Osaka, two monthly fan magazines, a DVD marketing operation and a dedicated twenty-four hour television channel, Sky Stage.
The shows are huge extravaganzas with a cast that has been known to reach a hundred or more and a live orchestra for every show. The fans throng the streets next to the theatre in Hibiya, in the centre of Tokyo. Former Takarazuka stars go on to become film, television and stage stars in their own right. Oh, and did I mention that they’re all women? (yes, the ones in top hats in Parisette too).
Strangely, Takarazuka is almost unknown outside Japan, and the hidden world of its fan clubs has been a closed book – until now.
Josie Clark, the heroine and amateur sleuth in The Cherry Blossom Murder, belongs to a Takarazuka fan club. And it’s after a fan club party that she finds a body under the cherry blossom on the Flower Path that runs from Takarazuka station to the theatre. This cherry blossom, in fact:
But when the police don’t seem very interested in finding the killer, she starts to ask questions – and finds herself running her own murder investigation while trying to resolve the complexities of her love life.
I’ll be keeping you updated on my progress towards publication in February 2014. The Cherry Blossom Murder will be available as an e-book and a paperback and you’ll be able to get it on Amazon. I hope you like it!