REVIEW - The Cherry Blossom Murder by Fran Pickering

Title: The Cherry Blossom Murder

Author: Fran Pickering

Publisher: Createspace

Release Date: 3rd January 2014

Source: Own Copy

Down-to-earth Londoner Josie has a great life in Tokyo with her new Japanese boyfriend and her friends in glamorous actress Tammy's fan club. What could possibly spoil it? Finding the strangled body of a fan club helper under the cherry blossom, that's what. 

Josie's quest to find the killer throws up some tough questions. Who was the mystery man who was the last person to see the victim alive? Who turned off the theatre sprinklers? What do sinister fan club boss Ms Kato and beautiful but fearful Tammy know? And does Josie really love her English boyfriend Dave? 

An entertaining murder mystery, rich with the atmosphere of present-day Japan, taking you backstage at Japan's unique and spectacular Takarazuka Revue as Josie fights to expose a murderer, save a priceless treasure and sort out her tangled love life.

I have a little bit of an obsession with Japan, I may never visit but with the help of a good book I can visit from the comfort of my own home and be immersed within the amazing sights and sounds.

The Cherry Blossom Murder is the perfect visit to Japan, viewed from the eyes of a young English woman, Josie who is living and working in Tokyo.

Josie is a member of a fan club dedicated to Takarazuka revue actress Tammy, these glamorous ladies put on incredible performances and Tammy is the best in her field.

Fan clubs in Japan are an extremely serious business and run by very diligent ladies who rule with an iron clipboard and mobile but when one of the fan club helpers turns up dead outside the theatre, Josie finds herself involved in the mystery of who killed the poor woman.

The story is a great whodunit but the story shares centre stage with the amazing detail of Japanese life and food, uh the food sounds amazing in fact I advise you to eat before you read this because it will leave you hungry, the descriptions are out of this world!

It just creates such visuals of Tokyo and Takarazuka and everything in between plus how a Londoner copes in the very different surrounds of Tokyo, Josie lives, laughs and loves in the city and it is a pleasure to read about her life.

She really does her best Nancy Drew to get to the bottom of the murder and she uncovers more than just the murderer, she discovers a secret that could rock the Takarazuka theatre to its core.

If you like a good murder mystery with easy humour and beautiful imagery then this is perfect for you plus it is part of a series so I hope to read more murder mysteries from Josie soon.


Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. Sounds fascinating! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I have read very few books set in Japan but really enjoyed Laurie R. King's Dreaming Spies, which is partially set in Japan in the interwar period (1920s.)

    1. I just find myself fascinated by Japan, it is just so different!

  2. I like to read about Japan, even though I probably never visit the country in real life, I love it when a book can transport me to another place. I like the sound of this one with the mystery and all the descriptions of Japan. I love it when I cna visualize everything well. Great review!

    1. Thanks Lola, this is a great start to the series, cannot wait to read book 2!


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