Title: Mystery in Little Tokyomystery-in-little-tokyo
Author: Frank Bonham
Illustrator: Kazue Mizumura
Pages: 125
Reading Level: 9-12
Star Rating: ★★★

A random mystery in the vein of The Happy Hollisters.

The Story.                                               

Danny is so excited. Grandpa Nomura has agreed to let Danny carry one of his treasured Samurai swords in the Nisei Festival parade this Sunday. Such a treasure will add greatly to the celebration of their Japanese heritage. Danny can hardly wait!

But then, Mr. Kaji from the Japanese government appears. He says that he has been sent to reclaim the old sword as property of Japan – along with many other swords that he has already reclaimed and which he keeps in a big black trunk.

But that night, the trunk is stolen from out of their house! Who could have done it? Could it have been the construction man? And why does next-door neighbor, Mr. Shinoda have a secret hole in his brick wall…


Grandpa and Grandma believe strongly in preserving the old traditions. Danny and Carol respect this, although they do not always agree that the traditions are as important as their grandparents believe.

One theme in the story (and an element that controls part of the plot), is the tension between Grandpa and Mr. Shinoda. They hold a grudge against one another of long standing. Danny and Carol are sorry for the disagreement and attempt to patch it up, believing it to be silly. In the end, Grandpa and Mr. Shinoda are friends again.

The proverb “If you ask too often, even Buddha will turn away” is quoted several times.

Mr. Shinoda says that little elves help him cook fortune cookies.

Luck is referenced three times.

Christmas is referenced once.

‘Gosh’ and ‘darn’ are each used four times, ‘heck’ twice, and ‘golly’ once.

Conclusion. Classic filler fiction.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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