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Download The Incense Game: A Novel of Feudal Japan Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Incense Game: A Novel of Feudal Japan Audiobook, by Laura Joh Rowland Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (143 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Joh Rowland Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Sano Ichiro Mysteries Release Date: September 2012 ISBN: 9781624060038
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In the wake of a terrifying earthquake, Sano Ichiro races to solve a crime that could bring down the shogun’s regime. When a massive earthquake devestates Japan in 1703, even the shogun’s carefully regulated court is left teetering on the brink of chaos. This is no time for a murder investigation—except when a nobleman’s daughters are found dead from incense poisoning and their father threatens to topple the regime unless Sano Ichiro tracks down the killer.

As Sano and his wife strive to solve the case in a world that is crumbling around them, Laura Joh Rowland brings us her most powerful and evocative thriller yet.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating…There are few things as delicious as a good old-fashioned power struggle—especially the costume-drama variety, involving sword battles and perfectly timed barbs exchanged by witty women pretending that they’re just drinking tea.”


  • “Rowland seamlessly incorporates history and culture without slowing the plot. Even without reading earlier books, you’ll be able to invest emotionally in the characters lives. With mystery, excitement, and a bang-up ending, this is one you won't be able to put down!”

    RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)

  • “Stellar...Once again, Rowland sets the bar high for her hero, who must navigate treacherous political shoals as well as deduce the killer’s identity.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “At the dawn of the eighteenth century, a devastating earthquake strikes Japan. Amidst the chaos, a murderer attacks, and Sano and his wife must find the killer in Rowland’s sixteenth thrilling series entry.”

    Library Journal

  • “Bernadette Dunne’s performance immediately grabs listeners, transporting them back to Edo, 1703, just as a catastrophic earthquake hits, indiscriminately destroying buildings and human life, and threatening to topple the existing government…Dunne’s narration is compelling as mystical martial arts practitioners, warring samurai factions, and potentially deadly secrets abound. Dunne makes Rowland’s period language and insights into human behavior completely believable. Fans will love this, and new listeners will want more.”


  • Winner of the 2012 RT Award for Best Historical Mystery

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 George | 2/19/2014

    " #16 in the Sano Ichiro Fedual Japan mystery series set in December 1703 into 1704. A massive earth quake causes considerable damage in Edo as well as other portions of Japan. Sano, the Shogun's Chamberlain, is responsible for overseeing the clean up and rebuilding. In the middle of this, a murder is discovered and Sano is pushed into investigating it by an important nobleman. There are the usual subplot lines regarding Sano's relationship with his main retainer and what is happening with him and the rivalries around the Shogun and being in line to take over. There are also a couple of surprises in these subplots. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 2/15/2014

    " Wow, the surprise ending had me running to Wikipedia to check on Tokugawa succession. Many twists and turns left me eager for the next installment. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 2/5/2014

    " This is the first of the series I read and although Rowland alludes to the characters' histories, it was still an enjoyable book. The main character and family have modern ideas that don't fit into Japan's feudal society which makes them likable but not very realistic to me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Monica Williams | 1/22/2014

    " Yet another brilliant entry in the Sano detective series. I don't know Rowland has kept this up all this time, but she maintains a near perfect balance between smart mysteries and the interesting setting of Feudal Japan with its cultural and political intricacies. This time an earthquake has hit and nearly destroyed the country, both physically as well as politically. Money is short and the Shogun is precariously positioned and totally unprepared and unable to cope with what has happened. During an inspection Sano comes upon the bodies of 3 women- one an incense teacher who taught people how to play the "incense game"- think wine tasting, but with incense and her two students- the wealthy daughters of aristocrat. Sano is charged by the murdered girl's father to find the killer or the father Lord Hosokawa will topple the shogun's regime. Sano has a challenge even bigger than restoring Edo after the Earthquake he has to avert a full scale coup and solve a mystery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 1/20/2014

    " I love this series. This latest installment is a good read, but getting predictable now when it comes to some characters. Still some good twists here and there, and the world and characters in it are still as vivid as ever! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veronica Sanche | 1/7/2014

    " A great story with good characters and a very interesting plot. Well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Klever | 1/5/2014

    " This author is greaat "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley Connor | 11/27/2013

    " Love this author - loved the book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dayle | 10/21/2013

    " Lots of twists and turns! Excellent ! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melanie | 10/19/2013

    " I love mysteries and I have been fascinated with the Edo period. These two go well perfectly. This is my first Sano Ichiro mystery (didn't realize it was the most recent book). I am definitely going to start at the beginning. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olgalijo | 7/23/2013

    " This is a murder mystery in Medieval Japan. The location and culture make it really interesting, but the plot itself is too far fetched. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 5/9/2013

    " a light, fun read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 5/1/2013

    " Too much holiday baking kept me from zipping through this latest installment of the Ichiro Sano (that is the correct way of saying his name!) Just when you think you have it all figured out, WHAM! she sends you a massive twist that you don't see coming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paul | 4/3/2013

    " Much of a piece with the previous books in the series, whose charm is beginning to fade. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Misty | 11/24/2012

    " I need to find the rest of this series. Very excellent. "

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About the Author
Author Laura Joh Rowland

Laura Joh Rowland is the acclaimed author of the mystery series featuring samurai detective Sano Ichiro set in seventeenth-century Japan, as well as a historical suspense series starring Charlotte Bronte, and a Victorian mystery series. Her work has won the RT Magazine’s Reader’s Choice Award and been included in the Wall Street Journal’s list of the five best historical mystery novels. Also her work has been nominated for the Anthony Award, the Hammett Prize, and the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award. She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan. She is a former aerospace scientist, a painter, and a cartoonist.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of seventeen AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.