Murder at Manzanar

Fiction - Mystery - Murder
158 Pages
Reviewed on 07/15/2022
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Author Biography

Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award-winning and international selling author. He is the creator of the Polish Dragon P. I. series and was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio where many of his stories take place. He is a member of the Private Eye Writers of America. He has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell, Thomas B. Dewey, Ed McBain, and Vivien Chien.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jennie More for Readers' Favorite

Murder at Manzanar by Steve Zimcosky is the story of a former police officer, now Private Detective Tom Sipowicz, operating in Cleveland. Tom’s latest investigation pertains to the life of the Sakura family who lived in the Japanese Intermittent Camps during WWII, specifically the Manzanar camp. Reverend Cecilia from the Cleveland Buddhist Temple in Shaker Heights acquired his services after she found an envelope in one of their Buddhist statues marked for the attention of Hideki Sakura. When Tom starts investigating, he gets an insider view of the intermittent camps as he speaks to the elders of the Buddhist Church to find out if they know anything about Hideki Sakura. Zimcosky gently reminds us of the trauma the United States inflicted upon Japanese American people during WWII when the authorities forcibly relocated and confined them.

Murder at Manzanar by Steve Zimcosky is a profoundly fascinating, and entertaining story about a dreadful period in American and Japanese history. Despite the gravity of the story behind this investigation, Zimcosky strikes the perfect balance between light-hearted and thoughtful, tastefully reminding the reader of the cruelty of the United States during this time in history. I enjoyed Sipowicz’s subtly funny comments throughout the book, keeping me engaged and eager to uncover the mystery of Hideki Sakura. Sipowics is an unpretentious but compelling character. For example, Tom mentions that he just wanted to find Hideka Sakura, that’s the end of his job, and this easiness of his character adds to his charm. The narrative was well-conceived and well-written, and the story flowed effortlessly. It was a pleasure to read Murder at Manzanar.

Manik Chaturmutha

Murder at Manzanar by Steve Zimcosky is a detective novel set in Ohio. Polish Dragon PI is a great detective and is passionate about his work, but this might be the biggest mystery he has had to solve. It concerns finding a man with no internet presence and whose family has been presumed dead for years. His journey takes him back in history to internment camps during World War II and a chase where the detective must avoid getting involved with the Japanese Yakuza. Unfortunately, he has to go through this alone without his trusted partner. Does the brilliant detective find the man, or does he get caught up in a web of sinister lies and shady men who are intent on hiding the truth?

The story is engaging from the beginning with a hint of mystery. It has a distinct aura to it, and that makes it satisfying. The plot is well developed and the characters come to life. There are plenty of facts about Buddhism that help readers understand more about the religion and the workings of its institutions. The commentary and insights into the protagonist's thought process lend a personal touch to the tale. The story includes reflecting on internment camps and how life was at the time of World War II for Japanese Americans. The language used makes it suitable for younger age groups, and the captivating plot makes it ideal for a wider audience. The chase toward the climax is enthralling. I enjoyed Murder at Manzanar by Steve Zimcosky for its intriguing plot and fantastic characterization and I recommend this short novel to all readers of detective stories.

Gary W.

Another great story by Steve aka the Polish Dragon. Once again you keep the old neighborhood and city alive in my memory with another interesting adventure.