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Tokyo Heist (Hardcover)
This summer, sixteen-year-old Violet is staying wither her dad, who is an up-and-coming Seattle Area artist. Violet is over the moon when her father’s biggest client, the Yamadas, commission him to paint a mural in their corporate headquarters in Tokyo. Being a huge fan of all things Japanese, including manga (she is in the process of inking her own book; she’s an artist herself) this is a dream come true. Plus she can hang out with her friend, who is also in Tokyo all summer! However the trip takes a darker turn when the Yamadas’ house is broken into and three Van Gogh sketches are stolen.
Emulating her favorite manga detectives, Violet begins to investigate the theft, leading her thru the streets of Seattle, Tokyo and Kyoto; meeting artists, businessmen and Yakuza members. This is a trip she will never forget!
This is a fantastic book. Leading the reader through an action packed series of clues, events and blind alleys, Violet is a strong character, relying on herself to find solutions to the problems facing her, as well as showing passion for her art and the evolution of her own story line. Showing how every day events can influence and inspire someone when writing a story. Even when she is down, she is never a shrinking violet. I also enjoyed reading the street scenes in Japan, the interactions between the characters (which are not always what they seem to be) and viewing Seattle thru someone else’s eyes. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun, fast and action-packed read this summer. This is a great book. (YA 12 - 16).— Amber
April 2012 Indie Next List
“At last! A treat for manga lovers and non-fans alike. The mystery of a missing van Gogh masterpiece takes teenage Violet, a budding manga artist turned sleuth, from Seattle to Tokyo and Kyoto in a race to recover the painting and thwart the Japanese mobsters who claim it.”
— Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL
The perfect mystery for fans of Ally Carter's Heist Society
When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger--including Violet's and her father's.
Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery--before it's too late.
About the Author
Diana Renn grew up in Seattle and now lives in Boston. She has taught ESL and writing, most recently at Boston University. She has published numerous short stories and essays, and she is also the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), an award-winning online magazine featuring short-form writing for teens. She is the author of several ESL textbooks, as well as the YA mystery novels Latitude ZeroandTokyo Heist. She is an avid traveler.
"Renn keeps the tension high and the pace moving in a modern, unique whodunit."
-The L.A. Times
"A terrific heroine, exciting and unexpected plot twists, and fascinating and beautifully-wrought real-life settings: young adult mysteries do not get better than this."
-Peter Abrahams, author of the Echo Falls Mysteries and Edgar Award winner
"Tokyo Heist is a fast-paced, exotic reading adventure, a story where The da Vinci Code meets the wildly popular manga genre! Author Diana Renn infuses protagonist Violet with plenty of chikara (power) and Renn's fresh, spot-on author's voice is irresistible. I couldn't put it down!"
-Alane Ferguson, author of the Forensic Mysteries and Edgar Award winner
"Fly to the coolest city on earth. Hunt for a missing masterpiece. Battle tattooed gangsters while rocking a kimono. And don't forget to try the shibazuke. Adventures don’t get any more thrilling than Tokyo Heist. You'll want to jump right inside this book and live it."
-Kirsten Miller, author of Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City
"Hidden paintings, yakuza assassins, vivid settings, artful intrigue, and a taste of manga make Tokyo Heist an absorbing tale mystery readers will love."
-Linda Gerber, author of Death by Latte
A Summer 2012 Kids' Indie Next Pick
"This art heist has twists and turns, romance, and the happily-ever-after that many will be rooting for."
"Fans of mysteries and thrillers will enjoy this just as much as fans of Japanese culture."
"Readers will cheer for Violet as she uses her wits and outsmarts the adults. Teens will learn about Japanese culture, and fans of manga and art students will rejoice that they can relate to the protagonist and story."
-School Library Journal
"A van Gogh heist, a trip to Japan and a yakuza attack: Could there be a better summer? . . . A proficient caper spiced up by Violet's eye for art."
"A fast-paced and engaging mystery with a spunky protagonist."
"TOKYO HEIST is refreshingly free of most of the standard modern YA-fiction tropes. . . . It's rare for YA heroines to have such specific, developed interests, and Violet filtering her investigation through her passion for manga, art, and Japan makes her seem like a real, relatable teenager."