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In the Foreign Quarter of Tsukiji, Tokyo, Japan, Victorian England is alive and well. Manners and etiquette are as valuable as gossip and deceit. Men are more rakish than ever - so far from home, societal rules seem to be relaxed. But courting young women still requires a deft hand, a smart wit, and a man with something to offer.
Intent on being an international journalist of repute, Evelyn Prescott will do what it takes to make her mark.
It doesn’t hurt that her father has built a newspaper empire, but finding a scandal in Japan is no easy task.
As much as she hates to admit it, she is forced to meet with the owner of the Tokyo Daily News, Ned Taylor, also an Englishman.
Ned holds a deep-rooted dislike of Evelyn’s father’s approach to journalism, and Ned, a notorious rake, pushes her to see just how far Evelyn is prepared to go to get her story.
From Reedsy Discovery: "Written as a prequel novelette to her forthcoming Tokyo Whispers series, “Scandals of Tokyo” drops readers into the immigrant quarter of Meiji era Tokyo, with hints of all of the glitz, the temptation, and the salacious gossip one could wish. At just under 30 pages, Hallman has a lot of ground to cover, introducing characters and a world that will be expanded on in future novels, but if “Scandals” is just a taste of this series, then it’s going to be huge.
Lovingly researched and brilliantly detailed, Hallman knows the place and time she’s writing about and it shows! Turn of the century Tokyo is alive and well on her pages and in her characters, and it is certain to delight."
Read an Excerpt
Foreign Quarter of Tsukiji
Also, there was the issue of Mr Taylor’s appearance. In Evelyn’s experience, newspaper owners were balding and rotund. This man was… She struggled for the best way to assess him with the objective lens of a soon-to-be international journalist. He was the kind of man women pounced upon at the earliest given opportunity.
With tousled, auburn hair and a profile that suggested a country gentleman returning from a vigorous hunt, the man brimmed with virility. Yet the easy interactions with his companions suggested an absence of the hunter’s aggression found in most newspapermen—charmers and otherwise. Evelyn had to conclude this man lacked a predatory bearing because he didn’t require it: unfailingly, prey fell at his feet.
Aunt Prissy waved her fan against the thick heat, sending the gentle scent of the camellia perfume she’d purchased that afternoon on Tokyo’s luxurious Ginza Boulevard towards Evelyn. “The lovely Mrs Anderson pointed him out to me at the reception for that appalling exhibit at the Tsukiji art museum. She said, ‘That’s Ned Taylor, owner of the Tokyo Daily News.’ What was that exhibit again? Oh, yes, ‘Demonic Masks in the Japanese Shinto Tradition.’ Frightening, those enormous eyes and bulbous noses.”
The woodblock prints in the Hotel Metropolis lobby came to Evelyn’s mind. A series of pictures told the story of the Americans’ arrival in Tokyo on Commodore Perry’s Black Ships. In contrast to the uniformly small, straight, and unblemished Japanese visages, the foreigners boasted ruddy complexions, hordes of unruly hair, and what Evelyn found to be unfairly exaggerated facial features. “Those masks bore resemblance to the foreigners in the lobby prints?”
A look came Evelyn’s way, and Aunt Prissy widened her eyes as she beat the air with the gold satin leaf of her fan. “No wonder we get stared at every time we leave the foreign quarter. The Japanese think we’re demons.”
The men around Mr Taylor erupted in laughter at some gem that had fallen from his lips. “Not all of us,” Evelyn murmured.
About the Author:
She is fluent in Japanese language, history, and culture, and earned a doctoral degree in cultural anthropology based on fieldwork research in Japan. She lives in Tokyo with her professor husband and two young daughters. In her free time, she can be found translating ancient Japanese poetry and observing the passing of seasons while sipping green tea. Just kidding, she has no free time. But she does watch something that makes her laugh while she does the dishes.
Perennial obsessions include the weather forecast (she checks three different apps at least three times a day, as no single app can be trusted), Baltimore Ravens football (hometown obsession), and making smoothies that taste like candy bars.
Feel free to chat her up about any of her obsessions, or, even better, about historical Japan—any era is fine, she loves them all. She also enjoys exchanging book recommendations, discussions about the craft of romance writing, and stories about life in present-day Tokyo.
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