Sixteen-year-old Seikei is a bit uneasy about returning to the city where he grew up. After all, he hasn't been back since the famous Judge Ooka adopted him and he became a samurai. Seikei's unease grows as he notices strange changes in his family. Seikei's younger brother is now running the family tea business; but his guarded, defensive attitude and mysterious after-hours deliveries make Seikei suspicious. Even his siter seems unhappy to see him.
But most disturbing is the puppet threater, where not one but two gruesome murders have Seikei involved in a crime so sinister and complex, it will take all of his skills--both samurai and detective--to unravel. If he fails, he will not only disappoint both his families, but innocent lives will be lost--including, quite possibly, Seikei's own.