Laura Joh Rowland writes a fun series featuring Sano Ichiró, a samurai in ancient Japan. Rowland lives in New Orleans so she’s somewhat a local author. The first book is Shinjú  and the most recent, the eleventh, is Red Chrysanthemum . (The title comes from white flowers soaked in blood.)As the books progress, Ichiró advances from a career as a lowly policeman to that of a high government official, and there’s always a crime to solve. Details about life and customs during this period of history add to the enjoyment.