Rating: 4 stars
Perfect to read after The Daydreamer Detective Braves The Winter! Mei and Yasahiro attempt to spend New Year’s Eve on vacation, but the universe has other plans for them. Follow them to Hakone where they learn there’s nothing more important than family. This novella is for newsletter subscribers only.
Ozoni and Onsens is a novella set in the Daydreamer Detective series by SJ Pajonas. It takes place between book 2 and 3 chronologically. While this series is a cozy mystery, this novella doesn’t contain a mystery, but I think it’s a fun addition to the series. Mei and Yasahiro have planned a vacation for just the two of them around new year, but Mei is known for her bad luck and their vacation doesn’t go as planned.
This novella really shows the personalities of both Mei and Yasahiro. How they deal with difficulties and what they do next and also what’s important for them. I felt so bad for Mei for what she had to go through, but it was nice to see her get some happy moments as well. And there are some hints of what she is planning next work wise. It’s not as relaxing as the cover suggest, but there are some happy scenes mixed in with the trouble they go through. And I liked seeing more of both characters. You also see some of their flaws and things they struggle with back in this novella. Some personal struggles, but also some of the struggles as a couple.
The timing around new year was interesting and we hear a little bit about Japanese new year traditions like the ozoni soup, packed lunches and going to the temple. We get a glimpse of onsens and of a guest house where they stay. The whole novella takes place on only one day and a bit of the next day, which was well done. It was nice to get to see a whole day in their life, although at the end I felt tired from how much they had done on one day. I like the hopeful note this story ended with and I am looking forward to book 3.
This isn’t an essential novella as it doesn’t progress the main story, mostly we get a bit of extra character information and depth. It also could be read as a standalone, but I think it works best in the middle of this series where it takes place chronologically. It’s a nice little extra for fans of the series.
To summarize: I had fun reading this novella and it made me look forward even more to the next book. This novella tells a day in the life of Mei and Yasahiro. They have a vacation planned on new year’s eve, but things don’t go as planned. there are some difficult moments for these tow, but also some happy and uplifting ones. I felt this story really shows both their personalities. I felt bad for them for what they had to go through, but I did like how the story ended with a happy and unfitting scene. All in all this novella is a nice little extra for fans of the series. You get it for free when subscribing to the author her newsletter.
You can also read my review on Goodreads.
You can get this novella and three other stories for free when you sign-up for SJ Pajonas her newsletter.