The Coming of the Bear is the sixth mystery in the Zenta & Matsuzo series. The two ronin become castaways, shipwrecked on the Japanese island now known as Hokkaido, which is populated by a native people known as the Ainu. Zenta and Matsuzo struggle with a language barrier and cultural differences while trying to figure out who’s trying to cause trouble between the Ainu and a nearby Japanese settlement. The Soprano’s Last Song is the second mystery for our trio/triangle, this time involving the opera. I find this alternative history to be light and entirely appropriate for lower middle grade readers. Nothing too complex, with hints of a long and tangled future for Irene and the two boys who have become her best friends. In Jinx’s Magic, Jinx has a whole lot of people relying on him, and most of them are trees. This is the second book in the trilogy, which picks up where the first left off and ends with the definite need to grab the final installment.