What readers are saying...


Dalby has fashioned a wicked story, a veritable Japanese Da Vinci Code. But the story is only half the reader’s pleasure. Her sentences are sleek and sharp and fit. She’s some couturier of verbiage!

Monty Sher

I finished reading Hidden Buddhas on Bart on Tuesday.  In fact, I nearly missed my stop on the way home and had to sit on a platform bench in the North Berkeley station for a minute to finish the last half of the last page.  

Susan Matisoff

It's wonderful!  I was mesmerized and surprised at many turns, mostly by the weaving together of inventive tale and enticing cultural detailed information; your embodiment and confusion of evil and hope…

Mostly, thanks for a wonderful reading experience!

Katherine Saltzman-Li

Hidden Buddhas may well be Liza Dalby’s best work yet, with its fascinating story of characters caught up in a world they themselves don’t understand. Besides taking us on a journey through little-known corners of Japan, it offers us an engaging and believable portrait of people driven to do things they may not have imagined.

Arthur Golden

In Hidden Buddhas, Liza Dalby explores the mysterious webs of love, friendship and truths simple and profound with grace and wisdom.  Dalby's magical mystery tour takes the reader on a strange, compelling journey across continents, cultures and centuries into the dark corners of faith and the human heart.

Jeffrey Hantover

Liza Dalby’s compelling, eccentric, and vivid characters come to life as the events of their lives evolve and entwine around a mystery involving hundreds of Japanese temples that harbor secret statues (Hidden Buddhas) that seem to embody some strange power—a power that may be of global consequences…

Bottom Line: Whether you simply love a well crafted page-turner, or you are interested in a better understanding of Buddhism and Japanese culture, Hidden Buddhas delivers the goods!

Ted Biringer

(read review)

Dalby is a master storyteller.  The characters are engaging. The plot moves with a beautiful rhythm.  Along the way I entered into another culture and gained new appreciation and increased understanding. I was sad when the story had to finally end, and it was time to return to daily obligations. Thank you for a wonderful read!

Marilyn Couch

A peculiar and subtle novel!

It is wonderful to read a story about a foreigner in Japan without the slightest hint of exoticism. Makes you view Western customs in a new light.

Martin Goñi Torres

Hidden Buddhas was probably the novel I enjoyed most this year. I finished it in a few nights - a rare phenomenon for me now as a working mom with only a few hours to spend on reading. The book, with its many turns, is absorbing from beginning to end, full of bizarre events in such disparate places as Japan, France, and the U.S. It gives us a different insight into what is familiar and what is exotic...

Isabella Schwederer


read online review in Isabella’s blog

Before leaving for Japan, I stayed up until 3 a.m. one night and 2 a.m. the second night finishing Hidden Buddhas.  

  Thank you for a very good read!

Dana Lewis

Director, Japan Society of Northern California