I read and liked Pago Pago Tango and thought it was a promising start to a new series. In Fire Knife Dancing, the author seems to have settled in and, having gotten past the introductory book, started digging into the stories of Detective Sgt. Apelu Soifua and American Samoa.
In some ways, this book is much like Pago Pago Tango. Fire Knife Dancing is part Samoan cultural study, part mystery, with Apelu and his efforts to solve the crimes serving as the vehicle through which the culture is explored. But, Fire Knife Dancing is a better read because it steps up the pace. The story moves more quickly, cultural conflicts are explored more deeply, and Apelu is a more complex character than in Pago Pago Tango.
If you read and enjoyed Pago Pago Tango, you will like Fire Knife Dancing. If you have not read Pago Pago Tango, you don't need to read it first in order to enjoy Fire Knife Dancing, but both books are fairly quick reads and both are low-key mysteries set in an exotic locale populated by interesting characters. So, if this book sounds interesting to you, you might as well start with Pago Pago Tango, then read this one.
I hope there will be more books in this series because my first thought as I finished the last page was, "Detective Sgt. Apelu, you are *really* getting interesting."