Announcements

NEW: THE OLD MEN OF OMI, Akitada # 13, now available as an eBook or trade paperback. (Click here to learn more)

Coming: THE MASUDA AFFAIR and THE FIRES OF THE GODS have gone out of print but will soon be available again.

Coming: Penguin titles that are not available in foreign countries will also be made available there under my imprint.

Reviews

(Starred Review) "Parker raises the stakes considerably for her fallible but honorable series sleuth in her excellent eighth mystery set in 11th-century Japan (after 2010's The Masuda Affair)."  Read the whole review here.
 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Review of THE FIRES OF THE GODS)


“Whether you love great historical fiction or mysteries, The Masuda Affair is a tightly plotted, emotional, yet logical murder mystery sure to grip the reader’s interest, leaving all satisfied." (LIBRARY JOURNAL)

"In the pantheon of mystery books, I.J. Parker’s stand alone. Far from simple potboilers, her mysteries weave multiple plot threads into a lush tapestry of Japanese society in the Heian period. Her latest book, The Convict’s Sword, features her detective, the judicial clerk Akitada Sugawara, trying to clear the names of two friends, even as he makes decisions about his family more serious than he ever imagined. The result is one of her best — if not the best — books yet, a complex and heady mix of suspense and Asian culture written with authority and flair.” Read the whole review here.
ASIAN REPORTER (Review of THE CONVICT'S SWORD)

"More than just a mystery novel, this is a superb piece of literature set against the backdrop of 11th-century Kyoto.” Read the whole review here.
JAPAN TIMES (Review of THE CONVICT'S SWORD)

(Starred Review) "Parker gives her protagonist an emotional depth that raises her to the front rank of contemporary historical writers."  Read the whole review here.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Review of THE CONVICT'S SWORD)

"You couldn’t ask for a more gracious introduction to the exotic world of Imperial Japan than the stately historical novels of I. J. Parker."  Read the whole review here.
NEW YORK TIMES (Review of ISLAND OF EXILES)

 (Starred Review) "The fast-moving, surprising plot and colorful writing will enthrall even those unfamiliar with the exotic setting. The Shamus Award Parker won with her first Akitada short story may soon have company."  Read the whole review here.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Review of ISLAND OF EXILES)

"In Parker's hands, 11th century Japan comes alive in radiant fashion. Black Arrow is an exquisite book, suspenseful and action-packed, but also beautiful in its evocative descriptions and loving rendering of its subject." (David Montgomery in CHICAGO SUN-TIMES)

"Black Arrow is a terrific mystery with a setting that is unforgettable...  Parker's research is extensive and she makes great use of the complex manners and relationships in feudal Japan.  At times the scenes may owe a bit to filmmakers such as Akira Kurosawa, but that's no criticism.  This is a fine historical detective novel with good characterization and a great setting."  (Margaret Cannon in THE GLOBE AND MAIL) (Review of BLACK ARROW)

(Starred Review) "Shamus-winner Parker's fourth historical Sugawara Akitada novel (after 2006's Rashomon Gate) deftly combines an action-packed plot with convincing period detail to bring 11th-century Japan to life."
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Review of BLACK ARROW)

 "An elegant, oblique prologue set decades before the main action finds Death preying on a young woman and her frolicking baby in a flower-laden forest clearing. Akitada's fourth adventure, as beautifully written as his first three, keeps his wife Tamako in the background but adroitly develops his three sidekicks."
Kirkus Reviews (Review of BLACK ARROW)

"Now comes the first Sugawara Akitada novel, a rousing, whip-fast story of political intrigue and adventure in eleventh-century Japan... told with a sure hand and a sharp sense of humor."
BOOKLIST (Review of DRAGON SCROLL)

"Parker has created a wonderful protagonist in Akitada, who, bound by tradition, finds himself in conflict with his benevolent nature. Her ancillary characters... are as vividly drawn."
BOSTON GLOBE (Review of HELL SCREEN)

His noble family fallen on hard times, Sugawara Akitada works as a minor official in the Ministry of Justice in Heian Kyo, capital of Japan in the 11th century. The post is boring, but there are bills to pay, servants to maintain and a diminished estate to keep up as best he can. However, Akitada also has a sharp mind and an inquisitive nature, both of which get put to the test as he unravels murders and mysteries that carry him from the depths of the most common peasant hovels to the sacred halls of the Imperial Palace itself. Bound not only by his sense of decency and honor, but the strict codes and social structure of Ancient Japan, Akitada must step carefully while gathering clues to solve the puzzles before him.

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I.J. PARKER won the Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story in 2000 for "Akitada's First Case," published in 1999. An Associate Professor of English and Foreign Languages (retired) at a Virginia university, Parker began research into eleventh century Japan because of a professional interest in that culture's literature. This led to the first Akitada short story, "Instruments of Murder," published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The Akitada series of mystery novels soon followed and led to foreign publication as the novels were translated into other languages. Later, Parker turned her attention to the turbulent events at the end of the twelfth century. Three novels are the result of this research: the two-volume saga THE HOLLOW REED and the action-adventure THE SWORD MASTER. Finally, there is also a literary novel, THE LEFT-HANDED GOD, set in eighteenth century Germany, a special labor of love.

You can contact I.J. Parker at: Heianmys@aol.com

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This web site was last updated on December 12, 2014.  All content copyright 2009-2014 by I.J. Parker.  Please send comments or questions concerning this web site to the webmaster