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The Masuda Affair (Sugawara Akitada Mystery) Hardcover – Large Print, 31 Jul 2011


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Large Print Books; Large type edition edition (31 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727879537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727879530
  • Product Dimensions: 22.1 x 14.6 x 3.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,358,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

I.J. Parker was born and educated in Europe and turned to mystery writing after an academic career in the U.S. She published her short stories in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, winning the short story Shamus award in 2000. The Akitada novels, a series about an eleventh century Japanese nobleman/detective, now consists of twelve titles, with the next to be released soon. The books are available in print, audio, and electronic formats. They have been translated into twelve languages. The short stories are available in electronic format. I.J. Parker is also the author of several historical novels set during the Heike Wars in twelfth century Japan, and of a historical thriller set in eighteenth century Europe. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By C. Doolan on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just love this series of books even more so than Paul Doherty's excellent Amerotke novels. I will not comment on the story in case it spoils the plot for other readers but all I can say is that these books are just perfect for wrapping yourself up in your quilt switching off the phone and losing yourself in the wonderful setting of Heian Japan. Read them from the beginning starting with The Dragon Scroll, you won't be disappointed.
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By Toni Osborne on 13 Dec. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Book 7, in the Sugawara Akitada Mystery series

This 7th novel follows the script of most of Ms. Parker's novels: set in the 11th century Japan and features a government official, Sugawara Akitada, as its main protagonist. With all the culture and ambiance of the times Ms. Parker has Akitada facing a personal crisis that is haunting him. He is having trouble moving on after the unfortunate death of his son, Yori.

This installment brings Akitada a bureaucratic misfit home to the capital of Heian-Kyo, on his way he meets an emaciated abandoned child who reminds him of Yori. His efforts to rescue the boy from the clenches of abusive parents land him in hot water with the law. Being accused of improper behavior towards the child puts his career and reputation at risk and Akitada must redirect his efforts to clear his name. While doing so he becomes entangled in the secrets of the powerful Masuda family. His research draws attention to the drowning of Peony, a courtesan known to the Masuda family. Her mysterious death was originally ruled a suicide but now many unanswered questions need answers.

Meanwhile in an unrelated plot Tora, Akitada's faithful servant is looking for his wife who has been kidnapped by a powerful man obsessed with beautiful women. The trail leads Tora and Akitada to the amusement quarter, the shadier side of a vibrant city.

The depth of the relationship between characters is what really makes this novel. The multiple threads create a moving tale about family life and how it can drastically change with the loss of a love one. Although the storyline is set in the 11th century it is narrated with a modern point of view and unravels at a steady pace. It is engaging and is very easy to relate to.

Elegantly written "The Masuda Affair" is an excellent addition to a wonderful series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not usually a fan of mystery novels, but I do make an exception for I J Parker's Akitada series. Partly it's the setting - 11th century Japan's not so common in the world of literature - and partly it's just that they're so enjoyable. The characters are well-rounded, with flaws (sometimes significant ones) and that really comes to the fore in The Masuda Affair. Several times I worried about the relationships in the book unsure whether or not they would be resolved. It's rare for a book to pull me in this way, but this one managed it. Desipte the overall depressing nature of the book, there are some comic moments that had me chuckling, which I would love to share but won't for fear it'l spoil your enjoyment. The Masuda Affair is a highly-recommended mystery novel set in an unusual and interesting period, with a likeable and intriguing cast. Buy it!
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