The Masuda Affair

The Masuda Affair

by I. J. Parker
     
 

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A Sugawara Akitada Mystery of Ancient Japan - Eleventh-century Japan. Government official Sugawara Akitada finds a small mute boy on a deserted road. Akitada, still grieving for his own small son, determines to find the boy’s parents. Meanwhile, Akitada’s faithful servant Tora has troubles of his own: he has lost his new bride to a powerful man who

Overview

A Sugawara Akitada Mystery of Ancient Japan - Eleventh-century Japan. Government official Sugawara Akitada finds a small mute boy on a deserted road. Akitada, still grieving for his own small son, determines to find the boy’s parents. Meanwhile, Akitada’s faithful servant Tora has troubles of his own: he has lost his new bride to a powerful man who pursues beautiful women and will stop at nothing to possess them. The trails of these two seemingly unrelated cases lead Akitada and Tora to the entertainers and prostitutes of the amusement quarter, and murder follows in their footsteps . . .

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
In his seventh appearance (after The Convict's Sword), government official Sugawara Akitada is returning home when he finds a small, half-naked boy, starved and beaten. Earlier that year, his four-year-old son had died in the plague that ravaged Heian-Kyo (now Kyoto). But helping the boy find his parents becomes an impossible task when Sugawara is accused of improper behavior with the boy. VERDICT Once again Parker has written a moving and beautiful tale, this time involving parental love and loss of a child. His depiction of an 11th-century Japan as a brutal society in which one's fortune is made or lost on the whim of the most powerful will appeal to historical fiction fans and readers who enjoy Laura Joh Rowland.
Kirkus Reviews - Kirkus Reviews

A strange little boy leads a veteran detective on a remarkable odyssey.

In 11th-century Japan, sometime sleuth Sugawara Akitada, senior secretary in the Ministry of Justice, is headed back to the capital after completing a mission in rural Hikone. In a dark forest, he finds a whimpering young boy, mute or deaf or both. Having recently lost his young son Yori in the smallpox epidemic, Akitada has tried with little success to work through his grief. Lifting the boy onto his horse, Akitada takes him to the nearest town, where a gruff couple, the Mimuras, claim him. Uncertain of their legitimacy but equally uncertain of his own judgment in light of recent events, Akitada relents but later decides to return. When his suspicions of abuse are confirmed, he seizes the boy. Far from ending troubles for the two of them, his action simply fosters more, and he ultimately surrenders the boy again. Akitada's retainers—elderly Seimei, sedentary Genba and hearty Tora—worry about his well-being; Tora somewhat less, as he's involved in a torrid romance with Hanae, a flirtatious dancer and singer. Her sudden disappearance is the first of a series of baffling mysteries—including one that involves the silent little boy—that Akitada is challenged to unravel, drawing him progressively out of his grief while paradoxically threatening his relationship with wife Tamako.

Akitada's stately seventh case (The Convict's Sword, 2009, etc.) builds slowly, but the character development and plot foundations in the first half pay dividends in the closing chapters, especially for series fans.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780727869258
Publisher:
Severn House Publishers
Publication date:
11/01/2010
Series:
A Sugawara Akitada Mystery Series
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.20(d)

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