BN.com Gift Guide

Rashomon Gate (Sugawara Akitada Series #1)

( 4 )

Overview

From the author of The Dragon Scroll comes an ingenious new novel of murder and malfeasance in ancient Japan, featuring the detective Sugawara Akitada. The son of reduced nobility forced to toil in the Ministry of Justice, Akitada is relieved when an old friend, Professor Hirata, asks him to investigate a friend’s blackmail. Taking a post at the Imperial University, he is soon sidetracked from his primary case by the murder of a young girl and the mysterious disappearance of an old man—a disappearance that the ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$12.81
BN.com price
(Save 14%)$15.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (29) from $1.99   
  • New (8) from $4.94   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

From the author of The Dragon Scroll comes an ingenious new novel of murder and malfeasance in ancient Japan, featuring the detective Sugawara Akitada. The son of reduced nobility forced to toil in the Ministry of Justice, Akitada is relieved when an old friend, Professor Hirata, asks him to investigate a friend’s blackmail. Taking a post at the Imperial University, he is soon sidetracked from his primary case by the murder of a young girl and the mysterious disappearance of an old man—a disappearance that the Emperor himself declares a miracle. Rashomon Gate is a mystery of magnificent complexity and historical detail that will leave readers yearning for more.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Of noble family but of minor importance, 11th-century Japanese sleuth Sugawara Akitada serves as a clerk in the Ministry of Justice in this solid debut, which follows the success of Parker's Shamus-winning short story, "Akitada's First Case." A request from Hirata, a law professor and his old mentor at the Imperial University in Heian Kyo (modern-day Kyoto), results in Akitada becoming a temporary teacher there. Ostensibly, Hirata is concerned with what appears to be a blackmailer at the already struggling university such a scandal might well be a deathblow. But Hirata also has in mind a possible match between his daughter, Tamako, and Akitada, who in addition becomes involved in the disappearance of a student's grandfather. Lord Minamoto, a young student consigned to the school, believes his grandfather was murdered, but the emperor has ruled the disappearance a miracle, so Akitada must move carefully. Parker has neatly blended familiar and esoteric Japanese history, religion, culture and superstition with a well-paced plot to create an appealing historical mystery. Amusingly, the Imperial University seems not too different from today's institutions, with uncertain governmental support, jealousies and bickering among the faculty, as well as impecunious students striving to make ends meet. Akitada, impetuous, passionate and intelligent, is aided by a scampish servant, Tora, and an elderly, resourceful retainer, Seimei. Readers should welcome further tales about the trio. 10 b&w illus. Agent, Jean Naggar. (July 22) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Though 11th-century Japan has no professional sleuths, nobleman Sugawara Akitada has earned a reputation as the next best thing, a gifted amateur whose detective work offers a welcome change of pace from his humdrum routine as a government clerk. Now Akitada's mentor, elderly Imperial University law professor Hirata, invites him to help unravel a complicated blackmail plot involving two other members of the faculty. Thinking it may be his last chance to spend time with the frail Hirata-not to mention Hirata's lovely daughter, childhood friend Tamako-Akitada eagerly accepts, accompanied by his servant Tora, a former highwayman. The university buzzes with scandal, subplots, and faculty feuds fueled by hotheaded, heavy-drinking Chinese literature professor Oe. Posing as a colleague, Akitada probes the college culture while Tora prowls the dangerous tenderloin of the city, Heian Kyo, and partakes of its often forbidden pleasures. By the time Hirata reveals that he invited Akitada only as a potential suitor for Tamako, his protege is up to his neck in murder. The victims include wealthy Prince Yoakira, beautiful musician/suspected prostitute Omaki, the waterfront beggar Umakai, and, after a night of drinking and peer-bashing, the universally hated Oe. Smug police inspector Kobe is determined to link the murders, but the methodical Akitada gathers evidence that points to a contrary conclusion. A debut whose roots are in a Shamus Award-winning story from Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. The slow, measured prose suits Akitada but not the devilish Tora, and the whole production would benefit from less plot and more oomph.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780143035602
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/28/2006
  • Series: Sugawara Akitada Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 720,805
  • Product dimensions: 5.18 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

I. J. Parker, winner of the Shamus Award for "Akitada’s First Case," a short story published in 1999, lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She writes regularly for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2009

    Very original plotting.

    This is an excellent reading experience, and provides very original approach to mystery plotting. Writing is very good, and the story keeps moving at all times. Lots of surprises, and engaging characters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong eleventh century Japanese mystery

    In eleventh century Heian Kyo, Japan, Sugawara Akitada knows that he has attained his career ceiling in the Ministry of Justice as a minor bureaucrat. Clerking is simply boring, but that is what Akitada does now and he realizes will continue to do until he is retired. Having no permanent woman in his life except his disappointed mother, Akitada¿s only passion is solving crimes, a task that he actually has had success at solving. <P>Akitada¿s former law professor at the Imperial University asks his one time student to investigate an apparent blackmailing scheme that needs thwarting before it becomes public knowledge and damages the schools¿ reputation. Seeing a chance to escape the doldrums of his work, Akitada accepts the assignment. Pretending to be a newly appointed teaching assistant, Akitada begins his investigation into who his blackmailing a professor. However, a seemingly separate second case surfaces that places Akitada in danger from wrong doers with high level connections. On the other hand the obstinate Akitada finds romance too. <P>The key to enjoying this strong eleventh century Japanese mystery is the names that though add realism to the locale take a bit of adjusting by westerners so as to not lose track of who does what to whom. The story line is brimming with imagery that enables the audience to feel like a visitor to what was once Kyoto. Akitada is a fascinating character disenchanted with his present life with no hope for the future yet gives everything to solving his cases. I.J. Parker writes an appealing tale that showcases her talent to paint quite a picture for historical mystery fans to enjoy. <P>Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)