Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Moon Cakes by IJ Parker

There are a few authors whose name on the cover will cause me to buy a copy of either AHMM or EQMM. IJ Parker is one of them. Parker writes the Akitada series set in 10th century Japan. Akitada is a great character (proven by the fact that he's earned Ms. Parker a Shamus) and he draws me back to the series every time. He's so human.

In Moon Cakes, Akitada is called upon to find a stolen letter. Apparently, one of the princes of Japan has written some foolish things which, if revealed, could get his head removed from his shoulders. In any event, the latter was last seen traveling with an elderly man headed for a temple, but both the man and the letter have disappeared. Things get complicated when the gatekeeper at the temple is also missing.

Through it all, we have echoes of Akitada's previous cases (nothing to disturb the uninitiated) as his leg hurts (and it's Winter) and there is the remembrance of his dead young son driving a wedge between him and his wife. Will Akitada get to the bottom of things (and what will that bottom consist of?) will justice be done (because when you're playing with princes having a criminal be above the law is not out of the question) and will Akitada make it home to his family and find the path to happiness?

Well worth the price of the magazine (and it was a double issue). I will be on the lookout for Ms. Parker's latest novel "Black Arrow" out in stores now and sure to impress what with its starred reviews and such.

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