In the recent CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, I have a review for ISLAND OF EXILES. It's by David Montgomery, more's the joy, for not all reviewers were created equal. This mystery reviewer is GOOD! So I feel immensely flattered and very grateful for the attention. And now, here it is:
I.J. Parker's latest is the fifth mystery to feature Sugawara Akitada, a nobleman in medieval Japan with a knack for solving crimes. Island of Exiles is a superior effort that ranks as the author's best work to date.
The emperor's brother, living out his life in exile on an island off the coast of Japan, has died under mysterious circumstances, and Imperial representatives have asked Akitada to investigate. The only way he can infiltrate the island, however, is as a convict, so he must take on a false identity as a murderer, placing his life in considerable danger.
Parker enlivens her setting in such a vibrant way that readers are transported to 11th century Japan. Clearly the author possesses both intimate knowledge of the time period and a fertile imagination as well. Combine that with an intriguing mystery and a fast-moving plot, and you've got a historical crime novel that anyone can love.