I'm normally just quietly grateful for readers who'll post a review on Amazon, but this one pleased me so much that I'm sharing it. As you can see, the reviewer is of Japanese descent. Writing cross-gender has never bothered me a great a deal, but I also write cross-race and cross-nationality (as well as across time). A review like this proves my profound conviction that all people at all times share a common humanity that allows them to understand each other.

"I have read the entire Akitada series and just finished reading The Masuda Affair. I didn't think it was possible to like Akitada more, yet the author has found a way to make him more human/flawed and yet more enjoyable as the protagonist than ever. In my opinion (and in my experience, at least as a person of Japanese descent), he struggles as a Japanese and as a male to express his deep feelings of grief, sorrow and loneliness. Some of his expressions are misunderstood or are taken in the wrong way by others. He continually struggles in his career to be respectable and successful. Surrounding him are his loyal retainers Tora, Gemba and Seimei. While trouble follows Akitada everywhere and past villains return to torment him, he finds his way with intellect and fine detective work to solve several murders and determine who is at fault.

If you haven't read the previous books in this series, I encourage you to find and read them! The author has another novel for this series waiting in the wings and I look forward to reading the next installment"

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Comment by I. J. Parker on October 16, 2010 at 1:59am
I'm flattered, Benjamin. That book isn't out yet. The contract may be imminent. In any case, it's not anywhere near finished. :)
Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on October 15, 2010 at 1:01pm
That Akitada chapter you sent me for my website remains the most popular posting on The Chapter One Blog. It pulls down a couple reads a week, which is really saying something on my quiet corner of the Web. I think that speaks volumes to the popularity of the character you've created.

The most excellent chapter can be found here.
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 15, 2010 at 1:23am
Oh, thank you all. B.R., you're the best! :)
Comment by Pepper Smith on October 14, 2010 at 2:58pm
Very nice!
Comment by B.R.Stateham on October 14, 2010 at 12:41pm
Akitada is a wonderful character and I have enjoyed everyone of the novels. You deserve good reviews, I.J.
Comment by Benjamin Sobieck on October 14, 2010 at 9:00am
Helluva review, IJ, congratulations.

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