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.

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Comment by I. J. Parker on November 2, 2007 at 12:00am
Much the same here. In any case, I'm flattered to be in such good company.
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on November 1, 2007 at 7:10am
Well, I read THE DRAGON SCROLL and that short story on your website some time ago and loved them both. Akitada is a great character.

Back when I started exploring the crime fiction community on the internet, there were a number of authors whose first books (or first books in series) I read. Yours, John Rickards, Olen Steinhauer, Kevin Wignall, Steven Torres.

Being someone who still has plenty of crime fiction to catch up on (I've only been reading for a few years now), I've mostly only read one book by each author, except for a handful like Chandler and Bruen. I just started reading Olen's second, THE CONFESSION, and I'm loving it. I have a copy of Rickards' second in my pile as well, so it's only fitting I get hold of yours too.

Jeez, what a rant by me! Well, at least now you know we're I'm coming from. :)
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 31, 2007 at 11:37pm
Thanks, you are very kind -- but only if you have time and actually like the sort of thing I write. :)
Comment by Daniel Hatadi on October 31, 2007 at 1:22pm
Great stuff. May you have many more like this!

(and that reminds me, it's about time I read some more of your work myself)
Comment by I. J. Parker on October 31, 2007 at 7:49am
Thank you both. Rumor has it that it'll be the New York Times next. That is a milestone for me and I'm a little breathless with excitement. Some days I think, "Maybe this will work after all."
Comment by Pepper Smith on October 31, 2007 at 2:03am
Ooo, very nice! Congratulations!
Comment by Naomi Hirahara on October 31, 2007 at 12:18am
Yay, I.J. (I made up a rhyme.)

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