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By I. J. Parker

Penguin (Non-Classics), November, 2006 ($14.00)
ISBN: 978-0143035619

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

Sugawara Akitada returns in the fourth installment of this historical mystery series set in 11th-century Japan. His current assignment is to act as provisional govenor of an unruly northern province where he clashes with the corrupt local officials. He attempts to establish himself and his authortiy as he investigates the murder of a local innkeeper.

The author wisely provides a map, a list of characters, and a brief historical note.

This is a wonderful series. Fans of traditional mysteries will enjoy the "case" while fans of Japanese history and culture will revel in the way the author brings ancient Japan to life for the reader. Readers of the series will welcome back several continuing characters yet readers new to the series may begin with this title without fear of feeling lost. I am already looking forward to the next story. For those new to the series, you'll have time to catch up with the earlier adventures.

If you would like to read reviews of previous books in this series, please click on the title(s) listed below.

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