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Three Tales of Love and Murder

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Three Tales of Love and Murder (2012) I.J. Parker

Three Tales of Love and MurderSet in Heian-Kyo (Kyoto) in 11th century Japan.

These are three Akitada short stories/novellas, all about love and murder (of course, from the title).

Death and Cherry Blossoms

Heian-Kyo (Kyoto), during the Flowery Month (May)

This finds Akitada at the start of his career, a poor junior clerk who has a penchant for getting involved in mysteries.

High honors at the university and employment in the ministry had not helped him compose romantic poetry, a grave fault in an age which valued such things more than learning or character.

Akitada is sent to the country to deliver the settlement documents for a marriage between Lord Kiyowara and Lord Kose’s daughter and son. But there is, of course, a murder, and Akitada sees it as such, even as the families to to claim the death was a suicide.

The Incense Murders

Heian-Kyo (Kyoto), during the Clothes-Lining Month (March)

Akitada, still a poor junior clerk, is given a task by his mother.

(O)n this occasion she would get him involved in a case that nearly ended his career and perhaps his life. He would forever after fear dealings with his parent and doubt himself.

His uncle Koremori is rich, and holds that over Akitada’s mother, since Akitada stands to inherit after Koremori’s death.

Instruments of Murder

Heian-Kyo (Kyoto), Leaf-changing Month

This was the weakest story in the group, set after Akitada has become Lord Sugawara, and finds Akitada mixed up in the murder of a wrestler.

I just had a difficult time believing the various twists and turns of the plot here.

Rating: 7/10

Published by I. J. Parker Inc.

Categories: Asian, Historical, Mystery     Comments (0)    



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