- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; 1st Printing edition (June 28, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143035320
- ISBN-13: 978-0143035329
- Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dragon Scroll: A Mystery of Ancient Japan Featuring Sugawara Akitada Paperback – June 28, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Shamus-winner Parker's impressive third Sugawara Akitada mystery (after 2003's The Hell Screen) deftly pulls the reader into the world of 11th-century Japan. Someone sets up Akitada, a young junior clerk in the ministry of justice, to fail on his first assignment, which is to travel to the province of Kazusa and track down the thieves responsible for missing tax shipments from that remote region. While Akitada's suspicions center on Kazusa's governor, he has to rethink his plans when the governor's predecessor, who had requested a clandestine meeting with Akitada, is murdered. Before he can make much headway solving either crime, Akitada is recalled to the capital, where he faces additional challenges. Parker manages the impressive feat of presenting a classic whodunit in an exotic and unfamiliar setting.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Is there room in the mystery genre for two series set in feudal-era Japan? Laura Joh Rowland's Sano Ichiro series is well established, but it's been showing signs of lethargy. Now comes the first Sugawara Akitada novel, a rousing, whip-fast story of political intrigue and adventure in eleventh-century Japan. Akitada is on his first assignment for the Ministry of Justice, investigating the disappearances of imperial tax convoys. He finds himself set upon by bandits, rogues, and--worst of all--shifty politicians. Told with a sure hand and a sharp sense of humor, the novel is certain to capture the interest of readers of historical mysteries, especially those who like a touch of Shogun along with all the action. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
that helps with understanding the second book--which was actually the first written. The second book to be read is Roshaman Gate
which was published first. The third book to read is Black Arrow. You can check under the author's name on Wikipedia for the reading order which is listed in the paragraph just above the numbered list of published order.
I read the first two books in the wrong order. I think Dragon Scroll is much more interesting and has much more action than Roshaman Gate.
We learn so much more about Tora, Akitada's interesting servant. And, we learn more about Seimei, the family retainer. There's so much here
that helps with the understanding of the second book.
In Dragon Scroll which takes place in eleventh century Japan; Akitada is sent to what was then a far away province to solve the mystery of what happened to three valuable shipments that disappeared. There's murder, thievery, and intrigue in a fascinating time that most women I know would not have enjoyed one bit.
This is a book of intrigue and ancient atmosphere. While there are mysteries to be solved they probably wouldn't appeal to people who like modern day mysteries by authors like Patterson and Sandford and Quinn. You can guess who the bad guys are early on. If you like being the detective in the mystery this book will probably not be your style. If you are open to all kinds of possibilities you will probably find this book--and the series--very interesting.
With that out of the way, I have to admit that I am very happy to having discovered this series, since even though the mystery aspect of the plot is not the most captivating I have encountered, the way in which the author weaves the cultural and historical aspects make this a novel to recommend.
The plot is fairly simple. Sugawara Akitada, and up-and-coming clerk is sent out on a mission to Kazusa. He has to find out who is stealing tax shipments that are supposed to reach the capital, and everything indicates that he got his assignment with the intention of having him fail at it. However, with a combination of wits, luck, and some timely met acquaintances, Akitada will try his best at solving the mystery. in the process, there will be other events that provide added interest to the story and even add an aspect of political intrigue.
On another note, the author uses well some humorous elements and there will even be space for some romance. The characters are well-depicted and even though in some cases, some of their features border exaggeration, the flaw is not too bad. Overall, I think that people looking for mysteries with a considerably historical and cultural component, will have a pleasant time with this book.
Although written and intended to be first in the series, for some reason the publisher decided to release the second book first, and this one a few years later. I recommend you read this one first, as it introduces and gives the backstory of characters seen in subsequent volumes.