In Heian Kyo, the capital city of 11th century Japan, Akitada Sugawara serves as a minor official in the Ministry of Justice. Though born into a noble family, his family's estate is sadly diminished, forcing Akitada to toil fruitlessly at an unsuccessful career. So when an old friend, Professor Hirata, calls upon Akitada for help, he welcomes the opportunity to escape from his dull assignments. One of the professor's colleagues is being blackmailed, and to save the Imperial University from scandal, Hirata asks his former pupil to investigate the situation. After taking a leave of absence from the Ministry, Akitada joins the staff of the university as a visiting lecturer, and finds himself drawn into a web of gossip and petty rivalries.

Nearly everyone he encounters is suspect, but Akitada's attentions are soon sidetracked by the murder of a young woman, and the mysterious disappearance of a student's grandfather. The emperor himself has declared the case a miracle, but Lord Minamoto refuses to believe the pious tale of his grandfather's transfiguration. Though there is no evidence of foul play, it is clear to Akitada that Minamoto's life has also become endangered.

Plunging into a dangerous investigation of conspiracy among high-ranking nobles, Akitada must step carefully while gathering clues to solve the puzzle before him.


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Rashomon Gate
by I. J. Parker

Minotaur Books
July 1, 2002
ISBN #0312287984
352 pages
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