I. J. Parker

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Ingrid J. Parker is a detective/mystery writer best known for creating Sugawara Akitada, who solved crimes in the Heian era of ancient Japan.

Personal life[edit]

Ingrid Parker was born and raised in Germany.[1][2]

She was, until retirement, Associate Professor of English and Foreign Languages at Norfolk State University in Virginia. Writing detective mysteries set in ancient Japan was an incidental result of initial research into 11th century Japan out of professional interest in Japanese literature of the era.[3] She was also influenced by the Judge Dee mystery series written by the noted orientalist and diplomat Robert van Gulik.[4]


Sugawara Akitada[edit]

See Sugawara Akitada for a complete bibliography.

Short Stories[edit]

Her first short story about Sugawara Akitada ("Instruments of Murder") was published in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in October 1997.

She was the winner of Private Eye Writers of America Shamus Award for Best P.I. Short Story in 2000, with Akitada's First Case, published in 1999.[5]

These two short stories and others about Akitada, listed below, were collected in October 2013 in "Akitada and the Way of Justice: The Akitada Stories".

  • The Incense Murder
  • Rain at Rashomon
  • The Curio Dealer's Wife
  • A Master of Go
  • The New Year's Gift
  • The O-Bon Cat
  • Moon Cakes
  • The Tanabata Magpie
  • Welcoming the Paddy God

Not included in this book are the short stories: Death and Cherry Blossoms, (published instead in the collection Three Tales of Love and Murder), The Kamo Horse (published instead in Shaken: Stories for Japan), The Water Sprite, and Fox Magic.


Note: The series' first publisher (St. Martin's Press) decided to change the order of publication of the novels instead of following internal chronology. I.J. Parker switched to Penguin in 2004 with the agreement to publish the novels in internal chronological order.

Internal Chronological Order: (1) The Dragon Scroll (2) Rashomon Gate (3) Black Arrow (4) Island of Exiles (5) The Hell Screen (6) The Convict's Sword (7) The Masuda Affair (8) The Fires of the Gods (9) Death on an Autumn River etc.

Publishing Timeline:

Other works[edit]

  • The Hollow Reed vol. I: Dream of a Spring Night (September 2012, Ingrid J. Parker Inc.)
  • The Hollow Reed vol. II: Dust Before the Wind (September 2012, Ingrid J. Parker Inc.,)
  • The Sword Master (October 2013, 2nd edition, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN 978-1493553549)
  • The Left-Handed God (December 2013, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, ISBN 978-1493782192)