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Author Topic: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker  (Read 1863 times)

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stevent

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Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« on: November 20, 2006, 02:58:58 PM »

Just finished reading Moon Cakes by our very own IJ Parker. I've read many of her short stories in AHMM over the last couple of years (apparently I'll need to go to Ebay to locate a few of the back copies). Anyway, I've loved (as opposed to just liked) every single one of them and this story is no exception. Ingrid manages to make her characters so human that i feel like I know some of them quite well. My main problem as a Parker reader is that I haven't read all the books yet. I will certainly be getting Black Arrow soon.

Moon Cakes deals with an incriminating letter that Akitada is asked to retrieve (is it a Purloined Letter, you ask. Why, yes, yes it is). Finding the letter involves a trip to a decrepit temple, dealings with the officious and with fools, and travel through the cold with a sore leg.

As always, the writing is quite fine, the characters are well drawn and the solution to the puzzle completely eludes me. That last one is no great feat - I'm easily eluded - but the other two are true compliments to Ingrid's story telling powers. Will I write this up for Nasty, Brutish, Short? Of course.
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Ingrid

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2006, 05:05:13 PM »

Steven!  Very kind of you, but what do you mean "the solution eludes me"? I've provided the motive, put the perpetrator in the vicinity at the right time, and have him confess when he's accused.  Of course, part of the story has to do with getting the letter back.  The murder is of minor importance.  :)

Ingrid

P.S.  I see it's on my list of stories for the collection I'm working on.  I'll be glad to rewrite it if you have some good suggestions.
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stevent

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2006, 05:23:42 PM »

No, no. The solution eluded me until the moment of revelation within the story. Until the confession, I thought I had it figured out with someone else as the responsible party. The confession came as a surprise (as it should). I always try to guess who did it early on. I'm usually wrong.

Don't worry, it's my thickness, not a problem with the story. The answer should elude me...until the revelation. Moon Cakes is perfect as is.

You're putting together a collection? I'll be first in line. Who's it with?
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Alice

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2006, 08:21:04 PM »

I'm in that line, too!
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Alice

Ingrid

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2006, 02:39:12 PM »

Aha!  Enormous relief here.  I'd already e-mailed a friend, asking her to check the ending to make sure all is explained.

I'm doing the collection for myself.  That is to say, it will be on offer.  My contract specifies that all mysteries are offered first to Penguin. That will probably happen. I have no preferences on publishers but would prefer hardcover this time. Short story collections don't sell well, but I've had so many e-mails from readers wanting the old stories that I finally got a real sense of: Yes, it's been published but it immediately disappeared into the outer darkness and now it is as if it had never been -- the fate of all short stories that appear in magazines. That is why I want them in a book.

Speaking of this matter: I was contacted by my agent about putting a story on "amazon shorts" and was willing until I saw that contract. Now I'm awaiting word on negotiating this matter.  I have already withdrawn one story because I did not want to lose my rights permanently.

Ingrid
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stevent

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2006, 11:45:29 PM »

Just thought you might want to know my review of Moon Cakes is up at <a href="http://www.nastybrutishshort.blogspot.com/"> Nasty, Brutish, Short</a></li> a blog that reviews short crime fiction. Great story.
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Ingrid

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Re: Moon Cakes by IJ Parker
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2006, 01:13:58 PM »

Thank you, Steven.  I'm honored.

Ingrid
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