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The Honjin Murders
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
One of Japan's greatest classic murder mysteries, introducing their best loved detective, translated into English for the first time In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family. But amid the gossip over the approaching festivities, there is also a worrying rumour - it seems a sinister masked man has been asking questions around the village. Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music. Death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. Soon, amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is on the scene to investigate what will become a legendary murder case, but can this scruffy sleuth solve a seemingly impossible crime?
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TracyReadsBooks
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Absolutely fantastic! The first book in the Kosuke Kindaichi series, written by one of Japan‘s most famous authors, is a fun one which has held up over time (it was first published in 1946 I believe). Death, a katana, & a “locked room” present Kindaichi with a formidable task & how he solves the crime, & subsequently presents the solution to everyone, leaves you eager to read how he will tackle his next case. I‘ll definitely read more.

Ruthiella This was a great mystery, agreed! I definitely want to read more from this author and also the books mentioned in the introduction that inspired him. 3mo
TracyReadsBooks @Ruthiella So much more reading inspired by this book. Other books in the series and, as you note, the books that inspired him. I‘ll definitely be reading more! 2mo
28 likes2 comments
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TracyReadsBooks
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Going with a mystery from Japan for tonight‘s reading. This one is generally regarded S a classic. Excited to see what it‘s all about!

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ReadingOver50
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

First published in 1946, this is a classic Japanese mystery. This is a locked room mystery. A man and his bride are murdered on their wedding night, with no evidence of how the killer escaped.

I liked the setting in Japan. Japanese culture is fascinating to me. The book was well written and the young detective was intriguing. I understand there are many more books that feature this detective, although only a few were translated into English.

Ruthiella I liked this one too and want to try the others in the series! 6mo
ReadingOver50 @Ruthiella yes, I would like to read more. I know the first 5 were translated to English. 6mo
62 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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IReadThereforeIBlog
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Pickpick

Seishi Yokomizo‘s locked room crime novel (the first in a series) was published in Japan in 1946 and first translated into English in 2019 by Louise Heal Kawai, who has done a wonderful job. I thoroughly enjoyed Yokomizo‘s slow reveal of the Ichiyanagi family‘s secrets, while Kindaichi is a fascinating detective (almost in the Columbo mode) and the solution is ingenious such that I will check out the other translations of Yokomizo‘s work.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Mehso-so

I'm happy to continue in this series, especially since it's unlikely the disturbing reveal featuring in this first book will be repeated.
I enjoyed the framework of faux old timey true crime: 'this guy told me about a murder that actually happened, here are the gathered details...' You can feel the author's love for classic murder mysteries, several mentions gave me a good reading list for early 20th century mysteries to check out. 1/?

Robotswithpersonality 2/? I love the quirky detective, and the decision to go young and underestimated versus old (i.e. Mrs.Marple).
The book features an advanced sense of when to summarize and when to detail, when to show vs tell to keep good pace and good track of the salient points.
10mo
Robotswithpersonality 4/? I really didn't enjoy the multiple layers of ableism: the sister who's 'a little slow' alternating as convenient between creature to be soothed and the beacon of truth; the man with three fingers and a scar automatically a boogeyman to be exploited, because it's assumes he evinces disgust and fear based on his appearance alone; the relative whose symptoms sound like some combination of unresolved mental health concerns which might be a result of genetic brain chemistry and/or traumatic upbringing, and this is the explanation given for his violent action.
The three fingered man's fate is really the only one of the three where people's first ableist impressions are challenged.
10mo
Robotswithpersonality 5/6 While the purity crap is challenged by all the investigators, the reality is the book still features what is nauseatingly referred to in the popular parlance as an honour killing. Turns out not even the fact that the bad guy did it and it's acknowledged as bad can let me stomach it in fiction. To each their own tolerance level/boundaries. 10mo
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Robotswithpersonality ⚠️Ableism, misogyny 10mo
Robotswithpersonality ⚠️suicide 10mo
Robotswithpersonality 3/? It wobbles a little on confronting versus capitulating to traditional values, perhaps attempting to stay neutral on what might be hotly debated issues, or an author in the mid 1940s trying to recreate the slowly changing attitudes of the late 1930s. 10mo
8 likes6 comments
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Robotswithpersonality
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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You call it values, I call it an oppressive social structure. 🤷🏼‍♂️ PotAto, PotatO.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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When the male author chooses "obedient to her husband" as the woman's only descriptor: YIKES.

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Robotswithpersonality
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Have now added "upstart...water goblin" to my repertoire of insults...

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ju.ca.no
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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My lovely #staycation trip to Japan by @jenniferw88 🩷🩷🩷 thank you so much for the lovely package! I am excited for the books and love the cute gifts🥰🥰
And I love the Bookmark! I learned how to read Katakana a few years ago, so it‘s even cooler as I can actually read it 🤗🤗

#staycationswap @Chrissyreadit @DinoMom

jenniferw88 Glad you like ut! I did have a Japanese looking card to go with it, but as I had to rewrite the message I had to recycle it 😓 If anyone is wondering, the bookmark says 'Julia'. 10mo
jenniferw88 *it, not ut 😂 10mo
RaeLovesToRead What an awesome package!! 10mo
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Chrissyreadit 😍😍😍 10mo
DinoMom Love it !! 10mo
ju.ca.no @jenniferw88 this card is also super cute🥰🥰🥰 10mo
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Leniverse
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Pickpick

Clever and convoluted locked room mystery with a lot of nods to the early classics. The long list of characters in the front gave me pause, but each character is introduced well enough that I had no need to refer back to the list. The English translation flows really well, and manages to explain specific Japanese items and customs in a smooth way. Will definitely read more of this series.

julesG Guess you just added to #MountTBR 😉 12mo
Leniverse @julesG It's under 200 pages, so it makes for a good in-between read. 12mo
julesG That gets it to the slopes at the tip of #MountTBR 😁😁 12mo
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ClairesReads
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

A classic, locked-room mystery in the style of Agatha Christie. I found this entertaining and undemanding, and I enjoyed the slightly different flavour the Japanese context gave the story.

Ruthiella I liked this a lot too. I want to read more from this series. 😃 13mo
ClairesReads @Ruthiella me too! I just downloaded the others 13mo
batsy I started with this and really enjoyed it, too. Keen to go back and start from the first and read the others as well 13mo
ClairesReads @batsy me too! 13mo
45 likes4 comments
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booksandsympathy
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Bonus book for the Asian readathon. I requested a digital copy of this from the library and didn't think it would come in time, so I chose another book for the challenge. Then this book became available, so I added it as a bonus. This book is a locked room murder mystery that was first published in 1946. #asianreadathon #asianreadathon2023

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lauraisntwilder
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Set in 1930s rural Japan, this was modeled after classic (traditionally British) murder mysteries. It felt sort of like a Poirot novel, but the murder weapon was a katana. It was a short, quick read with a satisfying conclusion.

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Christinak
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

I went to an awesome bookstore - Old Fox Books & Coffeehouse when visiting Annapolis, MD recently. I picked this up - I‘ve heard about newly translated classics from Japan. I picked up a couple of vintage Agatha Christie books too. I seems Scout my beagle was just as excited to “devour” these mysteries. Thankfully I was able to get a copy from the library to finish it.

dabbe Silly, sweet Scout! #nomnom ❣️🐾❣️ Yet another convert to Agatha Christie! 🤣 1y
Jas16 😱 1y
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CoverToCoverGirl 😲🫣 1y
Gissy Oh oh🐶you are in trouble😳☺️ 1y
24 likes6 comments
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rwmg
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

When Kenzo and Katsuko are found dead on their wedding night, suspicion falls on a mysterious 3-fingered man who had been seen hanging around the house earlier. The bride's uncle calls in renowned PI Kosuke Kindaichi to investigate.

3/4 of the way through I was thinking, “ingenious but maybe a bit too ingenious for its own good“ but then the explanation for the ingenuity came along and made it into something quite excellent.

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rwmg
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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quietjenn
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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I originally requested this in order to maybe read during #cloakanddaggerchristmas, but there were few copies in the library and it didn't arrive until this week. Which is fine, as I wouldn't have gotten to it in December and it makes solid lunch fare. Accompanied today by grilled ham and cheese and fries, because a) Friday and b) it's been one of of those weeks 😏

mcctrish I made grilled cheese and ham sandwiches twice this week for lunch ❤️❤️❤️ and of course fries on Fry-day 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Ruthiella Sometimes you gotta have the comfort of a grilled sandwich and fries! 😋 I liked this book and am hoping to read on in his series featuring Kosuke Kindaichi as the detective. 1y
merelybookish Looks like a great lunch! 1y
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Tamra I‘m all about the grilled cheese! 😋 1y
jlhammar Yum! What a comforting meal and the book sounds great! 1y
lauraisntwilder I got this for Christmas. Looking forward to reading it! I hope you're enjoying it. 😀 1y
batsy Mmm! Perfect combo of lunch and book. 1y
mandarchy The way you put ketchup on your fries is totally punk ass. I do that to keep my family from reaching into my stash. People who dip need to get a li... brary card. 1y
quietjenn @mandarchy haha, I confess to sometimes going the dipping route, but there is much to be said for good ketchup coverage! 1y
82 likes9 comments
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Ruthiella
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

I very much enjoyed this first mystery featuring the private detective Kosuke Kindaichi and which was only recently translated into English. The solution was fine, but what I particularly liked was the set up of the characters and intricate plot and learning a little bit about historical and post WWII Japan. A locked room mystery, newlyweds are found murdered the morning after their wedding. Suicide? But why and how?

#12Booksof2022

Lucy_Anywhere I‘m hoping to read this in January so I‘m glad to hear you enjoyed it! 1y
batsy I'm looking forward to this! I liked this one a lot for the atmosphere and set up as well, and now want to go back and read it in order 1y
Andrew65 This sounds great. 1y
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bthegood Sounds interesting and an author I am unfamiliar with - so it is stacked - thank you for the review😊 1y
Ruthiella @Lucy_Anywhere I hope you also like it! 1y
Ruthiella @batsy I also want to read the rest of the series (at least that which has been translated). 👍 1y
Ruthiella @Andrew65 Apparently Seishi Yokomizo was influenced by John Dickson Carr, another mystery writer I‘ve not yet read. The book references 1y
Ruthiella @bthegood This book was only first translated into English in 2019! 😯 But it was published in Japan in the ‘40s. I‘m so glad publishers are realizing there is a market for translation in the English speaking world. 1y
Andrew65 @Ruthiella Thanks for this information. 😊 Not an author I have read either. 1y
bthegood @Ruthiella thank you - glad it made it into translation - 1y
63 likes10 comments
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Smarkies
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Enjoyed this as a locked room mystery even though the ending was a little convoluted. It does give a view into the Japanese feudal and honour system.
Contemplating getting the other books by this author. 🤔
My last #roll100 for the year

Ruthiella I also liked this one and want to read others with the same detective! 1y
AllDebooks I enjoyed this one too 1y
batsy I liked this a lot and have been meaning to get to his other books 1y
37 likes2 stack adds3 comments
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AllDebooks
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Pickpick

Great read of a locked room mystery.

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The_Penniless_Author
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Sort of a meta detective story. The narrator is a writer of detective novels who gets evacuated to a rural village following the Allies' bombing of Japan, which happens to be the site of a "real life" locked-room murder mystery that occurred years earlier. The story is the narrator's attempt at reconstructing what happened based on the recollections and notes of various individuals, some of whom had more direct involvement in the case than others.

The_Penniless_Author There's more than a dash of Agatha Christie here, including the detective, Kosuke Kindaichi, who reminds me of a younger, Japanese Hercule Poirot. Not only is the narrator a detective novelist, but Kindaichi and one of the primary suspects are both huge fans of mystery novels, which helps inform their actions. This is very much a detective novel about detective novels, heavy on plot and light on characterization, but a great puzzle nonetheless. 2y
rwmg wishlisted 2y
RaeLovesToRead This was good, but also kinda silly (in an Agatha Christie / Conan Doyle kinda way) 2y
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead Very silly. I give it credit in that the explanation technically fits with everything that came before it, but it's still pretty convoluted. There's no way you're piecing that together through logic and careful reading. 2y
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Smrloomis
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Mehso-so

Finally finished this. It took me forever because it was a snooze to be honest… It‘s apparently a classic of Japanese murder mysteries but I don‘t plan to keep reading the series 🤷🏻‍♀️

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thegirlwiththelibrarybag
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Why hello there… (just another photo of a book cover taken while working the circulation desk)

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cajunsyd
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Onioons
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Enjoying this short suspense novel. Unusual narrator's voice but engaging all the same...

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RaeLovesToRead
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Aaaaand finally... December's #12booksof2021 pick has got to be The Honjin Murders.

I'm a sucker for a locked room mystery and although this one was as ridiculously convoluted as Dame Agatha Christie's efforts, I really enjoyed it and will be ordering the next one.

Happy New Year, all of you!

Lots of Love 💕💕💕

Ruthiella Happy New Year! 🥳🥂 2y
RaeLovesToRead @Ruthiella Happy New Year!!! 🎉🎉🎉 2y
batsy Happy New Year! 2y
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RaeLovesToRead @batsy 🎉🎉🎉😁 2y
DaveGreen7777 Wishing you and your family a wonderful 2022, Rae! 😊 2y
RaeLovesToRead @DaveGreen7777 Same to you, Dave! 🎉 ((Hugs)) 🤗 2y
Nute Happy New Year, Rae!💜🥳💜 I totally get what you are saying about convoluted plots but the determination to continue on with particular series. One day I will be able to say proudly that I have read all of Agatha Christie‘s books despite some convolution!😂 2y
RaeLovesToRead @Nute Happy New Year to you too!! 🎉🎉🎉💕 I am also working my way through all the Agatha Christie novels (I'm up to murder in mesopotamia in the Poirot series). Some books are such good fun that I don't mind the convolution! 😅😁 2y
Nute lol 2y
43 likes9 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

I love this kind of thing. Taking inspiration from the greats, Seishi Yokomizo gives us a compelling and enjoyable locked room mystery.

It gives nothing away to say that the solution is - as always with these golden age dramas - completely batsh*t crazy, but who cares? Highly recommended for fans of Agatha Christie.

#cloakanddaggerchristmas - read a mystery with an amateur sleuth

⭐⭐⭐⭐

vivastory You sold me on it! Will def be reading this one 3y
RaeLovesToRead @vivastory Hope you enjoy it! 😊 3y
EvieBee That is a gorgeous edition! 3y
42 likes3 stack adds4 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Love it when a murder mystery has a map so I can pretend to get my amateur sleuthing cap on... 🧐🤔

#cloakanddaggerchristmas

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mhillis
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Locked room mystery in 1930s rural Japan 🇯🇵 This is a classic mystery novel with a bit of metafiction, translated by Louise Heal Kawai. #Japan

catiewithac I love these Pushkin Vertigo reprints! 3y
charl08 I don't know who designed the covers, but I hope they win a prize. 😍 3y
veritysalter @charl08 It says cover design by Anna Morrison. I think they‘re wonderful too, so simplistic but capture the essence of the story. In this case the bloody Katana in the snow. 3y
73 likes1 stack add3 comments
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veritysalter
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Another great read of Japanese crime fiction inspired by Golden Age authors. A bridal couple are found dead in a locked annexe, the family nearby hear their screams, as they rush across the garden to witness the gruesome scene, there are no footprints on the freshly fallen snow, how did the killer get in or out?

ReadingOver50 Looks good. I love Japanese fiction. 3y
vivastory I'd love to see a post of ranking your fave Japanese crime fiction 3y
veritysalter @vivastory I‘ve only read Honjin and Decagon House so far, but I have The Crooked House Murder and I‘ve ordered A Quiet Place and The Inugami Curse. Do you have any other books you‘d recommend? 3y
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BarbaraBB I love Japanese crime too, so I must read both of these! 3y
BarbaraBB If you‘re looking for recommendations you‘ve probably read Higashino‘s books. They are all great. So is 3y
vivastory I second the recommendation of Out. I haven't read any of the Golden Age inspired authors, but have added a few. If you haven't read it I def rec Higashino's Devotion of Suspect X. My fave Japanese crime writer hands down is Kanae Minato. Highly rec. both books that have been translated-Confessions & Penance. (edited) 3y
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tenar
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

An elaborate 1946 puzzle box murder mystery that launched a quirky private investigator & his long-running series. I was enthralled by the intricate crime and its framing - a mystery writer is retelling the events after the fact, referencing classic detective fiction. Cheeky.

But I found the ultimate solution so disturbing it marred my enjoyment. The novel‘s characters being disturbed right along with me was the difference between a pick & a pan!

batsy I definitely want to read this, and your take on the resolution has further piqued my interest! 3y
tenar @batsy I wrote you a few different encouraging replies, but I think all hinted at the contents of the book in some way. So I‘ll just say I‘m excited to hear what you think! 3y
30 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Lindy
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

In the opening chapter, the narrator tells us that the locked room murder mystery is “a genre that any self-respecting detective novelist will attempt at some point.” First published years ago in Japan, this twisty puzzle of a novel has only recently been translated into English by Louise Heal Kawai. Perfect for fans of classic locked room mysteries. #translation

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Lindy
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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“The ground was carpeted in those red spider lilies sometimes known as equinox flowers. I couldn't help thinking that they were soaked in the blood of poor, sweet S---.“

(Photo courtesy of my friend Rika in Yokohama.)

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Lindy
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Unlike other kinds of musical picks or plectrums, the koto pick resembles a false fingernail attached to a ring. If you were wearing koto picks, your fingerprints would be obscured.
(That‘s me in the photo, learning how to play a koto.)

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charl08
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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The collection comprised every book of mystery or detective fiction ever published in Japan....

(I've not heard of any of the Japanese authors.)

TrishB Me neither ☹️ 4y
arubabookwoman I thought I had heard of/read a number of Japanese mysteries, but I hadn‘t heard of any of those either. But since the book was 1st translated into English in 1937, they‘re all probably late 19th early 20th century writers. May be worth looking into? 4y
charl08 @TrishB @arubabookwoman I can't say I've read much Japanese crime. I think the book is only set in the 1930s - the pub info says first pub in Japan in 1973. I am not sure if the names aren't a joke by the author - but I really don't know. 4y
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rabbitprincess
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Pickpick

I quite liked this book, translated by Louise Heal Kawai. It‘s a bit formal and breaks the fourth wall in a couple of odd ways, but I exclaimed out loud when the solution was revealed, enjoyed the shout-outs to Carr and Leroux, and ended up looking for videos of koto playing so I could hear what it sounded like. So a good read!

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dodgygothbint
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Pickpick

Gosh I've been reading a lot of Golden Age crime novels recently! It's nice to have one from a different cultural background, and this has some fun Japanese quirks, despite its deliberate use of Western crime novel tropes. I loved the detective Kosuke Kindaichi, and the villain, and crime, are suitably chilling. The resolution is ingenuous, and there are nice digs at the injustice of feudal attitudes and traditional class arrogance too ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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shanaqui
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
Mehso-so

It was interesting to read a non-Western mystery story! I always find reading in translation a little stilted, though, and this one is so powerfully inspired by e.g. John Dickson Carr (it's even in the plot). It didn't do wonders for me, I'm afraid.

rabbitprincess My best friend loooooooves John Dickson Carr, so when I heard about this I thought I'd get it for her birthday. Glad to have a review for it! 4y
shanaqui @rabbitprincess I think someone super into locked room mysteries and John Dickson Carr might really like it! Neither are really my thing. 4y
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Tonton
The Honjin Murders | Seishi Yokomizo
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Mehso-so

It‘s a three day holiday weekend thanks to the emperor‘s birthday so I‘m reading away! I‘ll pop out for a walk tomorrow but in the meantime catching up on the TBRs. This book is the first of a long series with the tousle haired Japanese cross between Colombo and Holmes that spawned tv series & movies all with dreaded family secrets and bizarre murders. It‘s classic golden age but I found it stilted and stiff compared to the movies it inspired.