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The Master Key
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
The theft of the master key terrifies the elderly ladies living in an old apartment building in Tokyo and leads to the discovery of a child's body buried in the basement
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review
RaeLovesToRead
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

I love this kind of thing.

A twisty, punchy mystery novel made up of interwoven character pieces. Secrets, lies and lots of sneaking about. Plus a bonkers ending to tie it all up with a bow.

One of my favourite Japanese mysteries to date.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

BarbaraBB Mine too! 2d
BarbaraBB Although there are so many great of Japanese mysteries! 2d
RaeLovesToRead @BarbaraBB Agreed! ❤ 2d
See All 7 Comments
The_Penniless_Author This ending was bonkers in a much more plausible way than the Honjin Murders. I was legitimately impressed by this one, whereas the other I just sort of accepted as the kind of ridiculous thing you need to come up with to tie the story elements together. 1d
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author I have a big stack of Japanese mysteries and thrillers... this is probably my fave so far, but I have more to go 😋 1d
vivastory The following by Togawa remains a favorite of the year 9h
RaeLovesToRead @vivastory I will be buying that one soon ❤ It looks like another couple of her books have been translated, but they aren't recent editions so may prove tricky to get hold of 🤔 6h
60 likes4 stack adds7 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Halfway through this one... it's very compelling. I'm not sure what the central mystery is yet, but I'm enjoying wafting from strand to strand.

#readingretreat

@TrishB @scripturient @squirrelbrain @Mitch @julesG @Susanita @Oryx @CGainor3 @Leniverse @rockpools @jenniferw88

rockpools Sounds great! 5d
Mitch Perfect book for the setting! 😍 4d
BarbaraBB I liked this one a lot! 4d
See All 6 Comments
Branwen This looks good! 2d
RaeLovesToRead @Branwen review to come soon! 2d
62 likes6 comments
review
The_Penniless_Author
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

Enjoyed this book so much I read the entire thing in two days. What started out seeming as though it would be a series of interwoven vignettes involving the residents of a boarding house for women in Tokyo eventually coalesced into a single, tightly plotted narrative with an ending that was both surprising and yet fit perfectly with everything that had come before it. I've never read a mystery quite like this one. Maximum ⭐️s!

The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna Oh, and while buddy reads are definitely not a competition, I am nevertheless #1 buddy 😁 4w
batsy I enjoyed this a lot, too! So atmospheric and compelling. 4w
Yuki_Onna 🙌 Who said they would be the worst buddy reader ever? 🤔😂😉 Now you're No. 1 while my edition hasn't even arrived yet! 😁
@RaeLovesToRead
4w
See All 9 Comments
RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna I know, right?! 😉 The cheek of it!!! 4w
The_Penniless_Author @batsy Yeah, honestly I would have enjoyed it just as much even if things hadn't tied together so neatly at the end. I could have read a whole book of interwoven anecdotes in that setting. 4w
The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna @RaeLovesToRead My secret to success in life has been setting rock-bottom expectations, then exceeding them 😂 4w
RaeLovesToRead No matter how low I set my expectations, I will always find some way to wiggle out of achieving anything. 4w
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead Maybe you should do the opposite and set your expectations sky high. Then when you don't meet them, you can say, "Well, what did you expect? I was aiming for the stars!" 4w
BarbaraBB I loved this one too thanks to @Vansa who introduced me to it! (edited) 4w
51 likes5 stack adds9 comments
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RaeLovesToRead
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Look what came up as this month's Bookspin pick...

The Universe wants us to do this buddy read, Randy and Sam! @The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna

Dare you argue with the Universe?

The_Penniless_Author I agree with the universe on very little 😅 I might try to keep up with you on this, although I still have a hundred pages or so of Ship of Magic to finish. 1mo
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author When I say buddy read, I just mean tag me in your review and I'll do the same 😉🙃 1mo
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author And when you say 100 pages of Ship of Magic... you mean another like 1800 pages of the trilogy 😁 1mo
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Yuki_Onna You're not being serious? 😊😚
-Plus, I had a quite an extraordinary evening tonight and have made a new aquaintance who is - as well as our taxi driver home - living in the same street as me? The taxi driver is my direct neighbour even...
And now: The Master Key. 🔑
What's up with the Universe, Rae? 🤔
(edited) 1mo
RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna Oh wow! That's awesome! 😄 I will tag you in my review when I've finished The Master Key... I'm looking forward to it 😊 1mo
Yuki_Onna Yes, please, do so!🤗 I will try to order The Master Key in time for September reading now - as that's clearly the wish of the Universe! ☝️😁 It seems it will take up to three weeks to arrive when I order it - it's not a well-known book here - but then: It's the Universe's will the three of us read it sometime in the remainder of this year.
Who am I to defy the Universe's plans? 🤷‍♀️
@RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author
1mo
RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna Woo! 🥳🥳🥳 I should probably mention I'm the worst buddy reader ever... I always start out with good intentions, but I'm very distractible! I do love Japanese mystery fiction though, so hopefully that will keep me focused 😊 1mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna I've never been a buddy reader before, but I'm pretty confident I can take that "worst-ever" title from you ? 1mo
Yuki_Onna @RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author Oh, me too.... *eyeroll* I'm a quite slow reader, life gets in the way frequently. The three of us can battle for the title 💪🤣
Heck, I don't even know when I'm gonna get to the book - and when the book's gonna get to me in the first place...
I'm pretty content with your way of buddy reading, Rae. Confident even that even I can do this - read the book sometime this year and tag you two with the review. 😅😉
1mo
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author @Yuki_Onna Awesome! 😊😁 Let's keep it super casual ❤ We can all be terrible at buddy reading together! 1mo
56 likes10 comments
review
batsy
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

An exquisite sense of claustrophobia & dread permeates this Japanese domestic noir, published in 1962. The narrative is structured like a Russian doll with each external event leading deeper into the psychological muck of the women's boarding house, filled with unabashedly strange & wayward older women that society would prefer not to think about. The translation by Simon Grove was awkward at times ("Cheerio"?), but otherwise I greatly enjoyed it.

EvieBee This sounds fab! Great review. 4mo
sarahbarnes Wow - definitely adding this to my list. Great review! 4mo
erzascarletbookgasm I have this on my tbr! Looking forward to it. Great review 👍 4mo
See All 6 Comments
batsy @EvieBee @sarahbarnes @erzascarletbookgasm Thank you! If you're ever in the mood for something a little strange yet absorbing, with a strong atmosphere, this would be a good pick 🙂 4mo
LeahBergen Wonderful review! 👏 4mo
batsy @LeahBergen Thank you! ❤️ 4mo
83 likes5 stack adds6 comments
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batsy
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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* 🔑🏚️🧒🩸👵🏼🕵🏾‍♀️🎻
* Would love a sequel to Brandon Taylor's Real Life
* ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thanks for the tag @Bklover and tagging anyone who wants to play!

#WondrousWednesday @Eggs

Eggs Great emoji narrative 💗📚🤩 4mo
vivastory How are you liking Master Key? I ordered it literally as soon as I finished 4mo
batsy @vivastory I loved it! And I'm glad that you liked The Lady Killer; it's next on my list. 4mo
See All 6 Comments
nathandrake1997 A sequel to REAL LIFE would be ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ 4mo
batsy @nathandrake1997 Right??? I wanna know how Wallace is doing 🥺❤️ 4mo
Centique Yes! a sequel to Real Life would be fantastic 🙌🙌 4mo
54 likes6 comments
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charl08
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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After supper, the corridors echoed for a while with the sound of people walking up and down, the clatter of dishes and the splash of running water in the communal wash place. Then silence fell upon the building, to occupy it, usually, for the rest of the night.

Sometimes, one would hear the sound of a radio or the muffled tones of someone practising on the trumpet. But these noises also subsided...

63 likes4 stack adds
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BarbaraBB
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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#BookReport 14/22

I traveled the world this week: from Japan to Argentina to Africa. All three were completely different and all were VERY good.

Cinfhen Yay!!! 🌏💫✨ 6mo
batsy Love when that happens! 6mo
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RaeLovesToRead
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Today's arrivals... Japanese mysteries with green covers!! Don't they look harmonious together? 😁💚

The Village of Eight Graves is the third (translated) in the series (I believe). I enjoyed The Honjin Murders & plan to read The Inugami Curse next...

charl08 I love these covers so much. Just seen they've redesigned them. I will be scouring second hand sites for the original ones! 6mo
vivastory I'm also going to be binge reading Japanese mysteries soon. 6mo
Yuki_Onna Oh, I'm so looking forward to discovering Seishi Yokomizo! Haven't read anything by him yet, but the three books you mentioned are big here atm. Those new covers are so beautiful!!!
I've read 'The Lady Killer' by Masako Togawa and loved it. It conveys the atmosphrere of Japan/Tokyo in the 60s so greatly... The perfect mixture of Haruki Murakami's early works, novel noir, mystery and the Japanese TV series Kaiki daisakusen/Operation: Mystery...
(edited) 6mo
See All 23 Comments
Yuki_Onna Haven't forgotten your poetry, dear. Still delving into it. It's just I need to be in the right space of mind and that's not so easy atm. Sorry. 😶 But I'll write you soon! 6mo
BarbaraBB That book arrived fast! I hope you‘ll enjoy it and I am looking forward to your thoughts on both of them! 6mo
BarbaraBB @Yuki_Onna The Lady Killer sounds great! The Master Key is set in the same time period. 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @charl08 I love them too! Haven't seen the other covers.. I think these are quite recent. 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @vivastory I've also got the decagon house murders, murder in the crooked house and a couple of thrillers! Love Japanese fiction, especially mysteries! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna If I like this one I will definitely seek others out (provided they have been translated!) Really looking forward to them - sounds like they will be atmospheric! As for the poems, don't worry about it 😊 Take your time. Chapter 6 is about mental health and Chapter 5 has some upsetting stuff in too, so feel free to skip them if you don't want to deal with that kind of stuff! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @BarbaraBB I couldn't wait!!! 😁 Thanks! Will tag you in the review. 6mo
Yuki_Onna @BarbaraBB The German edition of The Master Key ist on my wish list! Has been for some time, as well as Slow Fuse, her other work translated into English and German. 😊 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @charl08 Hmm... both of them are good... not even sure which I prefer 😄 Got mine on Amazon UK! 6mo
The_Penniless_Author You've inspired me to stack one again, Rae. I've been meaning to read Togawa forever and haven't gotten around to it, but those covers are too good to resist. 6mo
Branwen Those covers are amazing! So spooky and cool! 😲 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @The_Penniless_Author Does this mean I'm the Litsy equivalent of an influencer? 😄 Hope you enjoy too! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @Branwen I love Japanese mysteries! Have created a shelf on my GR for Japanese fiction 😊😁 6mo
The_Penniless_Author @RaeLovesToRead A Litfluencer, yes 😁 6mo
BarbaraBB @Yuki_Onna I‘ll have to look up Slow Fuse! 6mo
Yuki_Onna Thanks for the trigger warnings, Rae! But I don't shy away from mental health topics and other deep stuff... I'm eager to see how other people deal with it, learn about different perspectives and am happy to read your work about it! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @Yuki_Onna Aww thank you! Again, there is no hurry. It's just really nice that you want to read them 😊 6mo
charl08 Just finished the Master Key - what a great read. I'm wondering if anyone has made it into a film or series. So many great roles for women. 6mo
RaeLovesToRead @charl08 I'm really looking forward to it, but it'll have to wait till after my holiday because if I get really into a murder mystery, I'll just want to hide in the hotel and find out what happens!! 😀 6mo
50 likes1 stack add23 comments
review
BarbaraBB
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

This oldie uses a highly original approach to the classic crime story. Set in Tokyo, just after WWII in an apartment complex for single women, mysterious things start to happen. Many of the women carry secrets, big and small, safe in the anonymity of their homes, when suddenly they are revealed.

It‘s a great read! Thank for sending me this one @Vansa such a good choice ❤️

#pop22 #ProtagonistWithMobilityAid #52BooksIn52weeks #UnlikelyDetective

vivastory This sounds fantastic! 6mo
BarbaraBB @vivastory It is your kind of book, no doubt about that! 6mo
squirrelbrain It does sound good! 6mo
See All 17 Comments
RaeLovesToRead This looks like my sort of thing... and I haven't fulfilled that prompt yet! 6mo
charl08 Tempting! Love these editions of Japanese classic crime. 6mo
LeahBergen Oh, this sounds good! 👌 6mo
BarbaraBB @RaeLovesToRead @charl08 @LeahBergen I can really recommend the book to all three of you. It is a kind of a Japanese #Persephone book, classic mystery and spinster lit in one book! 6mo
LeahBergen Well, consider me SOLD! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead Already ordered myself a copy!! 😁 6mo
BarbaraBB @RaeLovesToRead Really? Ooow That‘s cool! I really think you‘ll like it! 6mo
RaeLovesToRead I read a lot of Japanese fiction, including some mysteries, so it sounds right up my street! 😊 6mo
quietjenn This sounds right up my alley! 6mo
BarbaraBB @RaeLovesToRead @quietjenn I‘m glad to bring attention to such an old book (published in the 60s). It deserves to be read! 6mo
batsy Japanese mystery slash #spinsterlit? Hell, yes 😁 I just saw this in a bookshop over the weekend but managed to somehow not buy it ... I need to rectify this 😂 6mo
BarbaraBB @batsy you need to indeed 🤣 6mo
Vansa Apologies for the late reply!! So glad you liked it!!!! 6mo
BarbaraBB @Vansa I really did! I‘m so glad you introduced me to a new author! And as you can see above, many people now want to read the book 👍🏽😘 6mo
87 likes8 stack adds17 comments
review
sophies_little_library
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

I‘ve never read a mystery like this: so moody and atmospheric, with the looming feeling of dread and decay settling in. The women all seemed like ghosts, floating into each other‘s lives but trapped in their own loneliness. The mystery wasn‘t compelling for me, and the resolution felt convoluted and improbable, but I didn‘t mind because I was so captivated by the characters. Have you read any ‘puzzle mysteries‘?

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BarbaraBB
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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You absolutely didn‘t need to do this Vansa but I‘m thrilled with these early Christmas 🎄 presents! I love your choices! The Tokyo noir seems right up my alley but I also am curious of the Indian book you chose for me. Thank you so much 💚💚

Vansa I really hope you like the books!! 😍😍😍 10mo
BarbaraBB @Vansa I‘m sure I will. You are too kind 💚 10mo
60 likes2 comments
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catiewithac
Master Key | Masako Togawa
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@Avanders you did not need to send me another book! You are too generous! Thank you 🙏🏽 #cozyswap

Avanders Yay!! 👏🏽👏🏽🍁🎃🧡❤️💛 I‘m glad it came so quickly ☺️ 2y
44 likes1 stack add1 comment
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vivastory
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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From Crime Reads' 25 (More) Crime Books You Can Finish In An Afternoon article
"...reads like The Westing Game on acid"
(Insert take my money GIF)

LeahBergen Ooo! 3y
vivastory @LeahBergen I knew you'd understand 😉 3y
batsy Yes! This has been on my radar. Sounds so good 3y
49 likes1 stack add3 comments
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RealLifeReading
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Japanese style curry with chicken, potatoes, cabbage and carrots, and a Japanese mystery which won the Edogawa Rampo prize in 1962

JennyM Delicious 4y
119 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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Liberty
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Full of lunch and working on book 3. 📚 #readathon

Gaylagal2 Very, very cute cat ❤️ 4y
Lcsmcat 😻 4y
164 likes9 stack adds2 comments
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DeweysReadathon
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Afternoon, Littens! How is everyone doing? I had to duck out for a bit to see a friend visiting from California, but I‘m back and working on book 3. Hope everyone is having a great day. It‘s beauuuuuuutiful here in Maine. - @Liberty #readathon

C.Perone Still plugging along on book 1, but loving every minute of it! 4y
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Liberty
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Who is participating in the @deweysreadathon this Saturday??? SO EXCITED. I have the honor of running social for them on Litsy again. And reading! I‘ve got my reading stack picked out! It‘s mostly books I‘ve been meaning to get to for a long time, mixed with a few I started but had to set aside for work reading. YAY BOOKS! 📚

ladyonequestion Going to try and participate, don't think I'll manage 24 hours but I need to motivate myself to finish some books! 4y
wanderinglynn I‘m going to participate as much as possible. I have my calligraphy class Saturday mornings, but other than that, I will be reading, reading, reading! 😀 4y
Tamra Currently reading Piecing Me Together and it‘s lovely. 4y
See All 9 Comments
DGRachel Nope. Every time I even THINK about doing a readathon, my life goes to hell in a hand basket. I‘ve learned my lesson. 4y
Cailey_Mac Omg I‘ll try!🙋🏻‍♀️ 4y
Jocelyn73c I'm going to be giving it a go for the first time 🤗 I'm very excited!! 4y
phatsallylee I'm counting the hours until it gets started! 4y
sprainedbrain 🙋🏻‍♀️ love Dewey‘s! 4y
Linsy This stack looks great! I‘m finally participating this time!! 📚🎉 4y
165 likes3 stack adds9 comments
review
Well-ReadNeck
The Master Key | Masako Togawa
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Pickpick

I thoroughly enjoyed this re-issue of Masako Togawa's 1962 novel, The Master Key. While this novel certainly falls into the mystery genre in the absolute sense, there is more nuance with this one, and someone looking for a rocket-fast pace might be disappointed. There are elements of Kanae Minato's Confessions; Agatha Christie; and John LeCarre's early novels to this. A fun and enjoyable read with delightful surprises. #netgalley

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