Series: Detective Mitarai's Casebook
Published by Pushkin Vertigo on September 1, 2005
Cover image and summary from Goodreads:
A bestselling and internationally-acclaimed masterpiece of the locked-room mystery genre
Japan, 1936. An old eccentric artist living with seven women has been found dead- in a room locked from the inside. His diaries reveal alchemy, astrology and a complicated plan to kill all seven women. Shortly afterwards, the plan is carried out: the women are found dismembered and buried across rural Japan.
By 1979, these Tokyo Zodiac Murders have been obsessing a nation for decades, but not one of them has been solved. A mystery-obsessed illustrator and a talented astrologer set off around the country - and you follow, carrying the enigma of the Zodiac murderer through madness, missed leads and magic tricks. You have all the clues, but can you solve the mystery before they do?
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders was highly recommended to me by several bookish people when I mentioned that I was looking for a good, unpredictable mystery. The kind where I wouldn’t figure out the ending.
I was, therefore, really looking forward to reading this. The first part of the book, while interesting at times, was super dense and a bit of a struggle for me to get through. It definitely picked up though, and I was struggling to figure out how the pieces all fit together. And at one point, the author himself dropped in to challenge the reader, saying that he’s given the read everything s/he needs to solve the mystery. I loved that, but I also made myself wait to read further until I was certain that I had exhausted all possible solutions. Once I admitted to myself that I had no clue what was going on, I read on.
I certainly did not solve the mystery, so if you’re looking for a real head-scratcher, check this out!