Omiomiomiomigod!I don’t know why I didn't pick this up sooner. To be fair I only learned about it recently when I was listening to the backlist of the All The Books podcast from Book Riot (such a treasure trove of great book findings!). It sounded so intriguing that I wrote down the title and picked it up at the bookstore as soon as I could.
The premise is thus: In 1936, a deranged artist haunted by demons by the name of Heikichi Umezawa writes in his last will and testament a detailed and gruesome account of how he would murder his daughters and nieces to create the ultimate goddess. Soon after, he is found murdered himself, locked in his studio. Shortly after, the six women are found murdered in the exact way as described by the artist. The case stumped the Japanese police and has remained unsolved all this time. Fast forward forty years and friends Kazumi Ishioka and Kiyoshi Mitarai (a nod by the author to Holmes and Watson) are provided a fresh clue and decided to try their hand at the mystery.
This will be less of a review (because this book is brilliant) than a stream of consciousness inner monologue as I read this book. This Book is unputdownable and the only negative thing to say is that it made my brain feel like a pretzel.
~ Page 120
I can’t believe this is a debut novel. How can someone be so genius on their FIRST PUBLISHED BOOK?
Hehe the narrator is also a mystery book addict? I understand you bro!
Also why haven’t more of his works been translated into English? (Thank you Puskin Vertigo!)
Seriously this man is known in Japan as the “God of Mystery” and his other works haven’t been translated?
This is what happens when SAW and Sherlock Holmes have a baby.
Mutilation, murder and rape...oh this is not your grandma’s cozy mystery.
This book has lots of floor plans, family trees and diagrams: this is a nice nod to golden aged crime books, something I didn’t realized I wanted more of in my crime books.
~ page 200
Oh great, now you took on a bet that you could solve this mystery in a week???
You know it’s been unsolved for 40 years right? 40 YEARS.
I have absolutely no idea who could have done it, unless it was the artist who said he was going to do it, but he was dead so he couldn’t have done it. OR WAS HE? What if it’s a hoax, what if its not real? What if nothing is real??? WHAT IS REAL?
Oh really? I should be able to solve the mystery by now? I have all the clues? THANKS Shimada for making me feel completely incompetent
ANOTHER note from the author? Now he’s just gloating, I still have no idea…
That is probably the best a-ha moment I have ready in a book in a long time. Cray cray good.
Aaaaand he’s still not revealing how he figured it out….aaaand he stalling….come on, quit the tease, we want to know!!
Ok, well I certainly not expecting that….
It’s so simple, but wow…
What is life….
Go pick this up!
You can find the book here