The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

The Tokyo Zodiac Murders

Book - 2015
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Astrologer, fortuneteller, and self-styled detective Kiyoshi Mitarai must in one week solve a macabre murder mystery that has baffled Japan for 40 years. Who murdered the artist Umezawa, raped and killed his daughter, and then chopped up the bodies of six others to create Azoth, the supreme woman? With maps, charts, and other illustrations, this story of magic and illusion, pieced together like a great stage tragedy, challenges the reader to unravel the mystery before the final curtain.
Publisher: London : Pushkin Vertigo, 2015.
ISBN: 9781782271383
1782271384
Branch Call Number: MF SHIMADA, SOJI
Characteristics: 316 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm

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WhidbeyIslander
May 26, 2018

I have mixed feelings about this book. Part way through I was fairly disappointed in it (it's too long, for one thing.) And although the locked room aspect isn't the main focus, the whole thing is fairly complicated. But by the end I appreciated the author's narrative somersaults. It’s possible that my unfamiliarity with the Japanese names made it harder to follow (although the Cast of Characters and a family tree chart helped.) There are also a number of charts and graphics outlining aspects of the mystery, which is a nice nod to the golden age. I did enjoy visiting some of Japan’s locales during the story; and although the two main characters trying to unravel the mystery almost became annoying (especially one), they never did, fully. There was a bit too much astrology nonsense, but its importance to the story became clear in the end. I’ve seen this on a list of Top Ten Locked Room mysteries, but I wouldn’t place it so high myself.

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