🎄❓ ちょっと探偵してみませんか - A Mystery Short Story Advent (2023) 🔎

This is part of the 2023 Advent Reading Clubs, and also a straight book club if you’re visiting later than December 2023.


ちょっと探偵してみませんか | L30?? is a mystery short story collection by the writing duo 岡嶋 二人, written back in 1989. It contains 25 short stories, perfect for an advent calendar. At the end of every short story the readers are given the chance to work out the solution themselves, before reading on.

The idea is to read this over Advent, solving one mystery per day until (and including I suppose, since the stories are 25) Christmas.

Since these are mysteries, remember to use spoilers in your comments when you’re referring to the content of the stories! :old_key:

Will you be participating in the Mystery Short Story Advent?
  • Yes! :mag_right:
  • I’m reading this book but not as an advent challenge :closed_book:
  • I’m just passing by :popcorn:
0 voters

Here’s a handy calendar for keeping track of your progress. Feel free to copy or make your own.


1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
code to copy for calendar
| :mag_right:|ア</br>カ|ド</br>レ|ベ</br>ン|ン</br>ダ|ト</br>ー| :question: |
| :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: | :-: |
| :sparkles:|

Looking forward to this! I probably won’t start on time as I’m flying back from Japan just at the start of December and carrying a book to Japan for the sake of reading a couple of pages feels a bit silly :sweat_smile: but very curious how the mini mysteries go!


Day one, ラスコーリニコフの供述

Happy to report that I solved this one, after some careful re-reading of the main facts and (spoiler for method -not really spoiler, but may work as a hint:) a quick Google search.

Spoiler for solution: I mistakenly thought that the sun sets later in April, but the Internet set me straight.


:mag: :interrobang: :mag:
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:interrobang: :interrobang: :mag: :mag: :mag: :interrobang: :interrobang:
:interrobang: :interrobang: :mag: :interrobang: :mag: :mag: :interrobang:

Day 1

I already read the first story a couple days ago (minus the solution) since I knew I wouldn’t have much time the first few december days. Already forgot a lot of the details, but I didn’t figure out the solution (we’ll see how much of a common occurance that becomes :laughing:)

I’m probably just gonna check your spoiler tag real quick because I’m curious now and I’m not sure when I’ll find some time to continue :eyes:

Ahh, I see. Yeah, it sets much later where I live, so I wouldn’t have thought of that :see_no_evil:

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Day two, 誰が風を見たでしょう

I didn’t solve this one.
(Solution spoiler:) And frankly, I thought it was a little weak. Shouldn’t any transactions from her bank account after her death alert the police anyway?

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Day three, 三年目の幽霊

Lol. Cute story. I solved this one, after I carefully thought it through. Which is just as well, as I was starting to doubt my brain power today (failing spectacularly at the Advent of Code, if you must know).

(Solution hint): It immediately struck me as odd that the wife not only came to ask about the husband, but also wanted to look through the whole house as if he might be hiding. It took me a while to realize why though.

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Day four, 曇りのち雨

I figured this one out at once, first one that I solved so easily.

I really appreciate the variety in these little stories. I thought they would all be from the point of view of a detective, but no.

I’ll give this a shot, hoping the language isn’t too high level since LN is guessing it at a 30 but I’m willing to do more legwork on the words if the stories are short


Welcome! The stories are short, so I think they should be manageable. From what I’ve seen from the difficulty so far, I’d say it’s in the low 30s (but I’m not very good at judging these things). Feel free to ask language questions if you have them :slight_smile:

Day five, Behind the Closed Door

I also solved this one. I mean, (solution spoiler) it wasn’t hard to guess who the culprit could have been, since he was basically the only one mentioned with any detail, but I caught the glass in the back inconsistency too. I thought he might have killed her right then, but the person at the door would have heard, surely. There are other possibilities too. It was his house, is it out of the question that he’d have more than one key for the spare bedroom door? A little silly that the American police would be at such a loss. Oh well.
Also, what is this obsession with 密室? (spoiler for solution again): Wouldn’t it provide better cover to leave the window unlocked? Then it would be more believable that some random criminal just sneaked in and killed her. Why overcomplicate things, people?


Day six, ご注文は、おきまりですか

I was sort of thinking in the right direction, but I didn’t actually solve this. In retrospect, I probably should have. In any case, it was a fun one, and again, very different to all the others.

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I just started this book and it’s pretty fun! I’m glad the language doesn’t feel too difficult, considering it came out a little while ago. But then again, my Japanese teacher is always complaining that Japanese has changed since she left Japan, which would have been when this book came out, so maybe I’m used to it :sweat_smile:


Day seven, ボトル・キープ

Another fun story, and I’m very proud to have solved it. (no spoiler but might work as a hint:) The detail was easy to miss, and I had to double-check in case I remembered wrong.


Day 8, マリーへの届け物

I really wanted to solve this one, but no. I actually thought of the solution but stupidly discarded the idea. (Spoiler for solution:) I somehow thought they wouldn’t use English letters, as it might not be fair for Japanese readers. Oh well. Truth is that even if I had tried it I wouldnt have been able to make sense of the result. That many katakana characters in a row make my mind go blank.


Day 9, 水の上のロト

I read this late at night and already sleepy, and this is my excuse for not solving it, even though I had encountered the exact same trick in another book I read the same day, and caught it just fine then. :see_no_evil:


Day 10, 死後、必着のこと

I read this one early in the day hoping my mind would be sharper, but I’m afraid I didn’t solve it. (not a spoiler, but may be a hint:) I found the solution a little farfetched to be honest, and likely to fail. My own thought was that what he was taking was a prescription drug, and if he failed to get the next prescription filled, his doctor or pharmacist would notify the police or something.

So as of now I’ve solved 50% of the mysteries only.


I am trailing behind :sweat_smile: anyway I just read this one and I agree it’s a bit weak - I was hoping the numbers would have some kind of significance in themselves, not just be a code for the bank…

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I have to conclude I am a very lazy reader lol, I really didn’t think it over at all. I just concluded well, if it’s a perfect locked room, he somehow poisoned himself! :sweat_smile:

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Day 11, 煙の出てきた日

Can’t say the story captured my interest, and no, I didn’t solve it. (Solution objections:) While it would be natural to have ash with the cigarettes, couldn’t the smoker be flicking the ash out the window? Or have used an ashtray? Then hide the cigarettes in the can to throw away later?

Day 12, 高窓の雪

And again didn’t solve. My idea was that the murder attempt failed, because frankly, poisoning someone with a water gun is nothing short of ridiculous. (Solution objections:) It was kind of out of nowhere? I thought he died instantly, we never saw him touch the desk or anything. And surely there could be other ways? The copied key found in the trash? Police suspecting he might have a grudge against his stepfather and catching him in a lie during interrogation? There really wasn’t enough info I feel.


Day 13, 断崖の松

Sort of solved it? (solution spoiler:) I immediately thought it strange that he was surprised by an oncoming vehicle in the darkness, as the headlights should have warned him long before. This is true, I believe, even without the tree. You can see light around an obstacle even if it doesn’t light anything specific. When they specifically mentioned the tree, I thought that there should be marks on the tree when the car scratched it before falling down the cliff (I have no clear idea of the layout of the curve, so not sure how much in the way that tree was). That wasn’t it after all, but I’ll still count it as solved.

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