🕵️‍♀️ 推理小説読書会 📚 Mystery Novel Book Club 👮‍♂️ Preparing to read 黒い森の記憶

Tell that to Deepl :joy:
I edited it though.

Thanks for the review!

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Book: 告白 | L35
Is there an ebook available?: yes

Summary - Japanese

「愛美は死にました。しかし事故ではありません。このクラスの生徒に殺されたのです」我が子を校内で亡くした中学校の女性教師によるホームルームでの告白から、この物語は始まる。語り手が「級友」「犯人」「犯人の家族」と次々と変わり、次第に事件の全体像が浮き彫りにされていく。衝撃的なラストを巡り物議を醸した、デビュー作にして、第6回本屋大賞受賞のベストセラー。

Summary - English

After calling off her engagement in the wake of a tragic revelation, Yuko Moriguchi had nothing to live for except her only child, four-year-old child, Manami. Now, following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where she teaches, Yuko has given up and tendered her resignation.

But first she has one last lecture to deliver. She tells a story that upends everything her students ever thought they knew about two of their peers, and sets in motion a diabolical plot for revenge.

Narrated in alternating voices, with twists you’ll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger. You’ll never look at a classroom the same way again.

Content warnings if known

death/murder of a child? bad LGBTQIA+ rep?

Why are you nominating this book: This has been on my TBR for a while now, since people seem to love it. I recently heard that the book has some issues with LGBTQIA+ rep (though apparently the details are a massive spoiler, so…). I will definitely read it soon, but would be nice to have the club to read along with :slight_smile:

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Where did you read this? (I don’t mind massive spoilers as I’ve already read the book.) I only remember a brief mention actually, not even especially relevant to the plot. I don’t remember all details very clearly though.

I heard it in her review: https://youtu.be/U8AE0tIMCNo?t=803 and since her and her partner are part of the LGBTQIA+ community, I think she might pick up on things that the majority of readers do not notice. :thinking: Anyways, she calls something in the book “deeply homophobic”. No sure what follows in the spoilers part.

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Thanks. Watched it, and while I agree with her criticism about it potentially spreading misinformation (although it is actually addressed in the book itself), it’s very indirectly linked to the LGBTQIA+ community. (And the link, such as it is, is only based on misinformation itself.) Too bad I can’t be more specific, but anyway, long story short, there is a sensitive subject that may be (or at least appear to be) mishandled, but it’s not actually a LGBTQIA+ specific matter.

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Might also be the case that there are translation issues on top of it? :thinking:

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I don’t think that’s the case here. Okay, I’ll try to not spoil much. I’ll mention what the offensive topic is and how it is mishandled, but won’t reference anything in the book itself. It is revealed at the end of the first chapter anyway.
So: There is the -apparent- misinformation that HIV can be spread through consuming something infected with it. Further than that, some people appear to react very badly to the possibility that someone is infected, as if you can catch it by just being close to someone. But that’s presented as human nature, not scientific fact. As I said, sensitive subject. It might need to go in the content warnings, but it is a spoiler.

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Related to spoilers.

I often wonder that HIV is still viewed as LGBTQIA+ adjacent at all… I don’t believe there was any sort of connection made in the book itself iirc? I wouldn’t have been very sure on the specifics if you hadn’t detailed it, so thanks. ^^ I… Spent a couple minutes trying to remember what might have been LGBTQIA+ related before reading your comment. :sweat_smile:

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I couldn’t tell either, not before I watched the review video. I don’t remember there being a connection in the book itself. I don’t regard HIV as having anything to do with sexual orientation, nor do I think anyone does nowadays, so I don’t know where that came from. In the book there was a tiny mention of a teacher being gay if I remember correctly, and parents’ reactions to that information. It was mentioned in passing though, had nothing to do with HIV, is no spoiler in itself, and just served to highlight the attitudes of the people involved.

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The only time I have seen the topic come up in modern Japanese media has been in reference to female sex workers (ie 風俗)

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Of course there is no direct connection between HIV and sexual orientation, but there is a connection to a certain sexual behavior, namely promiscuous unprotected sex, which is of course not unique to homosexual men, but was popular in certain parts of the community when HIV started to spread. And that’s where this belief comes from. I found the Timeline of HIV/AIDS - Wikipedia to be quite interesting in that respect. Now pair that with all sorts of discriminating mindsets / superstitions / bad information and education politics, and you’re there.
For comparison, in Germany it is illegal (right now!) for homosexual men to donate blood. There are some efforts to ditch this restriction as it is highly discriminating and slightly beside the point; I think they are currently working on this. what is the year again? :woman_facepalming:

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In France that used to be the case if you had homosexual intercourses, regardless of gender.
They progressively made the rules less discriminatory (and more logical) in the past decade, though.
Now, you are only barred from giving blood if you had unprotected sex with a new partner in the past six months (regardless of the gender of anyone involved, so straight people are also affected).

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This sounds like a perfectly reasonable rule and should catch most cases (transitive cases will still slip through though but it’s the best one can do, I guess). Welp, once again it feels like Germany is a bit slow on the uptake… :sob:

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As 七回死んだ男 is wrapping up in two weeks I thought I’d announce that voting will begin a two weeks after that (3rd of April) and run for 1 week. There will be a 2 week break after the poll closes to allow people who prefer physical copies to order the book. Thus, the first week of the new pick will be the 24th of April.

Current nominations are here. Nominations will stop being accepted at 20.

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I found a few new books I thought would be neat, but I’ll limit myself to one.

Book: 『クロック城』殺人事件 | L30??
Is there an ebook available?: yes

Summary - Japanese

終焉をむかえつつある人類の世界。探偵・南深騎(みき)と菜美の下に、黒鴣瑠華(くろうるか)と名乗る美少女が現れた。眠り続ける美女。蠢く人面蒼。3つの時を刻む巨大な時計。謎が漂うクロック城に2人を誘う瑠華。そこに大きな鐘が鳴り響いたとき、首なし遺体が次々と現れた。驚愕のトリックが待つ、本格ミステリ。

Summary - English

A world where humanity is facing the end. A beautiful young girl named Kurou Ruka appears before detective Minami Miki and Nami. A sleeping maiden. Writing blue faces. Three large clocks ticking away time. Ruka invites the pair to the mysterious Clock Castle. Whenever the large bell rings, a headless corpse appears. An orthodox mystery with an unbelievable trick.

Content warnings if known

None that I know of.

Why are you nominating this book: This is a Mephisto prize winner, so that’s always a plus. This is the debut work of Kitayama Takekuni, who’s famous for intricate physical tricks, so I’m interested in reading something by him. His biggest claim to fame is probably his involvement in the Danganronpa series, where he provided the mystery outlines for New Danganronpa v3 and is writing the Kirigiri spin-off novels.

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What would be considered a “physical trick”?

Basically taking advantage of weird architecture/physical characteristics to pull off seemingly impossible crimes. Shimada’s 斜め屋敷の犯罪 is the first that comes to mind for me. For something actually by Kitayama, pretty much every case in Danganronpa v3 is like this, although I suppose the second case might feel the most quintessentially like a ‘physical trick’…?

Of the book club books 体育館の殺人 probably feels closest, but even then (compared to Danganronpa v3) it still feels fairly different, since 体育館 had a psychological component and wasn’t premeditated, and had a big emphasis on the Queensian deduction chain.

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Natively link is up if you want to update your post and if @cat wants to update the nomination list. 『クロック城』殺人事件 | L30??

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I added it so I know, just haven’t had time. It’s a pain to modify giant posts like that on mobile

edit: nomination post has been updated

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This one’s pretty high-level, which I’m a bit concerned about since the higher the level the fewer people who can participate, but it looks interesting so I’ll toss it into the ring:

Book: 黒牢城 | L43
Is there an ebook available?: yes

Summary - Japanese

本能寺の変より四年前、天正六年の冬。織田信長に叛旗を翻して有岡城に立て籠った荒木村重は、城内で起きる難事件に翻弄される。動揺する人心を落ち着かせるため、村重は、土牢の囚人にして織田方の軍師・黒田官兵衛に謎を解くよう求めた。事件の裏には何が潜むのか。戦と推理の果てに村重は、官兵衛は何を企む。デビュー20周年の到達点。『満願』『王とサーカス』の著者が挑む戦国×ミステリの新王道。

Summary - English

Four years before the Honnoji Incident, in the winter of Tensho 6. Araki Murashige, who had rebelled against Oda Nobunaga and holed up in Arioka Castle, was at the mercy of the difficult incidents that occurred in the castle. In order to calm the unrest, Murashige asks Kanpei Kuroda, a prisoner in the dungeon and a military strategist on the Oda side, to solve the mystery. What lurks behind the incident? What does Murashige and Kanbei plan to do after all the battles and deductions? This is the culmination of the 20th anniversary of his debut. The author of “Mangan” and “The King and the Circus” takes on the challenge of creating a new classic of Sengoku x Mystery.

Content warnings if known

None known.

Why are you nominating this book: It’s won multiple awards, and I don’t think we’ve had a historical mystery nominated yet, right? I’d love to see if the author can pull off anything cool with the setting.

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