Note: This nomination would take up the last slot in the upcoming poll. I have nominated enough books already, so please disregard it if someone else wants to nominate something in the few hours that remain until the poll opens.
One Saturday morning, alcoholic bartender Shimamura had his first whiskey of the day in a park in Shinjuku. At that time, an explosion echoes through the park, and a terrorist bombing incident occurs. Over fifty casualties. Shimamura flees the scene, but he leaves behind a whiskey bottle with fingerprints on it. Among the victims of the terrorism was a college friend whom he had not heard from for twenty-two years. While being pursued as a suspect, Shimamura tries to get to the bottom of the case. The only work that has won both the Rampo Prize and the Naoki Prize, shining brilliantly in the history of novels. (automatic translation)
Content warnings if known
Terrorism and alcoholism, judging from the summary.
I was idly browsing the online bookstores and this caught my eye because it’s apparently the first book that has won both the Edogawa Ranpo Award (1995) and the Naoki Prize (1996). Reviews were generally good too, so I was intrigued. It is considered a hardboiled novel.
Ditto, I can only find options to be emailed a notification if an ebook becomes available I’ll note that an ebook version is not necessary to nominate, but it is likely to cut into the number of people who will vote for it as many people have a variety of reasons to stick exclusively or semi-exclusively to ebooks.
I have a pretty packed schedule through the end of the year @Belerith but if you want a informal 2023 book club the summary has me sold, and I’ve read two books by that author and enjoyed them.
As a note, unless you revoke your nomination I will keep it in the list for this evening.
Oh no, you’re right… I didn’t check on Amazon and simply went by the natively info. I edited the edition info on natively.
Understandably so! It’s probably best to revoke it then, as you said. I try to avoid paying for shipping myself, so I wouldn’t want to put anyone into the position of having to decide between that and sitting out on a book club they’d rather join. (On the off chance it gets picked at all.) Should I delete the post containing the nomination?
I’d love to do an informal book club though! I’ll be looking forward to conquering the book with you and anyone else who may be in the mood.
As a reminder, NOMINATIONS ARE HERE
ebooks typically have previews (立ち読み) so if the book is unrated and you’re unsure, or you just want to scope out the writing style, please make use of it! Keep in mind that a good deal of books are entered at 30 by default and some of the books with only one or two ratings can have pretty unstable ratings.
As with last time, you will have 5 votes in this poll, and any books to receive no votes will go in the Nomination Graveyard They can be renominated, but please wait at least two voting cycles before reintroducing them.
As a quick reminder, the schedule is as follows:
October 10th - voting opens
October 17th - voting closes and winner announced
October 31st (Halloween! ) - first weekly thread for the chosen book is opened!
I had had both 体育館の殺人 and アンデッドガール・マーダーファルス on my Amazon wishlist for a while and finally bought アンデッドガール・マーダーファルス the other day… Guess I chose the wrong one (I don’t like stocking up too much on one author at the same time)
As a reminder, October 31st is when the first reading thread opens to give people time to get copies of the book and also to decide on a reading cadence. On that note, I took a look at the table of contents and this book will be a bit tricky to split up. I will outline that in the home thread.
Hello! I was invited by @omk3 from the WaniKani forums! I posted my introduction over there, but I’d still like to introduce myself here as well, and explain my relationship with the mystery genre! In addition to the below, I blog (poorly) about mystery stories over at Solving the Mystery of Murder. I like to think I’m fairly knowledgeable about classical English-language mystery novels from the early 20th century and (although less-so) their Japanese-language counterparts, but I also recognize I have a lot of gaps in my reading a lot to learn! I hope I can be a good and positive addition to the Mystery Novel Book Club!
While I grew up enjoying anime, manga, and Japanese video games, I never actually had an interest in studying Japanese. It wasn’t until I was about sixteen that I started to want to learn the language, when I discovered my life’s greatest passion: Golden Age mystery novels! Golden Age mysteries are a sub-genre as well as a movement in the history of detective fiction that marked a focus on mystery novels as “puzzles” or “games of wit played between author and reader”, in which the author gives the reader all of the information they need to solve, not guess, with 100% certainty the mystery, not only naming whodunit, but also how and why. However, while the genre of “fairplay”, “puzzle plot” mystery fiction died in the English-speaking world in the 1940s, the genre has continued to enjoyed popularity in Japan as 本格 and 新本格 (lit. “Orthodox” and “New Orthodox”) mystery fiction!
Because so few of these (shin-)honkaku detective stories are translated into English, I’m studying Japanese to further pursue my passion of reading Japanese detective stories. I also love to write my own mystery stories, and one day I would love to be able to write detective fiction in the Japanese language!
Hi again, HeartfeltDesu! I’m glad you could join us.
As I mentioned over at the WK community, we just finished reading 十角館の殺人. It’s a book that’s basically a love song to classical mystery novels. Students who belong to a mystery club and are even nicknamed after classic mystery authors (Ellery, Leroux, Orzcy, Agatha, etc) , spend a week on a secluded island, and much like in And Then There Were None, they’re starting to be killed off one by one. Inspired by this book most of us also read And Then There Were None, and had in mind to also read books by the other authors referenced. @eefara wrote some info on them, starting from here.
Our next book, 体育館の殺人, starts on Oct 31st, and it’s supposed to be a relatively easy read. Again, not sure if you’re at a level to read with us yet, but if you want to give it a try you can always look at a sample on Bookwalker or Amazon.
And since you have such an interest in mystery books, you’re very welcome to nominate books for future reading here. We’re always on the lookout for new recommendations!
Yes, I’ve read The Decagon House Murders in English, as it was translated by Ho-Ling who is something of a friend of mine! I love the plot of Decagon, though I personally contest whether it’s “fairplay”, since as I recall from a few years back the novel openly acknowledges that the provided information could incriminate any of the suspects until the necessary information is revealed at the end of the story, with not enough information present to discredit alternate theories (per the book’s own admission, I remind you). Ayatsuji himself acknowledges the difference between Decagon and future novels, calling the former more of a test and the later more proper puzzles. However, it’s a minor smudge on what’s otherwise a pretty well-contrived murder plot, though, and Ayatsuji himself seemed aware of this and worked on this in his future novels.
As it happens, with the help of a friend I also read its immediate sequel, 水車館の殺人, which I think I much prefer, not only as a puzzle, but also on a basic plot level! It’s not very tricky, and I think most readers probably can figure it out, but it’s that neat balance between being solvable without feeling trivial, and the solutions are great!
I’ll see if I can read 体育館の殺人! It seems like a lot of fun!
This is absolutely true, I found. I had driven myself crazy trying to work it out, but in the end I had to use my instinct more than my logic. Still it was good fun.
Interesting that his next books are more proper puzzles.
Not all the books we’ll be reading will be orthodox puzzle mysteries, but from the little I’ve read about our next one it probably does fall into that category.
According to Ho-Ling’s blog, the author is another of those disciples of Ellery Queen, like 法月林太郎、有栖川有栖、and 大山誠一郎! He concludes that the locked-room solution is technical and disappointingly simple, but the reasoning/logic is an excellent adaptation of the Queenian method of reasoning with smart clues and deductions! I can’t believe you all have brought the fourth Queen Disciple to my attention, I thought I’d rounded them all up already! This sounds great!
Golden Age best age I grew up reading authors like Doyle and Christie along with old children’s classics like Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and of course plenty of modern mysteries aimed at children like The Cat Who series.
I ended up falling back in love with the genre when I read an Edogawa Ranpo book by pure chance.