Hello and welcome! We have entered the fifth week of the book club!
As a reminder, we are following the below schedule (page counts are estimates based on standard size iPad with default font):
Week 1 + 2 : プロローグ + 第一章 (47 pages)
Week 3: 第二章 (31 pages)
Week4: 第三章 (24 pages) Week 5: 第四章 (22 pages)
Week 6: 第五章 (39 pages)
At week 6 we will vote on which of the two cadences we’d like to finish out with
Details on those, feel free to ignore til week 6
Speed up, the end is near:
Week 7: 第六章 + 第七章 + 第八章 (43 pages)
Week 8: 第九章 (55 pages)
Week 9: 第十章 + 第十一章 + 第十二章 + エピローグ (52 pages)
or Steady, generally just one chapter a week unless very short
Week 7: 第六章 + 第七章 (26 pages)
Week 8: 第八章 (17 pages)
Week 9: 第九章 (55 pages)
Week 10: 第十章 + 第十一章 (19 pages)
Week 11: 第十二章 + エピローグ (33 pages)
I will generally copy this information over thread to thread each week for ease of finding - you can always expect the schedule at the top of any weekly thread
Law and Order
Any reveals, for the current chapters must be behind spoilers or detail curtains. When we get further in you don’t need to hide details that were revealed in previous chapters.
Questions on vocab, grammar, nuance, and the like are both welcome and encouraged. If you’re not sure if it’s a spoiler, assume it is and use one of the above options to hide the text.
You are encouraged to speculate and guess wildly
Be kind about other peoples’ wild guesses
Even if you don’t read the chapter(s) in time, you are still encouraged to post in the thread for that reading once you have finished it. I advise not reading ahead in the threads as you may see spoilers.
To gauge participation - a poll!
Are you reading week 5?
Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
I have finished this week’s reading
I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club (am behind or ahead)
I’ve stopped reading
I wanted to join, but I haven’t started reading the book yet
I had no intentions of reading the book, but I desire to click a poll
I’ve read up to the end of part 3. I would normally wait till the end of the chapter to write my theories and whatnot, but I feel like the writer is intentionally trying to make me forget significant details with irrelevant theories, so I’ll record here what I remember that seemed significant at the time:
The daughter definitely died before the island incident. She had been living with her grandparents since kindergarten, and her mother visited often, but her father apparently “didn’t like children”
The gardener apparently never saw Kazue on that last fatal visit to the island. She was supposedly sick and in bed. Now ヴァン is also sick. And there have been constant mentions of 江南 feeling tired and sluggish this chapter. In my experience, no one is ever ill for no reason in books or movies.
Masako used to work on the island before the gardener. And, significantly, it was the brother who introduced her. At some point she stopped working there, presumably after she married? (or is it mentioned and I forgot?) And after they moved to her husband’s family home, her husband only worked for the two Nakamura brothers.
For as long as Masako worked on the island, the brother visited often. He stopped being on good terms with Seiji after she stopped working there.
The gardener went on the island on the 17th. He didn’t see Kazue. Kazue may have already been dead on the 17th according to the autopsy. In which case Seiji, who would have lied about her feeling unwell, would definitely be the killer.
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I remember now. Looking forward to see what else the chapter holds in store.
And done. It’s starting to get hard to not keep reading!
Okay, so several of my points above were actually addressed in 4. Apparently the time that Masako stopped working on the island was also the time that 千織 was born, and the time 紅次朗 stopped being on good terms with his brother? But Masako remembers her as a little girl. And if Seiji hated the girl so much, he’d have sent her to the grandparents sooner than kindergarten, wouldn’t he? And he surely wouldn’t wait 20 years to to take revenge on his wife. It does not compute. Not to mention, in the letters he (or whoever wrote them as Seiji) explicitly writes that 千織 was his daughter. Not, “you killed my daughter” but “the girl you killed was my daughter.” As if the new information is that she was his daughter, not that she was killed.
Have we been told what 守須 is studying and whether he had any particular relationship with 千織 other than being members of the same club? It’s interesting that he paints just like オルツィ.
His name keeps reminding me of something from the start, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. What did Shimada mean by his name also being a good one? Which writer or detective is he referring to?
Also, what’s up with him drinking vast amounts of tea?
TIL about the Birlstone Gambit. I was aware of the trick itself but not its name. An unexpected thing to learn from Japanese fiction. I’m loving all the references, and suddenly feel horribly under-read in classic mystery fiction.
So I wondered at that too and all I can think of is Inspector Morse which would just barely make the cut having been written in the 70s. The JP wikipedia page says it debuted there in '88 though which would be too late.
Same! It was even used in ATTWN
島田 seems more and more sus, but 政子 seeing and talking to him makes me toss my prior theory. Surely there would be some degree of recognition. I also was thinking “千織 is コウ次郎’s daughter!” (does anyone else’s IME not want to give the right kanji for him ever?) the entire time leading up the conversation where they discussed it and then I promptly dismissed it because clearly if they’re bringing it up right now it’s not that simple
I’m really digging the direction this is going in and I keep feeling, like @omk3 , that all the “little details” (like 島田 used to be a heavy smoker but now only does once a day) have to be relevant somehow.
Smoking specifically is described in great detail for many characters. We know almost everyone’s preferred brand already, and that 守須 smokes but doesn’t really like the taste. I wonder if we should be logging their smoking habits in the character list like everything else…
This kept bothering me so in the end I searched for モリス on Japanese Wikipedia and I now think it must be a reference to Maurice Leblanc, creator of Arsène Lupin, who is, I believe, very popular in Japan. Not sure we actually needed to spoiler that, by the way, but I guess better safe than sorry.
This is why I copy all names I mention from the character list or other people’s posts. If there’s a typo anywhere, it’s possible I have repeated it a dozen times without noticing.
My theory is something similar, but I bet one of the guys on the island was in a relationship with Chiori and wants revenge on the people who “killed” her. It’s possible that this person also killed her family for being horrible to her. I mean, you can easily dump a body in the ocean and no one will find it! But that’s just pure speculation.
Also… the fact that Koujiro didn’t answer the door makes me think he’s dead. Either suicide or murder? But then who would be the “land killer”? XD Or maybe he’s not dead and that moment was just to make us speculate.
Alrighty, finished up the chapter myself. Interesting stuff, even if it takes my brain a little more effort to keep up the motivation to read through all their speculation.
I made a note in my book to ask the club that, but I was waffling on whether it’s a throwaway line or not. My gut tells me it’s not, given that it was the last thing said before a part break, but… I notice that we have not found out his 研究会 name yet, right? Maybe that could shed some light on things.
I don’t think so, no. Does anyone remember if it was stated whether he was at the fatal party in the first place?
I’ll admit, I liked that bit of (unintentional?) comedy there. I’ve got a soft spot for the trope of a character absently consuming vast quantities of stuff while their conversation partner looks on in amazement.
Not to worry; once these kids on the island start dropping like flies, that’s our cue to read up on their namesake in their honor.
Yep. I just end up typing 紅(くれない) and then 次郎 (so, like, as two separate words) to get his name to show up. Also, 江南 isn’t recognized as a common enough name (I guess) for my IME to suggest it. I end up typing 入り江, removing the first two characters, then typing 南 as usual.
That’s totally the thought process I was having when I read that as well. “Oh, he’s not answering? Crazy suspicious, he’s probably dead.” Wild speculation time: 島田 killed him somehow (poison?) right before he and 江南 left to investigate, since 島田 knew people would start looking into this mess and didn’t want 紅次郎 talking.
Hmm, I wonder if the publisher recategorized it after it was turned into an anime? I did a quick google of it and see it under ライトノベル on Kadokawa’s website.
There’s been other discussions on this forum and another one I’m on about ‘what makes a light novel’ and the general consensus is “what the publisher says” But some things can be categorized as non-light novels and have a very light novely feel and I’m sure the reverse happens as well.
ngl, I found this chapter rather boring… but the last sentence makes me hope for some corpses in the next chapter.
Also, in the meantime I re-read “And then there were none”… I can see where the comparison comes from. I just hope it takes a different approach otherwise this chapter basically revealed the big twist and I don’t think that’s likely, since the book seems to be a bit of a love letter to mystery fiction and using such a well-known plot twist would be kinda lazy?
Quickly dropping in while I’m attempting to catch up (fell behind super early on just like I thought I would, whoops)
I’ve been enjoying reading all your thoughts so far! Am hoping I’ll manage to catch up before the end/before all the big reveals happen (… assuming they haven’t yet).
… same Same with the body switch theory. Had both of these floating around in my head as options but now that they’ve already discussed them… meh.
I’m not sure if I should be happy or frustrated that I don’t know ATTWN and don’t know what this is refering to at all
I think it wasn’t mentioned why she left the island in the first place and I thought that was suspicious
Up until 5 seconds ago my random pet theory was that she got pregnant, left because of it and that one of the students on the island is her & the gardener’s kid But I went back to check how old 千織 was when she died - she was only a first year. I guess that potential child would need to be at least a year younger and therefore also one year below 千織 (unless they somehow didn’t start university at the same age). Hmph. I still think one of the students could be connected (related?) to one of the adults in some way, though. Aside from the nicknames being a nice gimmick, it’s just so convenient that we don’t know anyone’s real name.
Also, I’m kinda surprised I’m now 40% in and no one has died yet! Next chapter, I h̶o̶p̶e̶ suspect?
This is such a good point! I’ve been foolishly only considering everyone’s connection to 千織 (the author is doing great at constantly diverting my attention) and totally forgot that there are at least two other families involved in all this. Especially those poor housekeepers, as is often the case, barely get a mention at all. I don’t even remember their name, actually, so even if we knew the kids’ names I’d probably fail to make a connection.