Week 7 of 十角館の殺人🕵️‍♀️ Mystery Novel Book Club 👮‍♂️

Hello and welcome! We have entered the seventh 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)
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)

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 :slight_smile:

:policeman: Law and Order :policewoman:

  • 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 :sparkling_heart:
  • 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 6?

  • 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

0 voters

Happy sleuthing! :male_detective:

4 Likes

(I did this week’s reading this past weekend, so I’ll go ahead and jot down my thoughts here while they’re still fresh.)

(Chapter 6)
Very short chapter, which was nice. No comments here.

(Chapter 7 spoilers)

Poor Agatha’s beginning to crack. :frowning: I don’t really blame her, this is a sucky situation all around. I do find it morbidly hilarious how, after someone dies after she prepares food, they still have her prepare food. With a babysitter, of course, but she’s still in the kitchen. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

The hidden room Ellery found is interesting; the fact that it’s relatively clean and relatively empty makes me think someone must’ve been storing something in it, as opposed to living there. I’m wondering if the tripwire was supposed to be a legit attempt at murder, or just a, “eh, maybe it’ll catch someone” kind of thing. I’m thinking back to the murderer thinking about their plan way back in the prologue, and how they mentioned they had tried to build some flexibility into things.

I’m a bit concerned that four out of our five people took sleeping pills, and the one person who didn’t has an injured foot. I will be shocked and amazed if everyone wakes up the next morning.

(Chapter 8 spoilers)

They dug into some interesting things here. First thing on my mind: 守須 being suspicious about the fact that 島田 is unusually helpful and involved in the mystery- right on! Someone needs to be suspicious of him! Helping some random kid with what most would consider to be a prank letter, driving who knows how far to multiple towns to maybe find someone to ask about a cold case, etc etc. It would feel unrealistic at this point if it turns out 島田 is just a good samaritan. He doesn’t necessarily need to the be the murderer or whatever, but I’m hoping his motive lives up to all the weird vibes we’ve been seeing.

(Also, that last scene where 守須 finishes talking about 紅次朗’s confession, and 島田’s just chilling reading a book… It felt oddly cold from him, like he really had no interest in recounting what they were told before. Made me frown. :frowning: Dude’s definitely got something going on.)

紅次朗’s confession regarding 青司’s double-suicide…feels too easy. I don’t know. It’s plausibly factually, but it still leaves too many holes in their current situation. Why didn’t 紅次朗 contact the police about his insane brother? He never showed them 和枝’s hand. It sounds like he just shut down and tried to drink his sorrows away while 青司 presumably murdered everyone on the island. I guess he just didn’t want to deal with what he felt had already been done, but there’s no real closure for 和枝 in him not giving a statement about the hand, 紅次朗’s call, etc.

I’m leaning towards 紅次朗’s view of the situation being fake somehow. Like “the real murderer” impersonated 青司 to throw 紅次朗/the police off track when sending the hand/calling 紅次朗, or maybe 青司 was incited to kill because of a different reason than 紅次朗 assumes, a reason that ends up being important to our current-day crisis. Or maybe 青司 is still truly alive, and 紅次朗’s insistence that he’s dead (because 紅次朗 couldn’t handle him still living after all those atrocities) is just a red herring.

If 青司 is dead, we’re back at square one as to who the murderer could be. The plates on the island seem to imply it’s one of the kids, and ルルウ (I think) has been mentioning that he’s been on the verge of remembering something for a while now. I feel like readers are being led to think the “something” is the fact that 千織 died during their New Year’s party, but I’m wondering if it’s that + something else. Something that would tie one of the kids to 千織 more strongly. オルシィ had a friendship going with her, which was a start. I feel like we’re too far into the book at this point to really introduce another major character and plausibly have them be the murderer; 島田 and 紅次朗 feel too obvious, and none of the kids really seem to have a motive yet.

My current theory: 守須 is the murderer. He’s juuust involved enough without being too bothered about the whole thing. Plus we don’t know his 研究会 nickname yet, which I’m hoping will be important somehow.

Phew; sorry, that was a lot of thoughts. Hopefully I got everything down. Can’t wait to hear other people’s theories! Next week’s going to be a thicc chapter, so I’m betting we’ll be seeing some good stuff then.

6 Likes

That was so annoying… not even offering to help… like… I wonder if Japanese women nowadays would feel annoyed?

Yeah, I was surprised, too. Especially since it’s fairly easy to fake taking a pill.

I think this might be a Japanese problem. Not involving the public in the shameful things your family members do, if you can help it. And for all intents and purposes, he thought his brother died along with the rest of the people, so why bother?

My current theory is Van. I think he might be faking his illness to throw people off his scent.

I think I will just continue reading slowly throughout the week as I find time… I really want to know how it all ends… :face_with_peeking_eye:

6 Likes

Just chapter 8 left for me. The pace has been picking up, so I started reading ahead over the weekend.

I thought the start of chapter 7 was particularly tricky. If that was describing the murderer then I don’t think the room they found was where he been hiding. Of course that’s ruling out it being one of the group

Didn’t someone say エラリイ was lucky, as if he knew how to fall? Then maybe the room was just a trap.

6 Likes

Chapter 7 spoilers below (that’s as far as I’ve read):

Do we know if any of the students on the island have connected 千織 to 青司? Or do they still believe they have no connection to him? Is that what ルルウ has been desperately trying to remember? Or has something happened on the island that we should have noticed?

This thing with the pills was very strange. Once again I found ポウ super suspicious and was sure he didn’t actually take the pills. I was, by the way, convinced they were somehow being sedated the whole time they’re there, as they’ve made a point of saying how late they all kept waking up. Yet now Agatha apparently couldn’t sleep at all? In any case, I’m guessing someone won’t wake up, and Ellery will be blamed as the only one not having taken a pill. And we’ll be left wondering who only said they took one.

As for the underground room, that was a strange finding. I had been a fan of the 青司 is alive theory, yet the author has been bringing it up too often for it to be true, I think. There may be someone else on the island, I guess, but the room is no proof of that. Any of the students could have staged the room like that. ヴァン was there before anyone else, but people have wandered off by themselves before, haven’t they? I don’t think the string was supposed to kill anyone, that’s too clumsy a killing attempt from our clever murderer. I believe It’s been put there to misdirect. As for the hiding place itself, it was a little too obvious. The eccentric architect, whether he’s alive or not, surely has designed better hiding places than that?

So many problems would be solved if the mainland team decided to take a trip to the island to make sure everyone is okay. They already know there’s something going on with those letters and they have their suspicions about 青司 being alive and a murderer , so why not check on those who they suspect may well have fallen into a trap?

6 Likes

I also think that’s what ルルウ is trying to remember

3 Likes

I believe オルシィ was friends with her, right?

2 Likes

Ooh, good point, オルシィ knew. Which is why she hesitated to go, because it would be like blasphemy, then thought it would be a sort of memorial instead. But what about everyone else? Did they mention anything else that I’m forgetting?

2 Likes

Not that I can remember. :thinking: I’m thinking ルルウ is going to be our best shot there, whenever/whatever he remembers.

2 Likes

That’s why my theory is that he might die next. For no other reason than I feel like it’s kind of common in mystery plots for someone to be just about to figure something out and then to be murdered.

Some very fun chapters! I don’t have much more to add to the speculation. Right now I’m kind of wavering between suspecting Ellery & Poe. Poe, because personality wise he seems the most trustable and so that makes me suspicious. Ellery because I thought at the start that he was very suspicious to the point that it was unlikely to actually be him, but now that we have enough even more obviously suspicious characters I’m considering him again. The underground trap seemed a bit too convenient, half of me thinks that Ellery set up the whole thing to support his theory that the murder is someone from outside of the group (and therefore focus attention away from him). .

So excited to find out what happens next!

5 Likes

Finished the chapter! Chapter 8 spoilers below:

Now, correct me if I remember wrong, but wasn’t the body found next to Kazue sedated, tied up, drenched in kerosene and set on fire? I mean, that’s a very strange way to commit suicide indeed.

I tend to agree. He’s either lying, or misinterpreting things. I never got these pregnancy-reveals-infidelity stories. If they really only had one night, and if Kazue continued having relations with her husband, how on earth can they possibly know whose baby it was? Maybe the gardener also (was suspected to have) had relations with Kazue, and was therefore killed next to her? No idea what the pair of housekeepers did to deserve it. Maybe the killer didn’t want to leave witnesses, or they were also involved somehow in facilitating the infidelities or whatever else was going on.

紅次朗’s version also makes him the prime suspect for the letters, if it’s true, which is a strange thing to indirectly admit. I keep coming back to the way the letters are phrased : お前らが殺した千織は、私の娘だった。 The new information seems to be not that they killed her, but that she was the daughter of whoever is writing the letter (and who signs as 青司).

Okay, wild theory: What if, the daughter was somehow angry with her family, and, urged by her friend(s), said something to her father about him not being her father at all. This drives 青司 into madness, he possibly somehow kills his own daughter making it look like an accident, then continues with the whole island massacre. Hmm, there are too many months between these two events to be so directly connected, but anyway. So then during the massacre or after it, he somehow finds out he overreacted, and 千織 was really his. So now he’s angry at those students who caused him to react this way for no reason, and he plans his revenge on them. Too farfetched, and lots of plot holes, but I did say it was a wild theory.

Alternatively, it really is 紅次朗 who sent those letters and is killing off the students on the island. Maybe that’s why he was away when they last visited, because he was on the island cutting off hands and such. I haven’t worked out times and distances, but I’m not sure it’s supposed to be possible to only be away for a couple of hours for all that, though.

By the way, I laughed out loud when 紅次朗 actually answered the door. I was so convinced he would be found dead. Even Shimada was acting suspicious on their way there, insisting he didn’t need to call ahead, and that 江南 be there (as a witness, I thought). The writer is having so much fun misleading us at every turn.

I’m thinking the same thing. There’s really nothing to indicate that this might be the case, and this is very suspicious in itself.

5 Likes

Hahaha I was thinking that too. Like “seriously, you’re all gonna do it?”

Also like, general agreement on all your other points. So much and so little happened!

ルルウ (I think) has been mentioning that he’s been on the verge of remembering something for a while now.

What if he just forgot he was the killer? :joy:

Yeah this comes up as a plot point semi-often. I’d agree that for a Japanese murder mystery it’s not that far outside the range of normal.

Heh, this is like when watching/reading a romance and thinking “This wouldn’t even be a problem if you two would just TALK!” :joy:

I also got those vibes. It seems too convenient. “Oh, I just happened to find this place and get you all down here to notice it looks lived in!”

I definitely remember set on fire, and I know the others were sedated, and the house staff tied up, but I don’t recall if that body was as well :thinking:

Moreover, if they were brothers it’s not like the kid would look unrelated and casual DNA testing wasn’t a thing back then. It also struck me as a weird plot point and it never felt truly answered

Honestly the character I’m most interested in right now is Shimada because he’s just so strange. Did he send the letters? Like did does he know something about the earlier murders on the island AND 千織’s death and he was just wanting someone to join him in ‘solving’ it and it’s entirely unrelated? Or is he in on it with whoever is the murderer on the island?

Also I’ve said this before about murder books but surely the house smells HORRIFIC right now? Supposedly オルツィ is dead (I’m still leery cause of how ポウ inspected her) and so is カー so like…2 of the rooms have corpses and it seems to be not winter?

5 Likes

Right? And even if the doors seal shut for some reason, and even if it’s cool enough for decomposition to not be too bad (I doubt it: it’s spring, and there’s rain, which would mean humidity and extra bugs, yay!), sleeping and eating in a house with two dead bodies isn’t creeping them out at all? They do have a live murderer to worry about, but still it’s crazy how easily the existence of those dead bodies just gets casually ignored.

4 Likes