Hello and welcome! We have entered the eighth 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
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 8?
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 have been trying very hard to catch up on other things so that I can leave this one till later in the week as I feel like once I read this chapter I will just want to keep going! I’m getting impatient though so not sure it can last too much longer
I finished this week’s reading a day before the week started, and it’s taking all my willpower to not read on, so I feel you. I’m using this time to tidy up my thoughts: my brain is bursting with theories…
The way I see it, the body must be either 青司 or the gardener, which would mean everyone on the island at the time of the first massacre has been dead since then, one way or another. I briefly considered the possibility that 青司 is alive and is pretending to be either 紅次朗 or 島田, but 島田 has been seen by the gardener’s wife, and 紅次朗 works at a school, where he couldn’t very well just be a different person from one day to another - at least I hope so. And it’s a little too late in the book to introduce new characters, even dead ones. Again, at least I hope so.
gahhh why did I read this at night I also think the body is the gardener or the 中村. TBH my current theory is either エラリー cause he seems to know too much and is always kinda guiding the rest on how to think, PLUS he was all “oh, I was almost killed too!” when he just tripped on booby trap or someone really is on 猫島. I kind of was thinking after ルルウ’s death that it would be quite difficult to murder someone like that and not get dirty or injured yourself. Like imagine sneaking back into the place covered in dirt and blood. Kind of a giveaway, no? I’m also deeply curious if ルルウ remembered something that drew him out to that spot, or if he was drawn to that spot
Honestly shaping up to be a way more interesting and complex mystery than I imagined from the outset. I might join @omk3 in early reading next week instead of my now-usual few days late. I want to know
That’s funny, because if I had to choose between the remaining two boys, I’d choose ヴァン hands down. He’s been a bit bland and non-confrontational and barely there the whole time, while エラリー has very much been the detective throughout. And we’re supposed to have been left with a murderer and a detective, according to the signs. If the signs are to be trusted.
Also I can’t really see エラリー being driven by passion like the person in the prologue (unless he’s a really great actor, which he might be), and ヴァン has this mysterious backstory with the dead parents and sister that might tie in to the 中村s somehow. Or of course, it may be none of those two.
猫島 has been mentioned quite a lot, and has played no role so far. I have the same feelings for 守須. Why is he even in the story, he doesn’t add all that much. Unless…
In any case, I’m not very clear of the geography of the place. Could someone be commuting to 猫島 from the mainland undetected, and still be back most of the time so that they can pretend they never left? Because if it’s not someone on the mainland, then it would have to be a new character, and I really hope not.
He seemed to have been trying to remember something for a while now, and like he was about to go out to that spot early in the morning, even if he thought it was dangerous. Like he had seen something but never properly processed it until now. I’ve been wondering what that something might have been. It couldn’t have been something obvious like a floating bottle or a boat or a secret door in the cliffs, something like that would have stood out at once. Which is why I’ve been thinking of cigarettes. What if there was a cigarette butt, something you wouldn’t pay attention to, but the brand was all wrong for the people who were supposed to have been there.
Argh, I promised myself I wouldn’t write pages upon pages of theories, but I just can’t resist. At least I’m resisting a little, and stopping myself here.
So I’ll preface this by saying I don’t smoke, but I’ve known a lot of smokers and I’m not sure you can tell most cigs apart by a outward appearance unless they’re slims or maybe something fancy like a Camel Crush which wasn’t even a thing in this time period
Nah, indulge. I was dying to read this thread and this is like the perfect time to spin wheels and try to put pieces together.
This is generally true, and certainly almost never at first glance. Some do have subtle differences though, and I thought that maybe ルルウ might have noticed something like that without processing it. It is a little farfetched, I admit.
You asked, and you shall receive!
Beware! Spoilers for up to the end of this week below!
Here are my brief(ha!) thoughts on each character
Could … be the murderer of the club members? オルツィ - No, regrettably. I’ve been suspecting she’s alive, but the person in the prologue is a man. カー, ルルウ, アガサ - No. They’re dead and their deaths have been witnessed by many. ポウ - Almost certainly no. Dead and death witnessed, but (farfetched) he might have access to drugs that cause brief death-like symptoms? 江南 - No. 島田 is his alibi for almost the entire time. 島田 - No. 江南 is his alibi for almost the entire time. (still suspicious though) 青司 - Almost certainly no. I’m reasoning that he must have been dead since the time of the first massacre. Gardener - Almost certainly no. I’m reasoning that he must have been dead since the time of the first massacre.
So then we’re left with these four: 紅次朗 - the most likely in terms of motive. He lost lover, daughter, and brother. Could he be commuting to the island in secret? Unclear. 守須 - the most likely in terms of narrative. What purpose does he otherwise serve in the story? He has that painting as a good excuse for going to remote places and spending a long time there. However, wouldn’t it have been better for him to be on the island with the others, rather than run the risk of being seen going to the island in secret? ヴァン - The most likely from the island gang, just because he has been in the background the whole time. There’s that “uncle” that gave him the use of the island too. And his family killed in a robbery. I thought his parents might have been the housekeepers, but the timeline doesn’t work. The accident supposedly happened more than 3 years ago. エラリイ - He’d be a big twist in my mind. I could see him killing people as a mental exercise, but not out of passion or need for revenge. Of course, who knows.
Unanswered questions that may be important
Was 千織 actually killed, or was it an accident? She was taken to hospital. Could it have been ポウ’s family hospital? Could she have died because of negligence, or because something was done to her there? Did 千織’s death somehow cause the first massacre on the island?
If everyone who was on the island at the time of the first massacre is dead, the killer must be someone else. My current theory is that it’s 紅次朗. Maybe 青司 did kill everyone else and send the hand, but then 紅次朗 traveled there, killed his brother, hid one of the bodies to make it seem like an inside job, then went with 島田 for drinks to establish an alibi.
Who sent the letters? Was it the murderer, or maybe someone else who wanted to shake things up? (Like 島田, who has been suspicious of his friend all along, and was so surprised to see 江南 that he hurt his foot).
Through what exact mechanism became the island available for a mystery club trip? Whoever sent the letters must either have orchestrated it or have been aware of it to have sent the letters at the same time. The murderer (if it’s not the same person) must also have either orchestrated it or taken advantage of it. Did 紅次朗 really put up the island for sale? If he had something to do with the killings, he probably wouldn’t have done it, with a body hidden underground, right?
Is there any significance to all those hands that were cut off? 和枝, (reputedly)オルツィ and カー lost their hands after death. The rest were left intact if I remember correctly.
Finished up part 6; still chugging along, but I’ve got a few thoughts so far:
One, I can’t help but wonder if the whole 中村 connection is a red herring. I have honestly seen nothing yet that would show a motive between the 中村 affair (both 千織’s death and the massacre on the island) and the current situation. At least, no connection that I’m satisfied with. Granted, I haven’t seen anything else that would provide a motive either…
And speaking of motives, wow, we really dug up some personal history here in this part. Let me see if I read this right?
Poe’s mother is committed to a mental health institution after attempting to kill a patient at his family’s hospital.
Van’s entire (?) family (his mother, father, and younger sister, at least) were killed by a burglar back in elementary or middle school.
Ellery, uh, didn’t like Carr?
They’re throwing all these accusations at each other, but I don’t see how any of these is a reasonable foundation to accuse anyone of being the murderer. I suppose everyone’s tired and nerves are stretched thin. I also want to say, Ellery’s really egging everyone on. To be honest, I’m less impressed with him as the book goes on; he keeps playing the detective, but he’s not actually useful. All he’s done is make people angry. I don’t know, I guess that’s to be expected in such a situation with a bunch of college students, but he’s a far cry from his boasting way back in chapter 1 or so, where he basically dared a crime to happen because he could definitely solve it.
I’m betting ルルウ’s death will hold a clue to this entire thing. He seemed to realize something before dying (of course not telling the readers what connection he made/what thing he saw by the cliff), and I’m wondering if, knowing that there was a chance he would be targeted for his knowledge, could have somehow set things up to help the remaining students? I don’t know, just a thought.
I’m also more and more convinced as we go along that that trip wire wasn’t meant to kill Ellery/anyone else, just going by the other methods of murder we’ve seen so far: strangulation and poisoning with some very lethal poisons. All are pretty much guaranteed kills (given that オルツィ was the one picked to strangle and no one was on their guard). I feel that ルルウ’s death was an outlier, maybe done by the murderer in haste; I imagine they didn’t have time to set anything up.
Ack, one more thought occurred to me. I wonder if there’s a death trap for every student lying in wait? Like, Carr’s coffee and Agatha’s lipstick could definitely have been set up a good amount of time beforehand, so maybe there’s other, innocuous traps/things with poison in/on them laying around the decagon house.
Gotta see what connection those footprints have with things; I was shocked Ellery didn’t immediately follow them when he found them, given that the murderer could wipe them out given an opportunity.
Phew. I’m not even done with the chapter yet. @.@ Thanks and good job to everyone who read all my rambling.
RIght? Who in their right mind sees a bunch of footprints around a crime scene, but decides it’s too cold to bother, and that it’s more urgent to get a dead body back inside? Seriously! The fact that the other two also didn’t care is equally strange.
Finished this weeks chapter! ….I might just keep on reading….(but I’m really slow at reading this so it will still probably take me until Sunday anyway )
Very fun getting to click on all of the spoilers now! After reading @omk3 ‘s big speculation post I hadn’t really considered one of the murdered ones actually still being alive but now you have me thinking . Poe and Orczy were set up as close friends right? Maybe they suspected the others and so Poe helped her fake her own death and she is the actual detective? This is a very far out theory hahah but like others I’m not 100% buying Ellery as the detective.
It it makes yall feel better I realized I have to open the thread Friday night my time (rather than Sunday night my time) because I’m going to be traveling and don’t know for sure when I’ll be at a computer. Typing replies on mobile is fine, but opening the threads is a bit involved with lots of copy/paste and linking
It makes me feel a tiny bit worse, since I won’t be able to start reading before Saturday at the earliest, so I expect to finish later than most. Still, I guess it doesn’t matter much now. We’ve arrived at the final solution, so no more fun speculation, only comments on how much or little we expected it.
Just finished part 8. Dang it, why did Poe have to die? I was kind of hoping it would be Ellery…
And I’m kind of wondering now (after reading a page of part 9), just how easy it is to smear all this deadly poison over everyday objects. Like, how long does it keep? Wouldn’t it be difficult to put poison on a cigarette? I guess you’d only need to put it on the part you stick in your mouth, but I’m surprised it apparently gave off no odor? Unless the the smell of smoke was covering everything up, I suppose, but I would’ve thought the odor would be all over the container now.
Ellery theorizes the perp used a syringe to get the poison in the cigarette, but… would that work? Can you actually poison someone that way? Not sure if I want to Google this or not.
Reading through your big theory/thoughts post was really interesting, @omk3. There’s definitely some food for thought there. I totally agree that Van is suspiciously un-suspicious, same as 守須. Man, wouldn’t it be fun if they were the same person? Completely undoable, sadly. I’m also wondering if, along with your observations on why seemingly-specific people’s hands were taken, the fact that the vast majority of our college victims were poisoned is important. Like, is it just a a matter of convenience? Or is there a deeper reason? I don’t recall any of the original victims of 青司’s massacre dying via poison, so maybe not?
Did anyone else find it morbidly funny how Ellery was just like, “oh yeah, you don’t remember 千織?” Like, you couldn’t have brought that up before? And speaking of, I guess 中村 is supposed to be a really common name, given that no one else besides him and オルツィ made any connection between 千織 and the brutal massacre at the island they’re staying at?
I didn’t consider the gardener to be the dead body when reading, but that would clear up his disappearance nicely. The only thing I’m wondering is if the timeline works out. How long ago was the massacre? A couple of years? The body was only partly skeletonized, when I would have expected complete skeletonization by this point, but it was apparently shut up in a concrete room for probably a while, so that could’ve slowed things down.
Probably gonna start next week’s reading tomorrow, as per usual. Basically the same number of pages as this week, but I’m hoping it’ll feel a little faster with more chapter breaks. The little mid-chapter ones don’t do it for me, for whatever reason.