Week 8 of 🤸 体育館の殺人 🔪 | 読者への挑戦 | Mystery Novel Book Club

Welcome to week 8 of 体育館の殺人 and the 読者への挑戦!

As a reminder, we are following the below schedule (page counts may vary based on your medium):
Week 1: Misc + 1.1, 1.2 (29 pages)
Week 2: 1.3, 1.4 (26 pages)
Week 3: 1.5, 1.6 (40 pages)
Week 4: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 (43 pages)
Week 5: 2.4, 2.5 (32 pages)
Week 6: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3(34 pages)
Week 7: 3.4, 3.5 (37 pages)
Week 8: 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 挑戦 (56 pages)
Week 9+10 (EXTENDED WEEK): 5.1 - end (78 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 8?

  • Yes, I’m planning to read along/am reading along this week
  • I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club
  • I had no intentions of reading the book, but I desire to click a poll

0 voters

Happy sleuthing! :male_detective:

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Just finished this week’s reading! Lots of new information in this chapter, that’s for sure. Also, do I get bonus points for actually understanding one of the otaku references this time? Not a very deep cut, just the chapter title 君の知らない物語, the OP from the 化物語 anime. I’m pretty sure the 戯言(ざわごと) line was also a reference to another 西尾維新 series of the same name, but I don’t know enough about it to be sure.

As I finished the 読者への挑戦, I still didn’t have any idea about who it could be, but after about 15 minutes of writing down clues and flipping through the earlier pages trying to remember all the details from over a month ago, I have… An Idea. I’m not confident, but if anyone’s curious, this is my best guess:

I think it was 正木章弘. My reasoning went something like this: 朝島 was planning to unlock the door at 3:10, but according to 秋月, he was already dead at 3:08. So, I think the killer didn’t enter through the back door, but instead got there before 朝島 and waited for him. They must have also arrived before 柚乃, since she didn’t see them come in, which means they must have been in the same class section (二年D組) that got out early. 柚乃 had to change before heading to the 旧体育館, which would give someone else from that class just enough time to arrive first. 正木 was in that class and has no alibi from 2:55 to 3:15.

So, with 正木 as the killer, the events would play out like this: He arrives early to backstage with shoes and an umbrella, unlocks the backdoor for an escape, and kills 朝島 as soon as he arrives. He then takes 朝島’s keys along with the blackmail video up to the 放送室, where he confirms that it’s what he needed. Why he bothered to check after he’s already killed the guy I don’t know, but as he’s doing that 秋月 shows up, sees the body, leaves the ribbon, and goes through the back door. 正木 returns, puts the keys back in 朝島’s pocket (on the wrong side), and realizes he can’t leave through the back door. So he takes his shoes and umbrella to the 下手 side and hides in the 男子トイレ until the body is found. When 柚乃 sees the body and screams, 針宮 and the 演劇部 members go inside to see what happened, allowing him to leave unnoticed through either the bathroom window or the door where the リヤカー was. He puts his shoes on but leaves the umbrella behind before re-entering so “see what happened,” because it would be suspicious to have his umbrella if he was just going from the 第三校舎 to the 旧体育館. Nearly the perfect crime?

I think this solves every mystery left to us, and at the very least I can’t come up with anything better. Can’t wait to see other peoples’ ideas!


cracks knuckles Alright, let’s do this.


I got nothin’.

…is what I wanted to say (for comedic effect), but since Athakaspen posted their theory, I suppose I should contribute.

I also think it is Masaki! As I suspected since he first showed up.

The fact that the culprit took Asajima’s keys and checked the CD in the A/V room shows that they knew Asajima had the keys (probably actually not that hard to find out) and knew how the A/V room in the old gym operated (limiting the suspect pool basically to the clubs we’ve been focused on).
(Was the key found in the wrong pocket? I forget/didn’t notice that detail.)

What was Urazome’s realization about the umbrella at the beginning? I didn’t have any ideas, my best guess from your theory would be “The killer had to ditch it b/c they were going to claim to come from somewhere they wouldn’t have needed it” although that’s… iunno, not that big to me?

If that’s what happened, I wonder if Masaki could have just taken his umbrella and gone back to the student council room with it, which would mean he didn’t need to leave it behind.

The only other idea I had for the umbrella was to use it as a step to reach high-up windows (but the windows were also locked from the inside, right?). Urazome made a semi-big deal about the damage on the umbrella near the end–was that mentioned before? I didn’t remember it. But I feel like stepping on an umbrella could definitely leave a mark like that…

I guess the call from Masaki to Chizuru would have just been through his cell, like they suggested could have been done?

Another suspicious point against Masaki is the fact that he didn’t see Miho. The fact that Miho was able to slip in while avoiding Harimiya’s notice is one thing, but coincidentally bypassing Masaki as well seems pretty unlikely (unless, y’know, he wasn’t in the student council room at all).

…ngl, I’m gonna be a bit disappointed if the answer really does boil down to lolhiding


I guess it’s okay for me to paste here my own theory. I have long finished the book, but I wrote it down when I was at exactly this stage so I could join the speculating fun. :grin:

I think the culprit is Masaki. For one, I don’t like him, neither does Urazome. He has that perfect image that just can’t be true. And he has much to lose if he’s caught red-handed on video for whatever it was he did. He also has no real alibi, but placed himself near the crime scene. I think he was let in by the victim, killed him, then went upstairs to possibly check that the DVD was correct, and maybe also call Yatsuhashi as a half alibi. Then went downstairs, took shoes and umbrella, realized someone had been there and was behind the door, so locked the door, went out the other door towards the toilets, left the umbrella there, then crawled under the tarpaulin of the trailer that was stuck in the door, and was pushed out by the club members. After he was left alone he went back in through the corridor as if he had just arrived. Later he had Yatsuhashi and co take the papers from the room he was supposed to be in, blurring any evidence on the work he supposedly did there.


Man I got nothing to add cause I also think it’s Masaki No alibi, seems to have means to do it, supposed to be smart, yeah? and it’s not hard to think of a motive. I guess we’ll all soon find out if we’re good detectives or not :joy: