Sunday 19 January 2020

Book Review: The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo (Mystery)

Title: The Honjin Murders
Author: Seishi Yokomizo
Publisher: Pushkin Press

Publication Date: 2019 (1973)
eBook - PDF
ARC via NetGalley

In the winter of 1937, the village of Okamura is abuzz with excitement over the forthcoming wedding of a son of the grand Ichiyanagi family. But amid the gossip over the approaching festivities, there is also a worrying rumour - it seems a sinister masked man has been asking questions about the Ichiyanagis around the village.

Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi family are woken by a terrible scream, followed by the sound of eerie music - death has come to Okamura, leaving no trace but a bloody samurai sword, thrust into the pristine snow outside the house. The murder seems impossible, but amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is determined to get to the bottom of it.

The Honjin Murders was a fun tale from start to finish. I was caught up in the mystery of what had happened and did not guess the full truth ahead of the final reveal. The prose is easy-going, quick reading, so I finished within two nights. The characters, though only briefly sketched in some respects, all came across as individual and memorable, and the inclusion of the visual of the house layout, with key elements marked, was a nice touch. I am not a big murder-mystery reader and requested this title more on the basis of my current fascination with everything Japanese; however, I really enjoyed reading it and would definitely pick up further books from this author.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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