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Please read and make a refission for you I found the elements of this book that are uniquely Japanese fascinating the house, garden and everything in it, the way of life in Japan just before WWII, the formality and feudalism that persisted until then The lockedroom murder mystery, though cleverly conceived, left me cold and the reason for it… what can I say, only in Japan perhaps The plot was structured effectively for me well paced and the several different narrators’ perspectives on events mixed it up nicely A quick, absorbing read but not one I’d care to repeat or particularly recommend I’m guessing I’m not enough of a crime mystery devotee for this and others will enjoy its foreshadowing ofrecent authors’ offerings.With thanks to Pushkin Vertigo via NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC. full post here: Vertigo has done it again, this time with the classic Japanese mystery, The Honjin Murders, the first book to feature Yokomizo's scruffylooking sleuth Kosuke Kindaichi Making his debut in 1946, he would go on to solve a further 76 cases over the next thirtyplus years before his creator's death in 1981 As it turns out, the plot was particularly ingenious and actually downright heinous when all is said and done, offeringthan one unexpected twist that kept things lively and kept me guessing The first time through I was a bit annoyed when the narrator started pointing out various items of significance as if telling his readers that these are things to pay attention to, or at least to keep in the back of their our minds for later And before the mystery is completely explained, he reveals the point in the case in which Kindaichi reaches his aha moment, which points the reader to a particular avenue of thought Again, I found this a bit annoying, but the truth is that this bit of Kindaichi's later insight (without giving the show away, thank goodness) took the armchair detective in me in a direction I would never have considered I was still wrong, but after the second read I was kicking myself for not having figured it out the first time It is important to keep in mind when and where this book was written While there is not a lot of character development as you read along, there are cultural and social issues and anxieties that rise to the surface that will become important later down the road There is also much to say about the lockedroom/impossible crime genre within the story itself, which providesthan just a deft touch to the mysteries at hand, also reading as a bit of an homage to the genre My standard practice when reading this sort of thing is to read it twice, the second time to block out the noise of red herrings, etc and try to get to the point of my own aha moment The story is so nicely plotted that I didn't, even after the second reading when I already knew what had happened I hope that The Honjin Murders will gain a following, prompting Pushkin Vertigo to publishof Yokomizo Seishi's work in the future Recommended, certainly for fans of the lockedroom mystery, but for readers just testing the waters with this sort of thing, you couldn't go wrong by starting here. “A locked room murder, a red ochrepainted room and the sound of the koto”Set in 1937 in a rural Japanese village, a horrible murder takes place following the wedding of the eldest son of a wealthy family The Ichiyanagi family operated a honjin (an inn for the nobility) but when the feudal system was on the verge of collapse they moved to this small town and bought cheap farmland This is a classic locked room murder mystery It is the first in a series featuring the young, disheveled and stuttering detective Kosuke Kindaichi (Think of a less pompous Hercule Poirot.) A suspicious looking threefingered vagrant has been seen lurking around the estate and mysterious koto music has been heard in the night The story is related by an unnamed narrator based on what he was told by people close to the crime It’s a very inventive plot There is no way I could have figured out how the crime was committed, but the narrator didn’t really hide anything In fact, at the end of the book he sets out several instances of how his careful wording should have been a clue to the reader I would love to readof this series, but most of the books don’t seem to be readily available in English The author matches up well with the other authors to whom he refers in this book, including Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I not long ago read a book that I marked down a bit for being a locked room mystery Now I am going to do an about face and say I enjoyed this example of the genre quite a bit for those rules or conventions it breaks or stretches quite widely I found myself a willing reader as the narrator presented the various stages of the crime: characters and setting involved, set up of events and the deaths themselves Then there is an unwinding that, for me, was well done It was true to the characters and family involved and the information the reader was given There were red herrings, yes, but not absurdities.This novel was written in the late 1940s, winning the first Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1948 and only now translated into English This is the first of a series of an eventual 77 books featuring Kosuke Kindaichi, a brilliant, young, somewhat disheveled detective I would readof this series if they became available.A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.