The Black Lizard by Edogawa Rampo / 163-page paperback published in 2023 in the Penguin Modern Classics Crime & Espionage Series / ISBN 9780241645826
A master criminal and a master detective are locked in battle. Who will win?
They call her the 'Dark Angel'. Queen of Tokyo's underworld, Mme Midorikawa is famed for her beauty, her jewels and the tattoo of a black lizard on her arm. Crime is so easy for her that she warns her victims in advance. When a wealthy jewel merchant receives letters saying his precious daughter Sanae is about to be kidnapped, he entrusts the renowned detective Akechi Kogoro to protect her. But he may have met his deadliest adversary yet...
Edogawa Rampo was the pseudonym of Taro Hirai (1894-1965), generally viewed as the greatest of all Japanese suspense and mystery authors. He was a prolific novelist and short story writer. Much influenced by writers such as Conan Doyle, Chesterton and Wells, his pseudonym is a Japanese transliteration of Edgar Allen Poe's name. Many of his works have been made into films. Perhaps his most famous stories outside Japan are 'The Caterpillar' and 'The Human Chair'.