The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo, translated by Louise Heal Kawai / ISBN 9781782275008 / 189-page paperback from Pushkin Vertigo
One of Japan's greatest classic murder mysteries, introducing their best loved detective, translated into English for the first time
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 around the village.
Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi household 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. Soon, amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is on the scene to investigate what will become a legendary murder case, but can this scruffy sleuth solve a seemingly impossible crime?
Seishi Yokomizo (1902-81) was one of Japan's most famous and best-loved mystery writers. He was born in Kobe and spent his childhood reading detective stories, before beginning to write stories of his own, the first of which was published in 1921. He went on to become an extremely prolific and popular author, best known for his Kosuke Kindaichi series, which ran to 77 books, many of which were adapted for stage and television in Japan. Death on Gokumon Island is one of Seishi Yokomizo's most highly regarded mysteries. Death on Gokumon Island, The Inugami Curse and The Village of Eight Graves are also available from Pushkin Vertigo.