The Master Key - Masako Togawa

Pushkin Vertigo

$14.95

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The Master Key by Masako Togawa, translated by Simon Grove / ISBN 9781782277729 / 188-page paperback from Pushkin Vertigo

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The prize-winning debut mystery from one of Japan's best-loved crime writers

The K Apartments for Ladies are occupied by over one hundred unmarried women, once young and lively, now grown and old—and in some cases, evil.

Their residence conceals a secret connecting the unsolved 1951 kidnapping of four-year-old George Kraft to the clandestine burial of a child's body in the basement bath-house. So, when news comes that the building must be moved to make way for a road-building project, more than one tenant waits with apprehension for the grisly revelation that will follow. Then the master key is lost, stolen and re-stolen—and suddenly no-one feels safe.

Fiendish intrigue, double identity and an ingenious plot make this a thriller worthy of comparison with the work of P.D. James.

Masako Togawa (1931-2016) was born in Tokyo. Her father died when she was young, and after leaving school she worked as a typist for some years, before stepping onto the stage as a cabaret performer in 1954. She soon began to write backstage during the breaks between her performances, and in 1962, her debut novel The Master Key was published, and won the Edogawa Rampo Prize. She went on to become a hugely successful crime writer, but continued to lead a colourful parallel life as a singer, actress, feminist, nightclub owner and gay icon. She died in 2016 at the age of 83.

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