The Village of Eight Graves by Seishi Yokomizo, translated by Bryan Karetnyk / ISBN 9781782277453 / 349-page paperback from Pushkin Vertigo
The third title in Japan's most popular murder mystery series -- after The Honjin Murders and The Inugami Curse -- fiendish classics featuring investigator Kosuke Kindaichi.
Nestled deep in the mist-shrouded mountains, The Village of Eight Graves takes its name from a bloody legend: in the Sixteenth Century eight samurais, who had taken refuge there along with a secret treasure, were murdered by the inhabitants, bringing a terrible curse down upon their village.
Centuries later a mysterious young man named Tatsuya arrives in town, bringing a spate of deadly poisonings in his wake. The inimitably scruffy and brilliant Kosuke Kindaichi investigates.
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, selling more than 55 million copies and spawning many stage and television adaptations. The Honjin Murders is the first Kosuke Kindaichi story, and regarded as one of Japan's great mystery novels. It won the first Mystery Writers of Japan Award in 1948 but has never been translated into English, until now.