𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐞𝐜𝐚𝐠𝐨𝐧 𝐇𝐨𝐮𝐬𝐞 𝐌𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫
𝐁𝐲 𝐘𝐮𝐤𝐢𝐭𝐨 𝐀𝐲𝐚𝐭𝐬𝐮𝐣𝐢
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐫: 𝐏𝐮𝐬𝐡𝐤𝐢𝐧 𝐕𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐨 (𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎)
𝐏𝐚𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤: 𝟐𝟖𝟒
𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝: 𝟓𝐭𝐡 𝐒𝐞𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟏𝟗𝟖𝟕 (𝟏𝐬𝐭 𝐏𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐢𝐬𝐡𝐞𝐝)
𝐆𝐞𝐧𝐫𝐞: 𝐌𝐮𝐫𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐌𝐲𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐲/ 𝐂𝐥𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐜 𝐅𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧
𝐉𝐚𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞
𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐘𝐞𝐚𝐫: 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟒

In March 1986, seven university students, members of a Mystery Club, embark on a week-long excursion to Tsunojima island, seeking inspiration for their literary pursuits. Nearly two decades ago, Nakamura Seji constructed a majestic Blue Mansion and a striking decagonal Annex on a remote, uninhabited Tsunojima island. However, tragedy struck six months before the mystery club trip, as the mansion was engulfed in flames, claiming the lives of its owner, his wife, and two servants.
Each student is known solely by a nickname inspired by renowned European and American writers from the Golden Age. Once they arrive, they find themselves isolated, with only the eerie presence of a peculiar set of nameplates—"first victim, second victim, third victim, fourth victim, last victim, detective, murderer"—unsettling their senses. None among them admits to orchestrating this unsettling charade.
The following morning, horror strikes anew as a female student is discovered strangled, her left hand missing in a chilling echo of Seji's wife, with the plaque "1st victim" affixed to her door. Suspicions flare within the group, each eyeing the other with growing unease. Is one of them the killer, or could the spectre of Nakamura Seji still haunt the island?

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, another club member receives a chilling letter implicating all of them in the murder of Nakamura Chiori—yes, the daughter of Nakamura Seji himself. Chiori, a former club member, had tragically perished a year earlier from alcohol poisoning and a subsequent heart attack. The remaining club members, now en route to the island, had also received similar missives. As the student delves into the mysteries of Tsunojima Island, the unsettling question lingers: Could Nakamura Seji yet walk among the living, seeking vengeance for his daughter's untimely demise?

Dual plots were used in the book, which caught my attention. On one hand, we have our characters stranded on the island, facing the harrowing ordeal of being picked off one by one. Simultaneously, we follow another group of characters on the mainland investigating a past mystery- that intertwines with the events on the island. This dual narrative allows us to heighten the tension of the island's unfolding events and delve deeper into the origins of the mystery, building suspense as we uncover why these events are occurring and how they are all connected. The way these two plots converge at the end is nothing short of brilliant. The character development may be a bit lacking, but it's not significant enough to detract mystery enthusiasts from having an enjoyable experience.
As with any good mystery novel, this one has everything: an exceptional detective, an imposing mansion, a dubious ensemble of residents, chilling murders, baffling crimes, and ingenious tricks. If you enjoy the classic puzzle mysteries with a formal touch, especially the subgenre where characters on an island are picked off one by one then, this is truly among the finest examples you'll find. 

My Rating:


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