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In the 1960s 17 people die of cyanide poisoning at a large party at the Aosawas, owners of a prominent clinic in an ancient castle city on the coast of the Sea of Japan. The only survivor is their teenage daughter Hisako, blind, beautiful, admired by all, but soon suspected of masterminding the crime.
On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer's, and the physician's bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako’ and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skilful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbours, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.
On a stormy summer day the Aosawas, owners of a prominent local hospital, host a large birthday party. The occasion turns into tragedy when 17 people die from cyanide in their drinks. The only surviving links to what might have happened are a cryptic verse that could be the killer's, and the physician's bewitching blind daughter, Hisako, the only person spared injury. But the youth who emerges as the prime suspect commits suicide that October, effectively sealing his guilt while consigning his motives to mystery. The police are convinced that Hisako had a role in the crime, as are many in the town, including the author of a bestselling book about the murders written a decade after the incident, who was herself a childhood friend of Hisako' and witness to the discovery of the murders. The truth is revealed through a skilful juggling of testimony by different voices: family members, witnesses and neighbours, police investigators and of course the mesmerizing Hisako herself.
Murder In The Crooked House by Soji Shimada
A fiendish LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY from the Japanese master of the genre. Never before available in English. By the author of the acclaimed Tokyo Zodiac Murders. The Crooked House sits on a snowbound cliff overlooking icy seas at the remote northern tip of Japan. A curious place for the millionaire Kozaburo Hamamoto to build a house, but even more curious is the house itself - a disorienting maze of sloping floors and strangely situated staircases, full of bloodcurdling masks and uncanny, lifesize dolls. When a man is found dead in one of the mansion's rooms, murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances, the police are called. But they are unable to solve the puzzle, and powerless to protect the party of house guests as more bizarre deaths follow. Enter Kiyoshi Mitarai, the renowned sleuth, famous for unmasking the culprit behind the notorious Umezawa family massacre. Surely if anyone can crack these cryptic murders he will. But you have all the clues too - can you solve the mystery of the murders in The Crooked House first?
Two Nights by Kathy Reichs
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller—featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past. Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct…. Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help. Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons—because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.
The Glass Room by Ann Cleeves
Winner of the 2017 Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger Vera Stanhope will return in The Seagull The Glass Room is the fifth book in Ann Cleeves’ Vera Stanhope series – which is now a major ITV detective drama starring Brenda Blethyn, Vera. DI Vera Stanhope is not one to make friends easily, but her hippy neighbours keep her well-supplied in homebrew and conversation. But when one of them goes missing, her path leads her to more than a missing friend . . . Vera tracks the young woman down to the Writer’s House, a country retreat where aspiring authors work on their stories. Things get complicated when a body is discovered and Vera’s neighbour is found with a knife in her hand. Calling in the team, Vera knows that she should hand the case over. She’s too close to the main suspect. But the investigation is too tempting and she’s never been one to follow the rules. There seems to be no motive. When another body is found, Vera suspects that someone is playing games with her. Somewhere there is a killer who has taken murder off the page and is making it real . . . Also available in the Vera Stanhope series are The Crow Trap, Telling Tales, Hidden Depths and Silent Voices. Ann Cleeves’ Shetland series (BBC television drama SHETLAND) contains five titles, of which Dead Water is the most recent.
Zen And The Art Of Murder by Oliver Bottini
Winner of the German Crime Fiction Award Louise Boni drinks too much. The maverick inspector in Germany's Black Forest police squad is haunted by the mistakes she's made and the people she's lost. While she's dreading the approach of another lonely winter weekend, a call from her supervisor draws her into the most bizarre case of her career. A badly beaten Japanese monk is roaming the snowy Freiburg region with little more than sandals and a begging bowl, and the frightened holy man appears to be fleeing an unseen danger. Now Boni must battle both skeptical police authorities and her personal demons as her investigation reveals a hidden crime ring as well as a spiritual opportunity to transform her life. The first book in the Black Forest Investigation series, Zen and the Art of Murder is "a surprising and genuinely shocking case." — The Sunday Times (U.K.)
Midnight In Peking by Paul French
Winner of the both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger from the author of City of Devils Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking.
The Lady Killer by Masako Togawa
A classic mystery from one of Japan's best-loved crime writers The Lady Killer leads a double life in the shadow world of Tokyo's singles bars and nightclubs. By day a devoted husband and hard worker, by night he cruises nightclubs cafes and cinemas in search of lonely single women to seduce. But now the hunter is being hunted, and in his wake lies a trail of gruesome murders. Who is the culprit? The answer lies tangled in a web of clues, and to find it he must accept that nothing is what it seems. This is a moody, brilliantly plotted mystery from the writer dubbed 'the P.D. James of Japan'.
The Master Key by Masako Togawa
The prizewinning debut mystery from one of Japan's best-loved crime writers. The K Apartments for Ladies are occupied by over a hundred unmarried women, once young and lively, now grown and old - and in some cases, evil. Their residence conceals a secret, a secret connecting the unsolved kidnapping in 1951 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.