The Honjin Murders Review

  • Author: Seishi Kokomizo
  • Series: Detective Kosuke Kindaichi
  • No. of pages: 224
  • Dates read: 10.05.20 – 15.05.20
  • Star Rating: 5 and Favourite!
  • ARC received from Pushkin Vertigo

First of all, thank you Netgalley and Pushkin Vertigo for giving me the chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Plot: 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 about the Ichiyanagis around the village. Then, on the night of the wedding, the Ichiyanagi family 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. The murder seems impossible, but amateur detective Kosuke Kindaichi is determined to get to the bottom of it.

I don’t read many books by Japanese authors and I don’t have much experience with Japanese culture so it was really interesting to read this book and read about a culture that I don’t know much about!

I really enjoyed the family dynamics in this story. The characters at first didn’t wow me but as you read the book you see the layers and the subtleties that the author included and I ended up being blown away by these characters.

I love an eccentric detective, it’s why I love Poirot and Miss Marple so much. Kosuke was right up my street and I enjoyed watching him work and doing the big reveal at the end. He was such a vibrant personality. I enjoyed the book at the beginning but it was made 10x better with the introduction of Kosuke.

I enjoyed the representation of the stammer. Whether it was the most accurate and best version of stammer representation, I’m not sure, but it certainly wasn’t made fun of or ridiculed in any way.

I really enjoyed the writing style, which was more matter-of-fact and report like which is very different from the flowery writing and/or 1st pov that I am used to normally. I just enjoyed reading about the set up of the case and the backstory of the characters without the flowery writing. It was right to the point and I really enjoyed it.

The ending was also really satisfying to me! Not what I expected which was great.

The next book I will be reviewing is The Last by Hanna Jameson. A dystopian book in which a man, trapped in a hotel in Switzerland, takes it upon himself to find out who killed a young girl.

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