The Case of the Honjin Murder

Thinking of mystery novels leads us to think of the various stories belonging to the great Arthur C. Doyle, Agatha Christie, Gaston Leroux, and many more who have worked this genre in an incredible way. Great was my surprise to find among the novelties of my favorite library a mystery book written by a Japanese author: Seishi Yokomizo. My fascination for this culture and detective novels led me to buy this wonderful copy entitled Murder at the Honjin and Other Stories.

Inspired by Western literature for the development of his stories, Yokomizo gave life to detective Kosuke Kindaichi to be in charge of solving the most strange cases that came to his mind. This character is very loved by the Japanese community, as its creator is considered part of the Japanese pioneers of this genre. The peculiar personality of this detective has served as a reference for the development of various manga and anime characters.

This book is made up of three stories and each time one of them is started, the author gives us the map of the place where the crime took place and the list of characters who will participate in the story. In addition, each case is subdivided into chapters that help us better understand the story of the crime; moreover, the narration of the facts is always done by a third person who knows and maintains contact with detective Kosuke Kindaichi.

Throughout these stories, Yokomizo exposes three great classic themes of mystery novels: a murder in a closed room (Murder at the Honjin), the dead body that is impossible to identify (The case of the Black Cat) and a supposed case of substitution. Each of these cases seeks the active participation of the reader, challenging him or her to tie up loose ends and use logic to solve the mystery. Personally, I couldn’t beat Detective Kindaichi at any time.

I hope you can read it and enter for a moment in this world of crime and mystery novels, solving crime in the context of Japanese culture is truly an incredible experience.