The Tokyo Zodiac Murder
by Soji Shimada
Pushkin Vertigo, 2015. 316 pgs. Mystery
It’s 1936 Japan, and an eccentric artist has been found murdered in his locked studio by one of his daughters. As the investigation progresses, his journal reveals a horrific plan to create the perfect woman, Azoth, from the body parts of six of the women he’s been living with, all his daughters or nieces. Astrology, alchemy, and insanity are all clear in his writings. Shortly after his death all the murders occur in exactly the way he described. If he’s dead, who committed the murders and how did they get away with it?
Fast forward to 1979 and the case is still unsolved. Kiyoshi Mitarai, an astrologer, fortuneteller, and armature detective has one week to solve the case when new evidence is brought directly to him. Can he do it?
I really enjoyed this book, and appreciated that the author adds a note to the reader, telling us when all the clues have been presented and we have enough information to solve the murders. I admit I am nowhere near clever enough to have figured it out. However, you super sleuths out there may have better insight than myself.
I’m going to say this was a clean read, but I debated a bit. Due to content, it’s not as squeaky clean as a cozy mystery, but the language was clean and there really wasn’t anything graphic. I could easily recommend this to anyone who likes to follow along and have a fair shot at solving the mystery along with the characters.