The 8 Mansion Murders – Takemaru Abiko (1989)

I have this whole stack of Japanese locked room mysteries published by the likes of Locked Room International and Pushkin Vertigo, and it’s a wonder that I’m not burning through them.  I manage to abstain though, because – like a Paul Halter novel – the honkaku mysteries I’ve encountered are impossible crime on steroids, and I like to space them out so I can savor them between less sure-fire reads.  When dealing with a title brought forward by Locked Room International in particular, you know you’re going to get something crazy – mind boggling impossibilities, a high body count, and some sort of unique hook.

In some ways then, The 8 Mansion Murders might be the most conventional mystery of this sort.  We have a fairly straight forward murder – a man shot with a crossbow, with both the killer and victim in full view of two witnesses – followed by a detective interviewing a closed circle of suspects one by one until they’re all gathered together to expose the killer.  Set that in an English country house in 1935 and you have your traditional Golden Age mystery.  It’s that traditional setup though that makes The 8 Mansion Murders so delightful, and we’re able to see what author Takemaru Abiko is able to paint within such confines.

Continue reading “The 8 Mansion Murders – Takemaru Abiko (1989)”
Solving the Mystery of Murder

Investigating how classic crime writers plot their mysteries.

Long Live The Queens!

About Ellery Queen and other GAD authors

James Scott Byrnside

Author of impossible-crime murder mysteries

Countdown John's Christie Journal

A review of Agatha Christie's crime novels and short stories from beginning to end

Dead Yesterday

Classic Mysteries and Domestic Suspense

Noirish

The annex to John Grant's *A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Film Noir*

Justice for the Corpse

Reviews of classic fair-play mystery fiction - spoiler-free unless otherwise noted

Composed Almost Entirely of Books

Books read, books written, books I just spotted and covet like an ox

Mysteries Ahoy!

Detecting Great Crime Fiction

Only Detect

Book Reviews, Mostly

Past Offences: Classic crime, thrillers and mystery book reviews

The best mystery and crime fiction (up to 1987): Book and movie reviews