Saturday, October 03, 2015

"Murder at Mt. Fuji"

"Murder at Mt. Fuji" by Shizuko Natsuki is an extremely well-plotted detective story with a surprise ending. If you think about that statement, it will become obvious that spoilers would be required in any discussion about how the author creates one impression after another in the mind of the reader, only to reveal new plot twists, new clues, new relationships, and new motives.

Let's just say that the first 75 pages provide a detailed description of murder and cover-up at the mountain home of a very wealthy Japanese family where they are spending their New Year holiday. The role of one westerner, a student of Japanese literature visiting the family, provides a way for the Japanese author to explain some of the customs and family dynamics. And you, reader, think you know everything -- at first.

The police come and go as they investigate clues in this typical country house mystery atmosphere. Western-style mystery details combine quite interestingly with Japanese family, business, police-suspect-victim, and master-servant relationships. And in the background, day and night, seen through every window of the beautiful villa, is Mt. Fuji, looming alternately over severe winter storms and gentle winter sunshine.

A fun read!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Will be adding this to my J-Lit TBR pile! Thanks for bringing it to my attention.