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The Decagon House Murders (Pushkin Vertigo)…
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The Decagon House Murders (Pushkin Vertigo) (editie 2021)

door Yukito Ayatsuji (Auteur), Hong-Li Wong (Vertaler)

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949222,226 (3.67)2
Students from a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly multiple murder the year before. Predictably, they get picked off one by one by an unseen murderer. Is there a madman on the loose? What connection is there to the earlier murders? The answer is a bombshell revelation which few readers will see coming.The Decagon House Murders is a milestone in the history of detective fiction. Published in 1987, it is credited with launching the shinhonkaku movement which restored Golden Age style plotting and fair-play clues to the Japanese mystery scene, which had been dominated by the social school of mystery for several decades. It is also said to have influenced the development of the wildly popular anime movement.This, the first English edition, contains a lengthy introduction by the maestro of Japanese mystery fiction, Soji Shimada.Locked Room International discovers and publishes impossible crime masterpieces from all over the world… (meer)
Lid:librarianarpita
Titel:The Decagon House Murders (Pushkin Vertigo)
Auteurs:Yukito Ayatsuji (Auteur)
Andere auteurs:Hong-Li Wong (Vertaler)
Info:Pushkin Vertigo (2021), 288 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:***
Trefwoorden:Geen

Werkdetails

The Decagon House Murders door Yukito Ayatsuji

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1-5 van 9 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
AKA The Commuting Killer. It exhausted me just to read how the murderer committed their crimes! Recommended for all libraries. ( )
  librarianarpita | Apr 8, 2021 |
Synopsis/blurb.....

The Japanese cult classic mystery

'Ayatsuji's brilliant and richly atmospheric puzzle will appeal to fans of golden age whodunits... Every word counts, leading up to a jaw-dropping but logical reveal' Publishers Weekly

The lonely, rockbound island of Tsunojima is notorious as the site of a series of bloody unsolved murders. Some even say it's haunted. One thing is for sure: it's the perfect destination for the K-University Mystery Club's annual trip.

But when the first club member turns up dead, the remaining amateur sleuths realise they will need all of their murder-mystery expertise to get off the island alive.

As the party are picked off one by one, the survivors grow desperate and paranoid, turning on each other. Will anyone be able to untangle the murderer's fiendish plan before it's too late?
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My take....

Another read which reminded me of the Agatha Christie book, And Then There Were None, despite not having read it. Last month it was An Old-fashioned Mystery by Runa Fairleigh (aka L A Morse). This time we have a Japanese setting for Yukito Ayatsuji's The Decagon House Murders.

A group of friends, part of a mystery readers club, depart for a week long trip to an island, which was the scene of a tragedy a year ago, when four people perished. The details of the incident are murky. The popular theories concerning the event are; the gardener who is still missing murdered four people, set a fire and vanished, or alternately, the owner of the house murdered the gardener, passed his corpse off as himself and then fled.

The visitors from the club aren't seeking to investigate the tragedy per se, just spend some time on the island, have a snoop around, do some writing and agree on their next magazine. They have a week before they are due to be picked up.

Inevitably, the members of the club start getting killed in the Decagon House, one by one, and as the number of victims increases, the number of suspects diminish, until eventually we are left with one.

On the mainland we have a couple of club members, not on the trip discussing the original events on the island and the untimely accidental death of a fellow club member which also happened in the past year or so. These members have received anonymous letters which are interpreted as threats. The belief is the other club members on the island have also received them. An amateur investigation of sorts starts, with the two guys travelling around interviewing family members connected to the original tragedy..... the gardener's wife and the brother of the guy who died on the island or who faked his death. Theories are constructed for the events of the past.

It's quite a quick read, with chapters alternating between events on the mainland and happenings on the island.

It's quite a clever book and I was taken by surprise at the outcome. So I enjoyed the mystery aspect of the book and also the rationale behind the crime. The motive was plausible and the manner and method of events believable for the most part.

I think for a book to elevate itself above and beyond - it was okay, I enjoyed it, I wasn't bored - status, it has to do several things for me. There needs to be an interesting story getting told. The writing needs to flow - no stilted, stunted, incomprehensible sentences that interrupt me and stop me turning the pages. The characters need to be interesting and I need to feel an emotional connection to several of them for the story to matter, be they victims or villains. The initial criterias were met, but as far as the characters were concerned, I just didn't feel anything for them. I didn't weep for any of the victims and neither did I share the killer's outrage and desire for revenge. On that level, I think it failed.

Overall, more to like than dislike. The assertion at the top advertising its appeal to GA mystery fans is one I would agree with.

3.5 from 5

Read - March, 2021
Published - 2015
Page count - 288
Source - review copy from Edelweiss - Above the Treeline website
Format - Kindle

https://col2910.blogspot.com/2021/03/yukito-ayatsuji-decagon-house-murders.html ( )
  col2910 | Mar 13, 2021 |
Very much one for fans of locked-room murder mysteries, this homage to Agatha Christie is an entertainingly self-aware puzzle. Indeed the Prologue, when our (as yet unnamed killer) is planning the murders, he himself states: 'It was not the plot that was vital, but the framework.'

Seven members of a university Mystery Club spend a week on an uninhabited island, the location of a shocking multiple murder just six months earlier. Living in the Decagon House, the odd geometric shape is just one disorientating twist that befalls the group as they are picked off one by one...

The clues are there, and it was one of those books where you are thinking 'I know that's important, but why?' The reveal will have you flicking back through the pages to piece it together, and the Epilogue is a nicely understated way to end the book. Clever for what it is, so an enjoyable enough diversion fro the real world to keep you entertained for a few hours. 3.5 rounded up to 4 because i enjoyed it. ( )
  Alan.M | Jan 5, 2021 |
Have to say that in the end I was disappointed. You tell me that this book is a homage to "And Then There Were None" and it ends up just being kind of a mess with an ending that was nothing like that book. It didn't help that Ayatsuji had some of the book following two other characters so you don't stay on the island with the characters who are being picked off one by one. I do like that we were given a glossary in the end to understand some of the words being used in this book.

"The Decagon House Murders" is a bit of a convoluted tale. The book starts off with us in the murderer's POV. We know that he or she has something up their sleeve to make people pay for what they did. Then we transitioned over to a group of college aged students who are making their way to the Decagon House. The students plan to stay on an uninhabited island for a week. A brutal murder and apparent suicide took place there six months ago and due to this the students think it would be perfect for them to go and get away to.



All of the students belong to a mystery group at their university and they have taken the names of famous mystery writers. We have the following: Agatha, Van, Leroux, Orczy, Ellery, Carr and Poe. While they are away on the island, a former member of the mystery group, Kawaminami receives a letter accusing him of being behind the murder of a former member named Chiori. We find out that she was a shy young women who died of a heart attack brought upon due to alcohol poisoning. Kawaminami starts to try to figure out who could have sent the letter and figures out ties that Chiori has to the island that the group has just departed for.


I have to say that I didn't get a chance to get a handle on anyone. When the group on the island starts to get picked off one by one by the murderer it just started to feel anti-climatic. I liked how Christie did it via her book and how they were all sent to die based on a rhyme. This felt a little too clumsy. It didn't help that the book jumps back and forth between the murders on the island and Kawaminami's investigation with an older man he meets. I think that distracted from the overall tenor of the book and it felt a bit like we had Ayatsuji trying to throw in a bit of Arthur Conan Doyle and have a Sherlock and Watson on the scene.

The writing was okay, as I said earlier it was great to get the glossary in the book describing things. However, the flow wasn't that great. I had a hard time with the second investigation going on since it just felt really fake to me. And then it made zero sense with what we know was going on, on he island.

The setting of the island and the Decagon House were intriguing. I liked the history behind it being built and how lonesome it must have been. Ayatsuji provides some diagrams which were helpful to show where everyone is staying at and also at one point where a body is found.

The ending did have a cool twist, but I had a hard time buying it. It didn't really work I think in the end. And then the reason behind the murder felt very fake to me. It just seemed like a reason for the murderer to do what they did. We get a reveal about all of the murders and how they happened and it felt like that bit got written before the initial set up of the book.

A nice look at a Japanese golden age mystery novel. I definitely enjoyed "The Tokyo Zodiac Murders" more. ( )
  ObsidianBlue | Jul 1, 2020 |
Bad things happen. Everybody dies.

The flatness of the prose in this novel at first bothered me and then delighted me because it freed me from that somewhat squicky feeling I often have, when reading a murder mystery, that violent death should not be quite so entertaining. The characters here are nothing more than pieces on a magnificent, imaginative board game, and their lack of dimension allowed me to feel pleasure in the storytelling.

I lived for years in Japan and this experience made my reading all the more delightful. The translation sounds exactly like the Japanese, to the point where many times I could know for certain what the Japanese word or phrase had originally been. It felt as if the translator is not a native English speaker, or at least the translator never stepped out of literal translation, and the unusual nature of the language in the novel gave it a charged, unexpected feeling as I read.

The English here sounds something like Japanese native speakers who have only a fragile command of English. Some of the direct translations of Japanese concepts include "senior" for a person who is ahead of you in the same school, or "after-after-party," which is self explanatory but is an actual thing in Japan for that smaller, frequently drunken gathering that happens when you're too tired to go home or the trains have stopped running and you're stuck in limbo with your friends until morning comes. The proper names weren't reversed to fit English usage. Some words honestly seemed made up or taken from a not very good bilingual dictionary--like "shrubberies" rather than "shrubbery." I'm going on about it because it was an aspect of the novel that I enjoyed deeply but I'm not sure how readers who haven't lived in Japan would take it.

Then there is the mystery itself. Honestly I felt both very satisfied by the solution to the puzzle, and kind of snookered by it. I didn't feel the story gave me all necessary clues throughout the novel for me to feel satisfied with the ending as it unfolded--a lot of these clues instead were given after the fact, to fill in the blanks. I didn't mind this however because I got such pleasure from reading this strange little book, and because of all the ways it was different from anything else I'd read, and because of all the ways the language intersected with my experience of Japan. ( )
1 stem poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
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» Andere auteurs toevoegen

AuteursnaamRolType auteurWerk?Status
Yukito Ayatsujiprimaire auteuralle editiesberekend
Shimada, SojiIntroductieprimaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
Wong, Ho-LingVertalerSecondaire auteursommige editiesbevestigd
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Students from a university mystery club decide to visit an island which was the site of a grisly multiple murder the year before. Predictably, they get picked off one by one by an unseen murderer. Is there a madman on the loose? What connection is there to the earlier murders? The answer is a bombshell revelation which few readers will see coming.The Decagon House Murders is a milestone in the history of detective fiction. Published in 1987, it is credited with launching the shinhonkaku movement which restored Golden Age style plotting and fair-play clues to the Japanese mystery scene, which had been dominated by the social school of mystery for several decades. It is also said to have influenced the development of the wildly popular anime movement.This, the first English edition, contains a lengthy introduction by the maestro of Japanese mystery fiction, Soji Shimada.Locked Room International discovers and publishes impossible crime masterpieces from all over the world

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