Murder in the Crooked House
A fiendish LOCKED ROOM MYSTERY from the Japanese master of the genre.
Never before available in English.
By the author of the acclaimed Tokyo Zodiac Murders.
The Crooked House sits on a snowbound cliff overlooking icy seas at the remote northern tip of Japan. A curious place for the millionaire Kozaburo Hamamoto to build a house, but even more curious is the house itself - a disorienting maze of sloping floors and strangely situated staircases, full of bloodcurdling masks and uncanny, lifesize dolls. When a man is found dead in one of the mansion's rooms, murdered in seemingly impossible circumstances, the police are called. But they are unable to solve the puzzle, and powerless to protect the party of house guests as more bizarre deaths follow.
Enter Kiyoshi Mitarai, the renowned sleuth, famous for unmasking the culprit behind the notorious Umezawa family massacre. Surely if anyone can crack these cryptic murders he will. But you have all the clues too - can you solve the mystery of the murders in The Crooked House first?
Set in 1983, Shimada's brilliant sequel to 2015's The Tokyo Zodiac Murders will thrill fans of golden age puzzle mysteries. Kozaburo Hamamoto, the president of the Hama Diesel company, has invited guests to celebrate Christmas at the unusual home he has constructed on Hokkaido. The building features intentionally sloping floors, and Hamamoto's own rooms are in a tower resembling the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which can only be accessed by a drawbridge connecting it to the main structure. Self-styled sleuth Kiyoshi Mitarai investigates when a member of the party is stabbed to death with a knife inside a locked room. Oddly, the murder weapon has some string attached to it. Other bizarre elements include one of the victim's hands being tied to the foot of a bed and a scream apparently issuing from the corpse a half hour after the killing. The tension rises as one impossibility follows another before an effective and dramatic reveal. Shimada combines fantastic crimes with a logical and fair solution likely to stump even the most astute readers.
Not worth the time or effort!
This is the most disappointing book that I’ve read in a long while. Confusing diagrams, names of characters, I got to the final scene and the explanation of the closed room murders was just plain unbelievable. Total waste of time and effort wading through it all anticipating the denouement to find it a dud.