A dizzying tale of lust, mystery, and murder—from a beloved Japanese crime fiction author and LGBT icon
The Lady Killer leads a double life in Tokyo's shadowy underworld. By day, he is a devoted husband and hard worker; by night, he cruises cabaret bars and nightclubs in search of lonely single women to seduce.
But now the hunter is being hunted, and in his wake lies a trail of gruesome murders. Who is the culprit? The answer lies tangled in a web of clues—and to find it, he must accept that nothing is what it seems.
The Lady Killer pulls from author Masako Togawa’s vibrant personal life as a cabaret performer for Tokyo’s gay nightclub scene during the ‘50s and ‘60s. Throughout her writing career, Togawa continued to champion the LGBT community as a queer woman—sealing her reputation as one of Japan’s most prominent crime fiction authors and LGBT heroines.
Set in 1963, this clever crime thriller from Togawa (The Master Key) begins with the suicide of 19-year-old Keiko Obana, a key-punch operator who falls to her death from an upper story of her Tokyo office building six months after a one-night stand with a stranger with a memorable singing voice whom she met at a nightclub. Keiko's older sister, Tsuneko, who raised her after their parents were killed by the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, didn't know about that encounter and is stunned to learn that her sibling was pregnant. The investigating inspector believes that stress over the pregnancy led to Keiko's suicide. The narrative then shifts to an unnamed woman's search for the singing stranger, who's identified as Ichiro Honda. Togawa changes gears again, to present events from Honda's perspective, as a series of women he's had flings with conquests documented in what he terms his Huntsman's Log are murdered. Togawa maintains uncertainty about who's responsible for the killings until closing with the logical and fairly clued reveal. Puzzle mystery fans will be well satisfied.