➾ 占星術殺人事件 Free ➵ Author Sōji Shimada – Web-info-12.info
The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada was born under the Sun Sign Aries in 1981 its original name is Senseijutsu Satsujinjiken, which can be roughly translated as Zodiac Murder Magic Those born Aries are Cardinal signs whose element is Fire they are ruled by Mars The color of Aries is RED.Aries is the first sign of the zodiac, and its Cardinal quality further signals a beginning, the start of something innovative and new And such is Tokyo Zodiac Murders, or at least it was in 1981 something new The first novel by its author and the first novel to reignite an interest in Golden Age style locked room mysteries that had fallen out of fashion with the Japanese public and Japanese writers of murder mysteries Its nature is that of a puzzle logical, complicated yet precise and one that can be figured out by its readers It is tricky but does not cheat it can indeed be figured out Although it was not figured out by this reader Fire is an element with strong masculine energy, and it easily neglects the feminine principles within At first, this appears to be the case with Tokyo Zodiac Murders, which details the murder and dismemberment of seven women, all related, all apparently murdered according to their nefarious father s demented plan A masculine plan that obliterates living women in order to create a puppet doll out of their various parts a doll that will become his personal goddess But is this truly the case As the reader reads on, they may learn that the element Fire is perhaps not as influential as one might think at least with this particular Arian Mars rules both Aries and Scorpio it has charge over our first scream and our last breath Mars is symbolic of our unconscious animalistic nature, one we often don t give freedom to Restrictions in our primarily sexual expression of energy will lead to inhibitions of all sorts and accumulation of anger and frustration below our surface, beyond the face we show to the world Perhaps the killer within Tokyo Zodiac Murders should have sought to create balance when engaging with its Mars nature This reader was born under the Sun Sign Virgo Alas, there is little compatibility between these signs Although the often obsessive compulsive Virgoan nature had some respect for the carefully ordered and intricately pieced together parts of this puzzle, in the end, it was simply that a complex little puzzle Lacking humanity and focused on its puzzle pieces than on human psychology, it therefore also lacked a human anchor to capture and then hold this Virgo s interest It was obviously and rather strenuously quite pleased with itself, which is an unseemly display to the modest Virgo It lacked the grounding in reality that an Earth Sign such as Virgo requires as a base before climbing to imaginative heights or burrowing to the morbid lower depths Although the lack of affect gave the first chapter a certain appeal it is the creepily cheerful father s final note, detailing his horrific plan eventually the novel s overall shallowness made this Virgo quite bored Aries is rarely a boring sign, but clearly there are exceptions to that rule. The author Soji Shimada, has been known to readers as The King Of Dismemberment in the realm of Japanese crime detective novels, it is his first long detective novel and it is damn impressive the story has its flaws, but I m still impressed.I look forward to re read this book some day. Pre war Japan A deranged artist called Heikichi Umezawa claims to be possessed by the Devil He plans one final masterwork the creation of Azoth, the supreme woman How to make her Chop up the bodies of his six daughters, selecting their most perfect parts, and stitching the pieces together into a whole But before he can begin, he s brutally murdered A few days later the six daughters are also killed and their bodies chopped up, per Umezawa s plan Who killed Umezawa Who killed the six girls And if Azoth, the supreme woman, was created where is she 40 years pass and astrologer detective Kiyoshi Mitarai is joined by our narrator Ishioka to solve the mystery in a week who was behind the Tokyo Zodiac Murders Soji Shimada s detective novel is pretty good for the first half, pretty bad for the second While I enjoyed the first half, it s a bit artlessly written the Holmesian Mitarai and the Watson esque Ishioka are literally sat in a room telling the reader through their discourse the details of the crime But it s morbidly interesting stuff and the locked room mystery aspect to it is tantalising Things get a bit bogged down in the second half as Shimada tries to bring it all together Mitarai and Ishioka separate while the reader is stuck with Ishioka as he follows numerous red herrings, waiting for Mitarai to reappear and tell us whodunit And when he does, he irritatingly milks the attention for all its worth in the final quarter, stopping and starting to gloat Shimada doesn t help by literally intruding the narrative twice to encourage the reader to try and figure it out themselves That s because Tokyo Zodiac is part of the honkaku authentic genre of detective fiction where the clues are laid out in the text which supposedly gives the reader all they need to solve the case themselves Diagrams, maps, etc pepper the book Except given the utterly convoluted explanation, I m not sure that s entirely true of this novel I didn t spend any time thinking about it and just went with the story And then it turns out to be an unsatisfying reveal anyway I didn t hate the novel because the first half effortlessly held my attention but it s not a great detective story for the weak conclusion Still, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders isn t a bad creepy mystery story that some crime fans might enjoy I d recommend it with the caveat to lower expectations going in to maybe get out of it. This novel is being released under the new Pushkin Vertigo imprint which aims to re release international crime classics written in the years between the 1920 s and 1970 s The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, is the first of over two dozen novels featuring Kiyoshi Mitarai and is written in the popular Japanese Honkaku subgenre of mysteries very much focused on plotting and clues and where the reader is drawn into participating in solving the crime before the detective In some ways, this book reminded me of mysteries I have read from the 1920 s, such as The Cask, by Freeman Wills Croft, where you are almost walked through the crime, clue by clue As such,, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders, appeared a little dry at first, but I was soon thoroughly immersed in the novel and really fascinated by the plot and the characters The title of the books comes from a series of murders which took place in 1936 and remained unsolved when the narrator of the book, Kazumi Ishioka, tells his friend, Kiyoshi Mitarai, about them The murders involve an artist, named Heikichi Umezawa, who believed that he was possessed by the devil and who dreamt of creating the perfect woman Azoth by killing six young women his daughters and nieces and combining their body parts However, Umezawa is murdered in his studio and the murders took place after his death This is a classic, locked door mystery and involves Ishioka and Mitarai discussing the murders in 1979, before setting out to solve them As I mentioned before, the first part of the book involves Ishioka relating what happened in some detail and can come across as a little dry However, this book does become very engaging There are delightful digressions into other subjects, such as the novels of Sherlock Holmes, and dashes across the country to follow up clues as well as exhortations from the author himself to try to beat the fictional detectives and solve the crime.This is a charming read and the Pushkin Vertigo series looks very promising indeed I look forward to reading both from Pushkin Vertigo and from this author, Soji Shimada Lastly, I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review. This is my second novel where the author challenge readers explicitly to guess the culprit The first one is The Egyptian Cross Mystery And coincidentally this novel is my first Soji Shimada s novel that I ve ever read After read this novel, I wish there are other Soji Shimada s novel translated into English.Highly recommended for readers who want to guess the culprit Although I found some minor clues seems useful if the reader knows pop culture of Japanese at mid 1930 era, but the essence of the trick is a classic for me. I am reading this for Locked Room Mystery The Tokyo Zodiac Murders by Soji Shimada This apparently is a locked room mystery novel that has been getting rave reviews Wow all I have to say is that this book was great More than anything I love clever books like this, and this was definitely very clever I honestly was a bit worried for a couple of minutes that maybe I wouldn t be able to get the book since the setting is in Japan But wow the author Soji Shimada is able to pretty much show you that murder is murder no matter where it takes place This book is broken into two time periods The first is Japan in 1936 and the second time period is Japan in 1979 In 1936, we are treated to a letter that is left by an artist named Heikichi Umezawa Umezawa wants to build the perfect woman We read of his obsession with women and their bodies as well as his comments on astrology We realize that he plans on doing away with his children, stepchildren, and nieces all female and using parts of them to build his perfect woman and bring Japan back into a state of harmony Oh here s the problem, Heikichi Umezawa is found murdered in a locked room Yet the murders still take place Who could have decided to follow Umezawa s plan When we are back in1979 we follow two amateur detectives Kiyoshi Mitari and Kazumi Ishioka our Sherlock and Dr Watson if you will FYI that would tick Mitari off since he had some hilarious bad opinions about Sherlock We find out that the murders are famous in Japan and many people have tried to figure out who killed the women after Umezawa was dead where the perfect woman was left Just like Sherlock, Mitari is subject to depression, and Kazumi is hoping that the puzzle of the Tokyo Zodiac Murders will drag him out of his depression I was fascinated with Mitari since he is a respected astrologer and fortune teller It seems an odd hobby for our amateur detective, but it makes sense when you get into the astrology aspect of this book There are a lot of characters in this one, but I was able to keep them straight The author provides you the names of everyone up front and throughout the book We really only get Kazumi s deductions and point of view since he is telling us the story We do get glimpses of what drives Mitari though I loved the writing Reading about headless corpses that were dismembered repeatedly may not be your thing, so be forewarned The flow was great too I also applauded the author for including illustrations of the locked room, and diagrams of other rooms, as well as the corpses being dismembered, and also people s names to family trees, etc There are a lot of really good illustrations in this book and it made it for me, into a five star read I will say that aspects of this story just thrilled me from beginning to end Trying to work out how Umezawa was murdered and how an unexpected snowfall came into play was great I also loved thinking of Kyoto and cherry blossoms The reveal of who the murder was and how they carried it off was brilliant I would imagine that Dame Agatha would have given this author kudos Because once this was revealed I had to go back and re read the clues that were spread throughout the book. Oh my This is probably the best mystery novel I ve read all year it is the kind of book that I hope to find every time I pick up a new mystery I do have to admit to a fondness for Japanese authors, especially mystery writers, and this particular book is an example of why I have to find other works by this author in translation if they exist I could NOT put this book down at all once I started.The story begins some time back in the 1930s, and its focal point is a bizarre case known as the Tokyo Zodiac Murders In the last will testament of an artist under the influences of astrology and alchemy, he sets forth his plan to create the perfect womanby killing off female relatives, including his daughters, to combine the best parts of all of them in his creation The murders occurred, but this happened after the artist was found dead, in his studio, locked from the outside The clues left little to go on, and solving the horrifying case became an obsession for many over the last decades One detective, who is also a fortune teller, decides to take it on and solve it where others have failed With the help of his friend, a fan of detective fiction, he tries to do what so many have attempted and failed over the a 40 year period of time.An amazing book, one that will totally occupy you as you read There are a number of possibilities that present themselves as the two friends delve into the past The characterization is very well done, the writing is excellent, and the mystery itself not to mention the solution is nothing like I ve ever read before Hooray for a mystery I could really sink my teeth into.I think this one will really appeal to people like myself who enjoy the different take on mysteries provided by Japanese mystery authors, and those who enjoy the classic locked room scenario It isn t a mystery for cozy readers or readers who want an easy solution this requires the reader s participation the entire way Also, if alchemy and astrology aren t your thing, then you may want to skip it.An excellent mystery I enjoy finding these little gems now and then Most highly recommended. Japan, 1936 An Old Eccentric Artist Living With Seven Women Has Been Found Dead In A Room Locked From The Inside His Diaries Reveal Alchemy, Astrology And A Complicated Plan To Kill All Seven Women Shortly Afterwards, The Plan Is Carried Out The Women Are Found Dismembered And Buried Across Rural Japan.By 1979, These Tokyo Zodiac Murders Have Been Obsessing A Nation For Decades, But Not One Of Them Has Been Solved A Mystery Obsessed Illustrator And A Talented Astrologer Set Off Around The Country And You Follow, Carrying The Enigma Of The Zodiac Murderer Through Madness, Missed Leads And Magic Tricks You Have All The Clues, But Can You Solve The Mystery Before They Do When Raymond Chandler wrote his somewhat disparaging essay on mystery novels, perhaps he hadn t been exposed to works by writers such as Shimada.For the ingenuity, meta jabs and the evocation of a bygone era where crime solving was not all CSI and procedurals, 5 stars It s just absolutely riveting and this must fall under Poirot s favourite kind of case, one that s primarily concerned with imagination and analysis, for all the fresh clues had been set in print articles, unavailable for further investigation It s the epitome of the armchair detective novel if ever there was one There was legwork, sure, but it s of an afterthought sort of thing, and as such people who prefer action may find the narrative dry at times More than 30 years have passed since the moment I thought of the trick, but I still remember it clear as day I was lying on the bed, overwhelmed with excitement at how everyone would be shocked by it Meanwhile it had been my resolution to write a novel once I turn 30 thus driven by these two motivations, I wrote this. Soji Shimada And they have the drama adaptation of other Mitarai cases, sadly not this one Prolly cuz of possible explicit scenes Although Mitarai is a scientist instead of an astrologist in the adaptation, which is a pity since there s already a similar character in Higashino s Prof Yukawa aka Detective Galileo.Tamaki Hiroshi in the title role.Mitarai IshiokaI can t believe it took me so long to read Shimada, since I first got to know of this book from the Kindaichi Shonen series manga I d read in my teens Even though I m privy to the gist of the trick because of that, this was still greatly entertaining, and I can t wait to read the rest of his novels.PS I read the Mandarin translation while comparing it to the English and Japanese kindle samples that I ve got All the versions are equal on their own merit from the samples the English one is extremely interesting when it comes to explaining Umezawa s notes while the Japanese and the Mandarin ones are whimsical. Practically unreadable the first part is a sick piece of murderous misogyny, the rest a too long conversation between two people trying to solve a closed room murder mystery 40 years after the fact, by meticulously dismantling inch after inch of the technical details of the murder This you cannot possibly follow unless you have a phenomenal memory and an unlikely level of tolerance for boredom Sorry, quitting now, before it s too late and I drown in an ocean of mind numbing technicalities.