The Inugami Curse by Seishi Yokomizo (1972) Review

Atmospheric and clever

Detective Kosuke Kindaichi #6

Why I picked up the book:

I have recently read a Japanese classic murder mystery and fell in love with the style. I am now on a chase to find as many shin honkaku and contemporary Japanese mystery/thrillers possible. The Inugami Curse was both a book that I could easily order, AND the synopsis hit all my golden-age-mystery-lover spots.

This book was set in 1940, and it starts with the Inugami Clan gathering for their patriarch’s will reading. I honestly didn’t need to know more to get excited. But there IS more! The will has some pretty strange details, and soon after its reading… you guessed it! People start getting killed in the most bizarre ways.

Sign me up!

The book through my criteria lens:

This was my first Yokomizo novel and let me tell you, it delivered! I feel that it goes without saying that the puzzle was well presented as this is one of the principles of Golden Age Mysteries and Shin Honkaku.

Yamakazi’s translation was excellent, and I feel like I understood the novel and culture of the time. The characters were well built, and the atmosphere was superb. I was able to visualize what it’d be like to be in Japan in the 1940s. I appreciate when no excuses are given to villains, and this is the case with this book. My only slight criticism is that the book read slightly longer than I would have liked.

My personal feelings:

I apologize in advance for all the Shin Honkaku reviews coming your way. I’m obsessed, and I am on a new reading kick. They have quickly consumed my TBRs because they are a revival of my favourite mystery movement, and they are set in Japan, written by Japanese authors, representing Japanese culture from various decades.

For a book set in the 1940s, it has some truly gruesome and disturbing scenes, so beware. Most people call Golden Age books, especially Agatha Christie’s, “cozy.” I never got it – they can be gruesome and disturbing. And this book stood steadfast to that. Highly original murders described subtly but extremely violent.

I Highly recommend The Inugami Curse and wish I could watch the movie!

wonder if it will work

Enjoyability     10

Characters       10

Ambience        10

Fairness          10

Plot                  10

Execution        9

My total rating: 4.91

Review for this book is mentioned in this video: TBP



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Until next book, be the hummingbird!

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