Edgar-nominee Higashino (The Devotion of Suspect X, 2011) offers an audacious premise as, in the opening pages, he all but tells us that Ayane Mita is going to poison her husband, Yoshitaka Mashiba. Then Yoshitaka is, indeed, poisoned via arsenic in his coffee. However, Ayane is out of town and well alibied. As mismatched detectives Kusanagi and Utsumi pursue the truth, aided by the prickly, exacting professor Yukawa, we become more and more certain Ayane did it—but, like the detectives, we can’t possibly imagine how it could ever be proved. Has she committed the perfect crime? Despite the Toyko setting, Higashino isn’t interested in atmosphere, and he’s not really interested in plumbing the depths of the characters’ emotional lives, either. Instead, this plays out in a series of interviews, reinterviews, and hypothetical conversations that focus on the smallest nuances of evidence and motive. Readers who prefer guns-drawn action won’t respond, but those who thrill to the cerebral pleasures of deduction will drink it right down . . . keeping a wary eye on their own cups of coffee. --Keir Graff
"Brilliant ... While readers of classic mysteries will be delighted with the elegant solution, the book will also appeal to fans of procedurals that carefully develop the relationships among the investigative team members."
--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"A retro puzzler that recalls Anthony Berkeley’s classic The Poisoned Chocolates Case."