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The Tokyo Zodiac Murders (Pushkin Vertigo) Paperback – September 15, 2015

4.2 out of 5 stars 231 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

First published in Japan in 1981, Shimada's intriguing first novel blends metafiction with a locked-room mystery. The title refers to a (fictional) series of sensational unsolved murders committed in 1936. In 1979, freelance illustrator Kazumi Ishioka, "a huge fan of mysteries," and his moody artist friend, Kiyoshi Mitarai, a self-styled amateur detective, are intent on unraveling the decades-old ritualistic killings. Painter Heikichi Umezawa left an eerily specific note about how he wanted to create the perfect woman, his Azoth, made up of the severed parts of his six daughters and nieces. These women, all with different astrological signs, ended up dead and buried all over Japan, but it was impossible for Umezawa to be the killer, because he had been dead for days himself, murdered in his locked studio. Kazumi and Kiyoshi spend a lot of time getting up to speed on the case by simply relating facts to each other. But once Shimada enters his own narrative as an investigator, the pace picks up considerably, and readers will understand why Shimada is considered one of Japan's most fiendishly clever crime writers. (Sept.)\n

Review

‘If you like your crime stories to be bloody and bizarre, then this one may be for you. The winner of several major awards... the solution is one of the most original that I've ever read.’ — Daily Mail

'The great Soji Shimada virtually invented the "logic problem" sub-genre.' - Guardian Top 10 Locked Room Mysteries (No. 2)

'Intricately constructed and entertainingly exotic.' - The Japan Times

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1782271384
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Pushkin Vertigo; Reprint edition (September 15, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781782271383
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1782271383
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 231 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
231 global ratings
How are ratings calculated?

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on June 19, 2019
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Top reviews from other countries

John M
5.0 out of 5 stars An ingenious and unusual who dunnit, Japan-style
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 27, 2019
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D. Jenkins
4.0 out of 5 stars The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 21, 2020
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Peter - The Reading Desk
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Cluedunit
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 19, 2018
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2016
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Tony Barber
4.0 out of 5 stars A comfortable Japanese murder mystery
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 24, 2020
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