The Mysterious Bookshop

Ayatsuji, Yukito, The Decagon House Murders

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/04/2015
First published in 1987, Ayatsuji’s brilliant and richly atmospheric puzzle will appeal to fans of golden age whodunits. Six months after the bodies of architect Nakamura Seiji, his wife, and two servants were found in the burnt remains of a house on isolated Tsunojima, a small island off the coast of Japan, seven members of the Kyoto University Mystery Club decide to visit Tsunojima. They are to reside for a week in the bizarrely constructed Decagon House, where everything seems to have 10 sides and where they soon learn that a killer is targeting them. The tension in this sophisticated homage to Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None is expertly heightened by a parallel plot set on the mainland, where two other members of the Kyoto society have received threatening letters, ostensibly from the dead Seiji. As in the best fair-play mysteries, every word counts, leading up to a jaw-dropping but logical reveal. (July)