The Mysterious Bookshop

Matsumoto, Seicho, A Quiet Place

An ordinary Tokyo man discovers his wife’s ordinary adultery. Murder must inevitably follow, like cold sake after that first beer.
"A master crime writer . . . Seicho Matsumoto's thrillers dissect Japanese society."—The New York Times Book Review

"A stellar psychological thriller with a surprising and immensely satisfying resolution that flows naturally from the book’s complex characterizations. Readers will agree that Matsumoto (1909–1992) deserves his reputation as Japan’s Georges Simenon.-Publishers Weekly

 While on a business trip to Kobe, Tsuneo Asai receives the news that his wife Eiko has died of a heart attack. Eiko had a heart condition so the news of her death wasn’t totally unexpected. But the circumstances of her demise left Tsuneo, a softly-spoken government bureaucrat, perplexed. How did it come about that his wife—who was shy and withdrawn, and only left their house twice a week to go to haiku meetings—ended up dead in a small shop in a shady Tokyo neighborhood?

When Tsuneo goes to apologize to the boutique owner for the trouble caused by his wife’s death he discovers the villa Tachibana near by, a house known to be a meeting place for secret lovers. As he digs deeper into his wife's recent past, he must eventually conclude that she led a double life...